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Why My Purse is Green

Because I believe…

  • the fastest, most effective way to stop polluters is by pressuring them in the marketplace
  • women can be the world’s most powerful economic and environmental force if we intentionally shift our spending to the best green products and services
  • women have the power right now to solve many of our most serious environmental problems by using our green purses to make a difference
  • women must act – intentionally, collectively, and with the full force of our purse power behind us – if we hope to leave our children and grandchildren a better world.
  • « "Green" Shampoos and Lotions for Guys | Main | My Green Guilty Pleasure: The New York Times and a Bunch of Magazines »

    Stinky or Sweet? Dealing With the Pits

    Guys worry just as much as women do about B.O. Surprisingly, far less attention has been paid to “green” and healthy deodorants for the men in our lives than for ourselves. Safe deodorants are important regardless of gender. Parabens, a preservative used to keep some deodorants fresh, increasingly are showing up in breast tumor tissue. Synthetic fragrances, especially those in spray-on deodorants, can increase the incidence of acne, headaches, and respiratory problems. Aluminum, another ingredient common in conventional anti-perspirants, has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and painful swelling (per an interview with senior analyst Sean Gray at Environmental Working Group. Conventional deodorants may also contain phthalates, which are considered a reproductive toxin in the state of California.

    Safer products for women have been around for years, primarily in response to their strong consumer demand. Guys can have a similar impact on manufacturers, by choosing the safest products available. These deodorant options, all of which are highly rated for health and safety by Environmental Working Group, are a good place to start:

    Crystal Crystal deodorant:   This clear, rock-like product uses mineral salts to reduce the bacteria that cause body odor.   Just moisten the crystal and rub it under your arm; it dries immediately.  The line has a product specifically for men. Added  Benefit: the Crystal company is the top rated natural or conventional deodorant according to the analysis of Environmental Working Group. The company also supports "The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics" and pledges that any products it makes will "meet the standards and deadlines set by the European Union Directive 76/768/eeC to be free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects." Here’s some additional useful background on crystal deodorants.

    Tom’s of Maine Unscented Deodorant stick: makes four different deodorants from ingredients like hops, chamomile, and lemongrass.  You can purchase the deodorant fragrance-free, or scented with calendula, woodspice, or honeysuckle rose.  Tom’s is  available at most grocery and drug stores, including  Rite Aid and Walgreens, but can also be purchased online.

    Aubrey Organics uses herbal extracts and vitamin E in their Men’s Stock Natural Dry Herbal Pine deodorant.   The deodorant comes in spray form (but not an aerosol can) and can be purchased directly from the company's website as well as in natural foods and Whole Foods stores.

    Want more information on safe personal care products? Here you go.

    (Research by Katie Kelleher)


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    I haven't tried the crystal one, but my favorite is the JASON brand - tea tree & melaleuca variety.

    Anyone switching from conventional brands, you're likely to have a period of stinky as your body detoxes all the stuff the anti-perspirant has been blocking. After you get through this period, things will be much better :)

    Thank you for this post!!

    Diane MacEachern

    Interesting point about the period of "de-tox." I haven't noticed that, but I'd be curious to hear about others' experiences.


    I've been using alcohol as my deodorant. It's safe, doesn't stain clothing and it totally works! The B.O. odor is caused by bacteria and alcohol kills bacteria. I am currently using an all natural hand sanitizer with a spray top as my deodorant. But you can use rubbing alcohol or vodka. Vodka is the more green choice as it contains ethyl alcohol which is renewable, unlike isopropyl which is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. Natural hand sanitizers also generally use ethyl alcohol (check the label). Apply the alcohol with a cotton ball (or more green alternative if you have one) after you shower. Twice daily if you need to. It's amazing how well it works! Another tip on controlling B.O. is to limit your dairy intake and caffeine intake. Those products produce B.O. more than anything else!

    Neals favorite Shaver

    I am using Crystal deodorant. It is really working wonderful.

    Neal Litton
    Shaver Reviews

    Carmella Lannigan

    It looks nice, currently iam using some other brand but i would definitely like to try them.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

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