Squeaky clean and organic!

Jess Vogt

Okay, so you are already a vegetarian, and you eat as little packaged and processed food as possible (and at Downer, this takes some effort). And you take short, cold showers only every third day, and wear your jeans three times before washing them. And you walk all the way down to Walgreens instead of getting your friend with a car to drive you there to get shampoo and toothpaste.
But what about that shampoo and toothpaste? You play the eco-conscious consumer in every other setting. Don’t forget about your shampoo and toothpaste! Do you know how many chemicals they have in them? Not only does the processing of these chemicals often result in pollution of the environment, but when you wash your hair or brush you teeth, these chemicals then go into the water table and wind up in our lakes and rivers. Some of these chemicals can be toxic, mutagenic, or even break down into carcinogens.
What can you do? Organic vegetables are now sold in most grocery stores, but organic personal care items are hard to come by in most cities unless you look either to upscale organic and vitamin supplement stores or to trendy organic markets. What can the college student in downtown Appleton do?
The same thing you do for everything else you want but can’t get locally: hop online! Here is a summary of some options available for buying organic home, body and office products online. You might even tell mom and dad to include some of these things in the next care package!
Kokopelli’s Green Market (www.kokogm.com): This wonderful site offers a comprehensive array of all-organic and biodegradable bath and body, cleaning and home products from trusted manufacturers of organic products, such as Nature’s Gate, Stony Brook Botanicals, Alba, JASON Natural Products and Kiss My Face.
From general moisturizers and shampoos to furniture polish to signature “VerMints” from Vermont’s Green Mountain Market, they possess a large array of reasonably priced products. They also offer discounts for orders in bulk, and fast, reliable shipping. I have been ordering shampoo and soap from them for over a year and have yet to be dissatisfied.
My favorite product: Nature’s Acres Woodsy Blend Oil – It comes with pine needles actually in the bottle and smells just like a Christmas tree!
Green Earth Office Supply (www.greenearthofficesupply.com): From notebooks and sketchbooks to biodegradable doggie bags (and they don’t mean the kind you get at a restaurant . ), their products run the gamut of environmentally sound school supplies. Though their site isn’t flashy, their service is reliable and products reasonably priced.
Down Bound (www.downbound.com): Declaring themselves “down the corporate ladder, down the food chain, down to earth,” Down Bound sells products that are guaranteed organic, vegan and sweatshop-free. Offering a huge selection of items ranging from face washes and non-GMO meats to music accessories – like their “faux leather recycled rubber vegan guitar strap with silver rivets” – this site is your one-stop shop to a vegan and organic lifestyle.
Moon Valley (www.moonvallyehoney.com): Moon Valley is a little less wide-ranging than some of the sites above, providing largely honey-based foods and personal care products. Still, if you’re into thoroughly organic moisturizers and salves, this is the site for you.
Eco Mall (www.ecomall.com): This site allows you to search hundreds of other organic and eco-friendly sites online for that one special product you can’t find anywhere else. It’s also kind of fun to just browse and see what strange things some people make or eat in the name of environmental sustainability!
Not into the online thing? There is still hope for you! Soul Purpose Organics and Wellness Center recently opened at 1110 S. Oneida St., near the Oneida Street bridge (not too far from campus!). They are constantly working to improve their already sizable selection of hand-selected organic and natural food and personal products. The store stocks organic packaged and frozen foods and fresh produce, and also has a grab-and-go section with fresh sandwiches made from organic ingredients.