The other day Enviro Girl got a phone call from someone conducting a survey. After ascertaining her age and status as the primary shopper for her household, the caller asked Enviro Girl to rate her attitude towards Proctor & Gamble and their various products.
Enviro Girl declared her status as “neutral” and admitted she doesn’t really buy Proctor & Gamble products–and then on Sunday while reading through the weekly coupon offers from that company, discovered why. You see, it’s not that Enviro Girl is against Proctor & Gamble, per se. It’s not even that she’s buying goods produced by a competitor. She doesn’t buy Proctor & Gamble products because as an environmental activist and “green” housekeeper, they don’t make much that she needs!
Let’s take a quick look at their brands and product lines and why Enviro Girl doesn’t buy them:
Always: well, maxi pads are gross and Enviro Girl prefers tampons. She sees panty liners as a total waste of plastic-lined trash.
Clairol, Aussie, Herbal Essences: Enviro Girl goes au natural with her hair color and prefers a paraben-free, synthetic-fragrance-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free shampoo/conditioner experience. She’s an Avalon Organics girl all the way for her hair care products.
Secret: Not strong enough for this woman. She prefers Certain Dri.
Tampax: Is it just Enviro Girl or have other people noticed the “designer style feminine hygiene care products?” Bottom line: An applicator is a waste of plastic or cardboard.
Ivory: Actually, Enviro Girl swears by bars of Ivory soap at her house, so Proctor & Gamble do get her money for this product. Tried and true, it’s a cleansing classic.
Venus: Ditto here–she invested in a razor and likes the disposable cartridges instead of disposable razors.
Scope: If you brush and floss, mouthwash isn’t necessary. If you find it is, then you’ve probably got bigger issues going on in your mouth.
CoverGirl: See the above issues Enviro Girl has with hair care products. Ditto for her face. She does not buy most make up products, when she does she opts for brands free of toxic chemicals.
Crest: Enviro Girl’s household uses Crest. Not everyone in the household brushes their teeth with crest, so it’s not the main toothpaste brand of choice.
Comet: (no site link available) Enviro Girl uses Bon Ami or baking soda–not the lung-searing cleaning power of Comet.
Swiffer: It’s a disposable mop-head/broom product, people. Disposable. Enviro Girl won’t even speculate on what they brew to make the floor spray stuff with–she uses a regular mop and vinegar with hot water to clean wood and tile floors.
Tide/Dreft/Cheer/Gain: Enviro Girl has major issues with chemical fragrances and she likes to use a laundry detergent that’s gentle on the environment. To that end, she’s a Seventh Generation fan through and through–that detergent never fails to clean her family’s clothes and doesn’t leave a heavy scent behind, either.
Ferbreze: Speaking of chemically toxic smells, most people already know that a clean house doesn’t require air fresheners. Never ever in a million years would Enviro Girl buy a product that leaves behind dangerous chemical residue in the name of “freshening up” her household. Enviro Girl cleans well with vinegar and water and leaves windows open for that “fresh air” fragrance in her house.
Downy/Bounce: Enviro Girl has posted before about dryer sheets and fabric softeners. They’re a wasteful and even dangerous product. If static cling is really an issue, wool dryer balls or a quick spritz with vinegar and water will cure it. It’s products like these that make the last few aisles of Target an asthma attack waiting to happen for people like Enviro Girl.
Dawn: Just as she feels about laundry detergent, Enviro Girl likes an environmentally friendly and natural smelling dish soap. She chooses Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products. (And is it just Enviro Girl or do other people notice a wonky smell on dish cloths when folks use the “antibacterial” Dawn dish soaps?)
Cascade: Again, environmentally friendly dishwasher detergents are Enviro Girl’s pick. She really likes Seventh Generation’s dishwasher powdered detergent. It’s fairly inexpensive and does a great job getting dishes clean.
Bounty: Enviro Girl has taken The Paper Towel Challenge and uses about a quarter a roll of paper towel a year. Paper towels really aren’t necessary–old newspapers or rags do the same job for a fraction of the price and without decimating forests. In fact, Enviro Girl’s family has even reduced their use of paper towels since she originally took the challenge! Because she barely ever buys paper towels, she spends a bit more on some 100% recycled paper towels.
Charmin: Enviro Girl buys the store brand of toilet paper–not super plush, not super scratchy.
Pringles: Enviro Girl will let the ingredients speak for this product:
RICE FLOUR, VEGETABLE OIL (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: CORN OIL, COTTONSEED OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL), DRIED POTATOES, CORN FLOUR, MALTODEXTRIN, WHEAT STARCH, MODIFIED RICE STARCH, SUGAR, AND TRIGLYCEROL MONO-OLEATE. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, WHEAT BRAN, DRIED BLACK BEANS, SALT, AND CITRIC ACID. CONTAINS WHEAT INGREDIENTS.
Um, yeah. Enviro Girl likes potato chips made with 3 ingredients, potatoes, oil and salt. FAIL, Pringles. FAIL. (And this is the ingredient list from the healthy-sounding “Multigrain Pringles.”)
Mr. Clean: Enviro Girl loves Ecover. Bless your shiny bald head, Mr. Clean, but the contents of your bottle will never in a million years live up to the high environmental standards of Ecover.
So, it’s not personal, Proctor & Gamble. It’s more a matter of being friendly to her environment (air, earth and water) and knowing what’s necessary to keep her household clean and healthy and what will probably pollute it more. Do tell, reader–do you buy Proctor & Gamble products for your household? Or have you opted to buy more eco-friendly brands?