You shoes, you lose (Day 154)…

August 1, 2007

shoes on mat

When my parents first moved from England to Canada back in the mid-70s, they were mildly disturbed by a few things: One, yellow butter; two, blizzards in May (at least in Quebec), and three, the custom of taking shoes off at the door. Correct me if I’m wrong, Mum, but I believe your opinion was, and still is, that shoes are part of the outfit and belong on your feet until the rest of your clothes come off.

Now, being a Taurus, I tend to put comfort waaaay above aesthetics. I don’t own any shoes with more than a kitten heel and my most common choice of footwear is either a pair of dilapidated sneakers or dirty flip-flops (the one trend I refuse to endorse no matter how comfortable is the neon Crocs — seriously, those thing are heinous).

Anyway, because I like to be comfy, or maybe just because I’m a Canadian, I’m more than happy to take my kicks off at the door. Sometimes I forget, or sometimes I’ll put a sparkly pair on if I have company, but today my green move will be to enforce the shoes-off policy.

How is this green, you ask? Well, fewer shoes clomping around means less dirt and mud tracked on the floor, which in turn means I need to vacuum less frequently, which, you guessed it, means I’m using less electricity.

Photo courtesy of amazondotcom on Flickr

Environmental spawareness (Day 104)…

June 12, 2007


Aside from my sister, who doesn’t like strangers touching her, most women adore spas. These days, no matter how much we’re rubbed (sometimes even with butter), wrapped, baked and/or steamed as though we were being prepped for dinner, we still can’t get enough.

Unfortunately, pampering can be a very wasteful process — the endless streams of water used in Vichy treatments or body scrubs, the various towels, bathrobes and slippers that all get washed after one brief use, not to mention the countless bottles of product that, when emptied, may or may not get recycled.

All this has prompted me to decide that from now on, I’ll only frequent eco-friendly spas. There’s a list here with some internationally recognized institutions, but it just takes some poking around the neighbourhood to figure out which places have put some thought into it and which haven’t.

Recently, for example, I mentioned 889 Yonge, a place in Toronto that’s gone all-out green. But I also know that Body Blitz (in the photo above) uses Giovanni products in their vanity rooms and all-natural scrubs and muds. And the cheap place I go for manis and pedis keeps a little box full of nail care equipment for each customer so they can reuse instead of dispose of all the pumice stones and filers.

I’m not going to restrict myself to vegan spas or try in vain to locate some wind-powered, organic, greywater spa. I just want a place that will maybe offer drinking water from a fountain rather than a complimentary plastic bottle, that will have signs about where to leave dirty towels as opposed to clean ones, and perhaps let me bring my own flip-flops and robe.

Photo courtesy of Toronto Street Fashion

Skinfully delicious (Day 21)…

March 21, 2007

Beautiful Soap & Co

You haven’t truly suffered dry, itchy skin until you’ve lived in Canada. No matter how high you crank the humidifier or how much water you drink, it can get to the point where it looks as though you just spent a week rolling around in a pile of salt, popping diuretics.

Some days, I wish I could immerse myself in a vat of petroleum. Even after repeatedly slathering myself with the equivalent of a stick of butter (Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Body Butter), topped with the equivalent of the periodic table (Gold Bond Medicated Body Lotion), my skin will still be parched.

Beautiful Soap & Co‘s oatmeal and almond moisturizing lotion, which is 100% all-natural — no alcohol, parabens, petroleum, etc. — hasn’t exactly given me J.Lo skin, but it’s nice and thick and smells delish. Yet another green product that leaves the chemicals, but not the results, behind.

So as of today, I’m sticking to all-natural body lotion.

Now if there was only some way to refill it so I wouldn’t have to toss the empty packaging when I’m done (because at this rate, that’ll be in about two days).