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Year 2, Week 12 Results: 1.0 oz of plastic waste. Plus questions about Sunscreen.

Posted By Beth Terry On September 7, 2008 @ 7:16 pm In cosmetics,Plastic Tally 2008-09-15,soaps and lotions,Weekly Results 2008 | 29 Comments

Just woke up from a long summer’s nap. Here’s the tally. But please stick around for a few questions afterward.

Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 2 filthy skanky disgusting synthetic sponges. I think I’ve gotten way more use out of them than they were ever meant to have. We still have a few more synthetic sponges in the house before switching to 100% natural sponges, wich we use for the few dishes that we hand wash. The synthetic sponges are for the more icky jobs, usually involving cats in some way.

And the new plastic waste:

  • 1 plastic seal from around the neck of a jar of Fudge Is My Life. I think I’ve got 4 jars left from the case my dad sent. And no, I didn’t eat it all, although I could have.
  • Plastic packing tape from a package received this week.
  • Plastic from around a stainless steel container which was shipped in above package. I plan to write more about the container this week.

So, here’s my question. It’s about sunscreen, which I hardly ever use even though I know all about the dangers of skin cancer. The laziness that makes me “green” by default because I can’t be bothered to put makeup on my face or use other girlie skin products is the same laziness that results in way too much unprotected sun exposure than this white girl should be allowed.

So anyway, I was going through cabinets in my house doing a routine plastic purge, and I found 4 nearly full plastic bottles of sunscreen. I looked up Enviroblog’s article How To Choose A Better Sunscreen [1] and found that all 4 of them fell squarely in the bad category, containing either oxybenzone or benzophenone-3. Mere hours after listing them on Freecycle, they were gone. I should have taken a picture, but I can tell you the brands were Coppertone, Banana Boat, No Ad, and Swim n’ Surf, and each container held about 8 ounces of product.

Question: Is it wrong of me to give away a product on Freecycle if I’ve read that it contains ingredients that might not be good for my health? If so, what should I have done with it? If not, why not?

The next day, I popped over to Whole Foods with EWG’s Sunscreen Guide in hand to replace the previous products. But what I found took my breath away… they were HELLA expensive! I expected the healthier products to be somewhat more pricey. But holy cow! The tiny 2.9 ounce container of all natural Badger brand sunscreen cost nearly $16! EWG says to apply sunscreen liberally. How long do you think a 2.9 ounce tube would last at a “liberal” rate?

Not to mention the plastic. I was willing to buy new plastic in order to replace my toxic sunscreens with a less toxic version. But how much plastic will I have to go through buying such small quantities at a time? NONE of the brands at Whole Foods were sold in any larger size than 4 ounces. And all of them cost at least $10 each.

So I thought, I’m just not rich enough to spring for the super premium natural brands. I’ll head over to Walgreen’s drugstore and check out the few common brands that EWG recommends. Well, at first I couldn’t find any on the shelves at all, among the Coppertones and Bullfrogs and Banana Boats. I did finally find the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin sunscreen, but also that it was full of parabens, preservatives that we are also warned to stay away from. And it wasn’t any less expensive than the natural stuff.

So I am currently sunscreen-free and in a quandary. What should I do?

What sunscreen do you use, if any? Do you worry about questionable ingredients or do you just go for the cheapest and figure the chemicals are less of a worry than the UV radiation? Do you buy the expensive ones?

Or do you just avoid the sun altogether? Wear a hat and long sleeves? Carry a parasol?

What’s the solution? Cuz I have no idea at this point. And part of me feels like I’ve been so lax about sunscreen up until now, I’m probably screwed anyway. Is that a bad attitude?


Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com

URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/09/year-2-week-12-results-10-oz-of-plastic/

URLs in this post:

[1] How To Choose A Better Sunscreen: http://www.enviroblog.org/2008/07/how-to-choose-safe-effective-s.htm

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