Many of us have no idea what we’re slathering on our skin or spraying onto our bathroom mirrors. We’re just using available products to take care of our beauty and hygiene needs and to keep our homes clean. But when the ingredients in those products are dangerous chemicals, we’re not only hurting our bodies, we’re damaging the environment.
Products with true natural ingredients benefit the environment in these five ways:
They Don’t Contribute to Damaging Mining Practices
The compounds found in conventional beauty products are often harsh substances, such as aluminum, lead, petroleum, and more. And how are these ingredients accessed? Through extensive, damaging mining practices. Precious areas of the earth, like portions of the Amazon Rainforest, are destroyed each year in the pursuit of these substances. And when the land is destroyed, the wildlife dies off as well.
They Don’t Require Destructive Farming Processes
It’s no question that the word “natural” appeals to consumers, and many companies want to capitalize on that consumer desire. But since the FDA doesn’t regulate the definition of “natural,” some companies create products with a few natural ingredients (mixed in with chemicals) so they can use the term “natural” on their products.
These companies are typically bigger, more powerful companies, which means their mass production of their products is heavily increasing the demand for natural ingredients. But because they want the natural ingredients in a hurry (and as cheap as possible), they’re using unsustainable farming and mining practices, exploiting human rights along the way. Semi-natural is not natural, and the pursuit of semi-natural is not sustainable.
When you buy a product from a smaller company that can legitimately claim its products are made from 100% natural ingredients, you can have the assurance that the natural ingredients have been sourced in sustainable ways, with minimal damage to the environment.
When Done Right, Farming of Natural Ingredients is… Natural
Organic farming of natural ingredients doesn’t require synthetic chemicals or fertilizers. This means that when natural ingredients are farmed organically, fewer chemicals from farming are released into our soil and water. This type of farming is healthier for the environment and for us as we’re exposed to fewer chemicals.
They Don’t Add Dangerous Chemicals to Our Ecosystems
Many chemicals in ordinary products don’t break down. Once they’re washed down the drains of our sinks and showers, the chemicals make their way to our lakes, rivers, streams, and even public water systems. Some chemicals in common products change the behavior of fish, damage their reproductive abilities, and cause mutations and deaths in animals.
And the damage doesn’t stop there. When the water vaporizes into the atmosphere, the chemicals evaporate right along with it, returning back to the earth in the form of rain. These chemicals have been found in bodies of water and even in household dust particles.
Natural Ingredients Don’t Contribute to Reef Damage
Oxybenzone, an active ingredient in many sunscreens, has been found in significant amounts in several coral reefs throughout the world. This chemical strips the coral of its nutrients, leading to bleaching. Why does this matter? Coral reefs are home to enormous populations of ocean animals; in fact, a quarter of the ocean’s species live in coral reefs.
With 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions ending up in coral reefs throughout the world every year, this is a seriously damaging problem. Reef-safe sunscreens allow you to continue to enjoy your outdoor activities without adding to the pollution of coral reefs.
It’s Worth the Effort
It does take more effort to choose products that are free of environmentally dangerous chemicals, but when our earth is healthier we are all healthier. The effort is worth it.
Brad Zaro is the President & CEO at Deter Outdoor. He has 35 years professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, over 20 years of which at the senior executive level. After beating skin cancer, Brad made a goal to develop products based on natural ingredients which were safe for children, scientifically proven effective, and biodegradable with minimal environmental impact