June 22, 2009
Staying Fly and Eco-Friendly P. 2
(Editor's note: This is the second installment of our series on fashion and sustainable living techniques. Part one dealt with getting rid of ecologically unsustainable fashion habbits. Here, Kristia Castrillo offers eco-friendly alternatives.)
When you do want that extra help though, the earth provides! The idea is to use ingredients that are native to your ancestors and/or suitable to the climate you live in. So for example, as someone of Filipino descent I lean towards coconut oil, cocoa-based products over olive oil-based ones. My skin is sensitive so I stay away from many scented products, especially when the plants providing the scent are from places with a very different climate than the Philippines. Seems like common sense, but it's amazing how we never think of it. Here are some home recipes from the ladies and I at Doorknockers:
My Lola alternates between using coconut oil and avocado in her hair. Take leftover avocado peels and rub em on your skin for awhile, then wash off. Or half of one in your hair, let it sit for as long as you like. You'll shine better than bling.
Mash 5-6 strawberries and put em on skin for 10 minutes. The acidic quality for the fruit will naturally exfoliate dead skin. Instead of using new fruit, I use the ones that have gone bad or are damaged.
Mix brown sugar and olive oil into a paste and massage into skin.
Rum Body Scrub:
Ya might smell like a cocktail all day. Mix 1/2 a lime, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil (or coconut oil), and 1 shot rum. Then use the other lime half as a scrubber.
My Lip Gloss:
Mash up a couple berries with vaseline, then refrigerate. Should last a week, so make small batches in a reusable container.
I am really trying. Over the years I've worn less and less, I definitely went through an all-out hippie stage in college where I stopped altogether. In the meantime I just don't buy new stuff all the time, I try to support companies that use fair trade pracices, organic ingredients, and recycle their containers. But really, you just have to wear less. I've learned that the best make-up is getting enough sleep, drinking lots of waters, and removing processed foods from my diet. Try that for a month and you'll notice you don't need bronzer. You've got to train yourself to do something that corporations have been investing billions in making sure you cannot do - love yourself exactly as you are. You can totally do it and once you love yourself without make-up there's no turning back.
Let me first say, to quote Assata Shakur, "A revolutionary woman don't need no reactionary man." Now that being established, you don't need all that lace and ribbons. If you saw the conditions that women (who look like me by the way) survived to work at these factories, you wouldn't feel sexy for a minute in those get-ups. Oh the hypocrisy that is Western feminism!
Meanwhile all that plastic and synthetic fabrics, you know those corsets don't decompose like a simple cotton sock would. There are so many sexier things you can wear to bed, such as yourself. Sex is fun when it's equal, creative, and dynamic - not when the burden is placed on women to buy slave-labor made outfits to keep their partners 'interested.' If you're partner ain't down for that, well they hey, you already know what Assata says. Now if you want a recipe for an organic caramel reduction and the nearest place to buy organic strawberries, well girl, I can't help you with that but I'm sure Rainbow Grocery could be a place to start if you live in San Francisco.
Bling and Sparkles:
I've never been too big on jewelry anyway, but when I do I buy used. I also just make my own - out of found twigs (sorry I know that goes against Leave No Trace principles), beads from scrap stores, old buttons, etc. I just ain't tryna keep my beautiful African sisters and brothers in poverty or promote any more cash culture than my students are already exposed to. Don't cut it all out per se, just opt out on the blood diamond, homie. Pawnshops and antique stores have tons of beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces if you are looking for that kind of gift, and you'll love the prices too.
Good luck changing your beauty regimen. Have fun with it, do some research and try things out. Let us know what other recipes you come up or have inherited from your family. The less plastic and chemicals left in our oceans and soil when we die, means the better quality food and water we leave for our children, so that they too can grow up to be flyest.