Plain daily grind vs. hazy eco heaven future? More than a few people choose to stick with the former and find excuses to not deal with the latter.
When I listen to people who “would love to commit to the green side of life but…” talk about their lack of time, overwhelm or disappointment, I always try to distil the excuses into actionable reasons.
And from my perspective and experience, all the reasons or rather excuses why people won’t choose green, boil down to:
6 Excuses To Not Go Green
1. I’m not enough, and I don’t see any actual impact of my eco choices (other than spending more money).
2. I can’t afford eco products…
3. I don’t know who to trust, where to shop genuine eco products or how to start!
4. I don’t have the time!
5. Green products are just not as good as conventional.
6. I don’t care and I don’t wanna know, really. Eco is all fake anyway. We all are gonna die. You stupid new age tree hugging hippie fairy.
* SONJA FLAY: a Toronto based blogger, the founder and voice of lifeinblush.com, “where green beauty reviews are served with a side of humour, lifestyle trends are always within your budget, and the goal of being able to live off the land is never out of reach; even for this city girl.”
* SARITA COREN: is a holistic mom of five with more than 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field. Dubbed “the godmother of green beauty” by industry insiders, the social media consultant and green brand ambassador (Beauty Heroes, Indie Beauty Expo) writes the clean living blog The Hub of Clean Living, formerly Edible Facial.
The “I’m Not Enough, And I Don’t See Any Actual Impact” Excuse
This is a tricky one. The effects of fair, ethical, cruelty-free and eco-friendly products and services are not tangible or visible right away. No instant gratification. But let’s have a look at the other end of the spectrum: conventional industry (food, fashion, skincare, you name it) makes headlines with all kinds of bad news – from high amounts of toxins in the products to strikingly false product claims to devastating effects for people and environment, and anything in between.
Movies like Food, Inc., Stink!, Fed Up or The Real Cost and the likes infotain the average consumer into the state of shock and anger-fed action but, as they keep coming, also into the state of disbelief, frustration and the mentioned above “I don’s see results”. In real life, results are not as dramatic, not as tangible as in a movie. (Hint: none of those are made without a script!) However, health-improving choices should always be visible, and if they are not, what else am I to say than consult your doctor.
But here’s the good thing: product tests prove that genuinely organic and sustainable products, while not perfectly picture-perfect all the time, are much less affected by the abovementioned flaws. In this case, no news really is good news.
So you are NOT not enough. Your greener choices are making a difference.
Green brands and consumers have created a powerful trend.
And while the trend itself, like any trend, is corruptible (hello, greenwashers), making good choices and inspiring others to join you is the best thing you can do.
The “It’s Too Expensive For Me”
The “I Don’t Know Who To Trust”
By Sonja Flay, lifeinblush
Despite all of the many skincare and cosmetic products that are free of nasty, microbiome-disrupting chemicals many of us still reach for that Nars foundation or Elizabeth Arden moisturizer which, for all the good it does your skin, you would be more productive lighting your dollar bills on fire.
Price and availability are two of the most common excuses I hear.
There’s no argument that green beauty products are more expensive than mainstream ones.
They have to be.
They are filled with the planet’s immense bounty of botanicals, clays, salts, oils and spices that nourish versus cheap, chemical by-products that just wreak havoc on the skin.
If you saw a computer on sale for $5.99 you’d probably be suspicious about just how well it would work right? Well the same logic applies to skincare and cosmetics.
If we spend thousands of dollars on our technology gadgets, on dining out and buying clothes – all without sacrificing quality – why would we then discount the health of our skin? Just remember that the next time you go to buy your face cleanser or a new shade of lipstick.
Ok, this one I can get behind a bit more.
I for once want to be able to walk into a store and buy what I need versus having to pay for shipping… and then wait… but the more consumers demand clean products on store shelves the greater the shift in retail will occur to meet this demand.
Until then however there are quite a few online green beauty boutiques – founded by genuine green beauty experts – that offer a gorgeous array of products, suitable for all types of needs.
