Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Small (re)Style: Cotton Balls.


Today I want to introduce a new feature for the blog called, “One Small (re)Style”. There are thousands of little changes, almost unnoticeable, many that don’t cost a thing, that you can make in your life to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Take cotton balls for instance. I love cotton balls. They are an indispensable part of my beauty routine. I use them for all kinds of things like taking off eye make-up or applying toner.

The (re)Style: Go organic! Switch to organic cotton balls.

The Righteous: There are all kinds of scary facts that I can throw at you about how conventional (aka, non-organic) cotton is grown. For example, five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are known cancer-causing chemicals. All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and II (the most dangerous chemicals). In California, it has become illegal to feed the leaves, stems, and short fibers of cotton known as ‘gin trash’ to livestock, because of the concentrated levels of pesticide residue. Instead, this gin trash is used to make furniture, mattresses, tampons, swabs, and cotton balls. The average American woman will use 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads during her lifetime (yeah, you might want to switch to organic tampons while you’re at it).

What it will cost: Very little. On Drugstore.com, a package of 80 organic cotton balls costs $2.49 (3.1 cents per ball). A package of 130 regular cotton balls is also 2.49 (1.9 cents per ball). So, to compare, if both packages had 130 balls, you would pay $1.54 more for the organic ones. That is nothing, kids! Especially since I know some of you are willing to spend $7.00 on a Miller Light longneck . . .

More info on cotton from the Organic Consumers Association.

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