How to green up your mani pedi

As you may recall, this past spring I decided to get rid of all toxic items in my household, primarily cleaning products, medicines and cosmetics. This started while my husband and I were recovering from Pertussis and I noticed how certain fumes now irritated my throat. I was able to replace many things with essential oils, and since it wasn't flip flop season, knowing nail polish was fairly toxic, I simply stopped wearing it.

Now that it's summer and I'm baring my toes and skin daily, I explored green options for nail polishes and sunscreen. While searching for eco-friendly nail polish on a reliableblog, this led me to learn a shocking fact - I found that my old nail polish shouldn't even be thrown away in the trash. They need to be taken to a SAFE disposal event or site which I've talked about many times in this very newsletter. Who knows this? Do you think nail salons know this? Yikes!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers nail polish hazardous waste, along with paints and solvents. That certainly makes sense considering the fumes, but I never really put it in the "hazardous waste" category. 

My experience with essential oils led me to understand that anything that I applied to my skin would instantly be absorbed throughout my body. I had some powerful and instantaneous positive reactions which then really got me thinking, what am I putting on my body?  Although sunscreen is necessary, is ultimately toxic to our health. Years and years ago, my father-in-law's business partner once told me he wouldn't wear sunscreen for that very reason, I decided that he was crazy. With my fair complexion, I'm not willing to go without. Here's my favorite least-toxic brand of sunscreen.

So, let me repeat myself: your skin is your largest organ and whatever you are putting on your body will be absorbed--whether it is a positive or negative substance. Becoming aware of this put a lot of things in perspective for me. How about you?  What are you putting on your body? How long have you had it? Is it possible that it has expired? Is there a safer product you could be using? How should you dispose of it?

I've given you advice on how to keep you healthy, how about an organized strategy to keep your home and the environment healthy? What I suggest is that you keep a bin specifically for hazardous items and then take them to a SAFE disposal event - they happen in all 5 boroughs 2x per year, or in other areas of the country do a web search for hazardous waste facilities. put the date in your calendar and a reminder a month or 2 before. You will be doing yourself, your children and the environment a favor. It's also a great way to stay on top of your household products and not get overrun with toxins in your home.

For more information about eco-friendly nail polishes, check out Wellness Mama's blog post on the topic, plenty of info and sources of where to buy. This summer, I still get my painted toes and vitamin D while keeping things green.