Here are a few of my favourites that are based out of Canada and the USA, but ship internationally:
- www.ecodivabeauty.com / www.ecodivabeauty.ca
- www.thedetoxmarket.com / www.thedetoxmarket.ca
The “I Don’t Have Time!” Excuse
By Sarita Coren, The Hub of Clean Living
Oh I love this line: “I don’t have time for…” And yes, it is a line. It’s something that I could use a lot with five kids, a husband, and a blog to nurture. And sometimes I do – about going to the gym, about getting my engine light checked (yes, the car died before I “had time” to do it), about organizing the family room.
But here’s the deal. We all know that when we really want to do something, we do it. It’s so basic. So when I say I don’t have time to do it, what I’m really saying is “I don’t really want to” or “I’m afraid to” or “it’s not important enough to me.” Because if I were being honest with myself, “I don’t have time” is actually “I am not making time to do it.”
If you want to start a healthy practice, this is something that I do. Instead of the disempowering “I don’t have time” which puts my personal power in the hands of Time, try: “I am not making time because….” And then finish the sentence.
Understanding why I’m not making time to go to the gym (because I love walking and biking outdoors) or take care of my car (because I didn’t make it a priority but I wish I did) or organize the family room (because the task overwhelms me) puts the power back into my hands.
It reminds me that I am in charge—not my circumstances, lame excuses, or a ticking clock. It reminds me to revisit what’s important to me and what I really want because I always make time for that. And if I don’t, then it’s time to start.
The “Green Products Are Not As Good” Excuse
By Liz Mim, Smells Like A Green Spirit
Five or six years ago I’d have been more moderate in my answer, because back then I could count the exciting green cosmetic brands on one hand, but that was in the past.
The green beauty scene has grown exponentially since then, which is why I’ve been working on a series called « Make the Green Switch », where I showcase the closest green alternatives to some popular conventional products. Going green doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice, and for a simple reason: the quality and performance are outstanding. Eco brands understand that a product has to be visually and olfactory appealing, in addition to being efficient.
In many aspects, green beauty is even ahead of the (beauty) game. Take cleansing balms and face oils for instance. Green beauty enthusiasts have adopted them in their routine for ages, and now conventional brands and medias have caught up on the virtues of using oils and balms.
In terms of colour, I’m amazed by how vibrant plant/vegetable/fruit-derived pigments are. Azulene, which is a naturally occurring substance from German chamomile, yarrow and wormwood, gives a stunning blue colour. No synthetic dyes are needed. A red/pink hue can be derived from cherry, beetroot, rose flower or hibiscus. One of my favourite lip & cheek product (from Aster & Bay) is made of a combination of beetroot and hibiscus. My mascara is made with blueberry and black tea. These ingredients do not just provide the colour, they also nourish the skin. Same applies for scents. Natural fragrances made from essential oils and botanical ingredients have many aromatherapeutic benefits. I used to dislike (or at least I thought so) rose scents, until I smelled genuine rose extract. There’s a world of difference.
All in all, I’d say to simply give green cosmetics a try, and make up your own opinion then. You know what they say: to try is to adopt 😉
The Last Excuse:
I Don’t Care And I Don’t Wanna Know. Eco Is All Fake Anyway!
And here’s Nath again.
This line above is probably the most hurtful thing to hear back from people. Not because I feel offended; not at all. But because this excuse shows just how much damage the conventional – shall we say – brainwash strategies, often combined with vile greenwashing, have brought about.
When people lose trust, it’s really the end with capital E, for cynicism is one of the most toxic, corrosive, fear-ridden states of mind.
What is the reaction you hope for when you say “I don’t care”, “eco is fake”, “it doesn’t matter anyway”, “I hate Nature” exactly? Is it that you want to be heard and fear to be hurt in the process?
Tell you what: it’s glorious to be sceptical, it’s actually the best you can do.
As I said above, the green trend is not infallible, it’s not a 100% guarantee for anything. But it’s the only option because we see all conventional institutions, schemes, processes and rules fail one by one before our eyes. We’re at a point in history where we know enough to know how little wisdom we have acquired. But sceptics truly hold the key to enlightenment 2.0.
Deep inside, you know that green is not a fake. And you know that it’s good to be wary, it’s good to prickle the green bubble to see if it stands the test or deflates and weeeeeeeeeeezes away into thin air.
So please, for all it’s worth: question. Investigate. Explore. You do care.
Hooked on what the green beauty experts had to say?
Where do you agree and disagree? What are your favourite excuses that enable your conventional guilty pleasures?
Do tell! 😉