Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ethical Living.

It's always the bathrooms for me.

I have to make sure that the faucets are properly closed and that they're not leaking water, because for me, that's sacrilege. I don't turn the tap on full blast and I give the Evil Eye to girls in public bathrooms who leave it on while chattering with their friends. Such a waste, and I don't mean the girls.

It looks like I'm not the only one anal about such "little" things either. Leo Hickman is TheGuardian's Ethical Expert on living, and below are bits and pieces from his March 3rd article.
Are second homes a selfish luxury or a harmless retreat?

More than a million Britons now own a second home. Many argue that these out-of-towners bring economic benefits to rural communities. Equally, though, second homes can price local people, including key workers, out of the housing market.

And the second-home phenomenon is spreading its wings. British buyers now snap up thousands of foreign homes every year. Their dream of a place in the sun is increasingly realised by the expanding reach of low-cost airlines. By 2012, it is estimated that second homers will take 12 million flights a year to visit their properties, exacerbating the environmental impact of air travel...

In 2003, 40% of all property sold in Spain went to non-nationals, while young Spaniards, unable to get on the property ladder, remain living with their parents in unprecedented numbers. By 2003, homes in the French region of Languedoc Roussillon cost 28% more than the year before, largely due to demand for second homes.

What type of contraceptive should I use: the pill or a condom?

Millions of oral contraceptive pills containing synthetic oestrogen are consumed every day. This compound is ultimately discharged into the sewage system, and from there it is flushed into rivers and the sea, where it remains active for up to a month. In 2002, Environment Agency researchers suggested that the steady drop in male fertility in Britain may be caused by men ingesting female hormones in drinking water that is drawn from rivers that contain recycled sewage.

But condoms themselves can also be harmful to the environment. The Environment Agency estimates that, in the UK, between 60 and 100 million condoms are thrown away every year, with many of the ones flushed down toilets being found in rivers, on beaches and in the sea. There are also concerns about some spermicides commonly used on condoms and caps. One in particular - nonoxynol-9 - has been the focus of much debate in recent years, with some studies suggesting that, as its high toxicity can cause genital lesions, it may increase the risk of HIV infection among women already at high risk of infection. If you use condoms, wrap them up and put them in a bin rather than flushing them away.

And my favorite:

Do we need to wash our hair?

In essence, most mainstream shampoos are glamorously packaged surfactants - chemicals that dislodge dirt and grease. You will find it hard to find a shampoo that doesn't specify its suitability for "daily use" or "frequent washing" despite the fact that most dermatologists warn that over-washing hair strips it of its natural oils. The scalp secretes sebum, which naturally lubricates and protects hair against dirt and bacteria.

Left to their own devices, our own natural oils in effect wash our hair without water or extra products. In fact, hair products have been shown to over-stimulate oil glands and attract dirt.

Few of us, however, may be prepared to run the risk of social exclusion by leaving our hair unwashed. The first six weeks are said to be the worst, culminating in a very oily phase between weeks five and six. This first phase conforms to the popular perception of unwashed hair - uncomfortable and unhygienic. But after this period, non-hair washers report healthy, self-regulating hair that looks better than ever. So good, in fact, that many vow never to wash their hair again.

I oughtta try this one time.


Anonymous sealdi said...


this post really perked up my day.

11:25 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

thanks sealdi! i really want to try out that hair thing sometime. =P

11:44 AM  
Blogger jillsabs said...

hindi yata kaya ng powers ko to go for SIX WEEKS without shampooing my hair. one day lang nga super uncomfortable na.

scientific facts ba yan?

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Nini said...

Sarah, Very interesting post. But I don't think I can survive weeks (even days) without washing my hair. Baka makalbo na ako sa kakakamot. :)

4:53 PM  

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