Resources: Why living simpler matters
It seems that in this day and age we use products on our bodies without knowing what exactly is in them. Many personal care products contain fillers and ingredients that are truly not beneficial to the health of our bodies. It is important to understand that some of these ingredients have lasting implications for you and the environment. We hope to offer you resources on this page with articles and links to help educate you on these common ingredients and what harm they can cause.
Aspire Colorado wants to offer affordable personal care products and home cleaning products that you can trust! We believe in keeping it simple and giving you an ingredient list you can understand.
How Aspire Can Help You Clean up Our Environment
Reduce waste to landfill. Aspire products are all available in bulk. You can fill your own container with bulk personal care products, or purchase a packaged product the first time, and then refill it with bulk product when you run out. Most personal care products are in packages that are intended for one-time use. That is bad for you and for the environment. Why is it bad for you? The cost. A bottle or tube, with label and cap, adds and average of $1 to the cost of products in 16 oz containers or less. That's a lot of extra cost for the container, and can add up fast in a cart full of groceries. Why is it bad for the environment? The packages, whether glass, metal or plastic, don't break down in the environment, so they just pile up forever. Only about 25% of plastic is currently recycled in the U.S., which consumes about 38 million tons/year of plastic annually. Plastics are notorious for fragmenting into microplastics, which are polluting our waters and killing marine fisheries, when newly hatched fish fry mistake these tiny particles for food, and end up clogging their tiny digestive systems and dying. This is insane and easy to stop, by replacing all our packaged products with bulk, refillable products. If everybody in the U.S. did that, we would prevent around 10 - 20 billion containers from entering our landfills annually, including toothpaste tubes, deodorant containers, lotion bottles, dish and household soap bottles. Now, that would be quite a big step in cleaning our environment. We would also eliminate a lot of petrochemicals and pollution associated with manufacturing these containers, which is a huge part of the carbon footprint of plastic.
Simple products that are better for you and for the environment. Personal care products are notorious for containing unnecessary fillers and ingredients that don't contribute to the effectiveness of the products, and, in many cases, are harmful for our bodies, harmful for the environment, and contribute yet more impact on our planet in terms of carbon footprint, pollution, and harm to wildlife, through the industrial manufacturing of the products, and the extraction of the raw materials. Always read the ingredients on the products that you intend to apply to any part of your body before you buy them. If you don't understand the ingredients, that's a bad sign, but you should at least search for information about them on the internet. After all, if you plan to put anything on your body, you should understand what it is. Our skin is our largest organ. It is the first line of defense for toxins in our bodies, and it is there to protect everything inside us, so if we smear toxins on our skin, for example, they can absorb through the skin, and poison our insides, leading to all manner of illnesses over time, including the most obvious one, skin cancer. So, how can personal care products hurt the environment? Well, after they are used, these products go somewhere, they don't just disappear by magic. For most of us, when we shower, they go down the drain, and end up at the local wastewater treatment plant. These facilities are the final protective barrier between our wastewater and the environment, because they treat our wastewater before it is discharged to surface waters. Wastewater treatment plants are typically biological treatment processes that employ specific microbes to consume the pollutants, converting them into harmless materials. However, chemicals that aren't natural and biodegradable may not be recognized as food by the microbes, and may "pass through" the wastewater process, to pollute the receiving water bodies. Some of these pollutants can be removed, but only at great additional cost and energy. It is far simpler and better for the environment to avoid using them entirely, by making wise consumer choices.
Deodorants and Antiperspirants. First, what is the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants? Deodorants are meant to keep us from stinking, while antiperspirants are intended to prevent perspiration, or sweating, with the misguided perception that if we don't sweat, we won't stink. The problem with antiperspirants is that we are absolutely supposed to sweat. This is our body's way of cooling off our skin and releasing toxins from our bodies. The sweat from our armpits is extremely important, because we have lymph nodes under our skin in our armpits, and this is a key point where they release fluids through the skin. The last thing we want to do to our armpits is rub something in them that prevents these fluids from passing out of our bodies. One of the scariest things in antiperspirant products is aluminum salt, available in different forms, such as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorhydrate, etc. Some products carry as much as 12.5% of this toxin, in a product that is meant to be used daily.
Made in U.S.A. By making personal care products in the U.S.A., we significantly reduce the cost of transportation, and we employ our own citizens, keeping the profits within our economy. This is particularly important with personal care products, because we use them regularly, sometimes several times a day, so by using only products that are made in the U.S.A., we can provide a solid and predictable baseline employment and income for our own economy, creating economic security for ourselves and future generations. This is huge, because the wellness, beauty and personal care product market within the U.S.A. is valued at nearly $200 billion, demonstrating the incredible collective consumer impact we all have, and how much difference that collective impact can make on our economy, and on the environmental cost of transportation of these products. More than 90% of our ingredients and materials are produced in the U.S.A. We only purchase materials from outside the U.S.A. if we can't find a source within the country.
Tooth Powder, Not Toothpaste!
Aspire tooth powder is toothpaste without the water. Without the water, we don't need to use a toothpaste tube, which is not easy to recycle.