Me or the planet

For years I have done a lot of research on the products that we buy in our house and use on a daily basis. I look for products that are environmental friendly, come from companies engaged in good practices, that are generally good for us. However, because we move to live in different countries every few years, this has become a never ending exercise of finding a brand I like, getting used to it and then having to find another brand in a new country.

Yesterday I became very intrigued with my hair conditioner, an anti-bacterial counter spray and a lip balm that I used all within a matter of an hour. The hair conditioner comes in an eco bottle and has a lot of information about how it is enviornmentally friendly. The Anti-bacterial spray which has a very strong smell of lemon is also in a sort of eco-bottle with lots of information on its minimal impact on the environment because of its limited list of ingredients. My lip balm proudly states that it is 97% natural (even though I am very aware that here in the US the word “natural” on a product could mean anything since it is not regulated).

So obviously these three particular products are from companies engaged in sustainability, have a big focus on environmental protection and are from vary popular brands. The question I asked myself yesterday though was: Are they any good for me? This conditioner that I put in my hair every few days, fine it is good for the environment but what it is doing to me? The label doesn’t say. The Anti-bacterial spray with its strong lemon smell is overwhelming to me most of the time. Is that bad for me? That lip balm, if we decide to agree that 97% of it is good because natural must mean good, what is the remaining 3%? Is that remaining 3% bad?

It is great that we know so much more about our products that consumers before us ever knew about theirs. But I still wonder regularly, what is it that we still don’t know? What is that 3%?