This Thursday, April 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day was held in 1970, when the ecology movement helped raise awareness of pressing environmental issues (I remember as a child I had a backpack with the ecology symbol on it, although I didn't really know what it meant). As an adult, I went to Earth Day's 20th anniversary celebration in 1990 in Central Park, New York City. My sister and I went to attend the concert and to see one of our favorite bands, the B-52s. Only it was a disaster. It was raining. We couldn't get anywhere near the stage, so we couldn't see anything. We could only hear the concert over the loud speakers. My sister and I sat on a blanket on the grass, as nearby groups of people looking for a place to sit practically destroyed a branch of a tree in order to make space for themselves. So much for preserving the planet on Earth Day. We were covered in mud. And we could barely hear the strains of "Love Shack" amidst the noise of all the people. We left early. Did I mention I hate crowds?
Nowadays, I celebrate earth day in less crowded, more personal ways, like using natural skin care and home cleaning products. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is celebrating Earth Day too, with their limited edition Naked Kit. The Naked Kit is a customizable kit featuring some of Lush's most popular products that are solid, unwrapped, and preservative-free. For $20, you get six unpackaged products. You choose one of two facial cleansers, and one of four toner tabs. The kit also comes with a mini Squeaky Green Shampoo Bar, a mini Buffy Body Butter, a mini Therapy Massage Bar, and a Sexy Peel soap. The six products come in a bio-degradeable box. I was recently sent samples of the Squeaky Green Shampoo Bar, the Buffy Body Butter, and the Therapy Massage Bar.
I love Lush's shampoo bars. Squeaky Green is no exception. Since I have such long, thick hair, I usually end up using half a bottle of liquid shampoo in order to get enough lather through my hair. With Squeaky Green, I rub it on my scalp three or four times in a circular motion, and I get a surprisingly generous amount of lather. Another benefit of the bar over liquid shampoos is that I can rub it behind my ears and on the back of my scalp to get my entire scalp and hair cleaner than I could with a liquid shampoo. The Squeaky Green has a fresh herbacious scent, and is loaded with essential oils, including rose absolute, vanilla, and blue chamomile, as well as dried herbs of rosemary, nettle, and tea tree, all of which will ensure a healthy scalp.
The Buffy Body Butter was inspired by the gorgeous women on the beaches of Brazil who would mix together sand and suntan oil and rub it into their skin to improve circulation and get rid of celulite. Buffy is a solid body butter bar containing cocoa and shea butters to moisturize and ground rice, aduki beans, and almonds to exfoliate. You use it on wet skin in the bath or shower. Buffy is very scrubby, so if you have sensitive skin you might want to use a lighter touch. It exfoliates and leaves behind a veil of moisture. It moisturizes so well that I don't need to use a separate body lotion after I get out of the bath. I just blot my skin dry and I'm smooth, soft, and lightly fragranced. What could be better than that?
The Therapy Massage Bar is an oval bar of shea-and-cocoa-buttery goodness infused with essential oils of neroli and lavender. The bar melts upon contact with the skin. I'm not really one to use massage bars for massage, but I like using Lush's massage bars as solid body moisturizers. They cut down on clutter in my bathroom, so instead of having bottles of body lotion all over my bathroom countertop, I keep a massage bar in one of Lush's massage bar tins tucked neatly away in my medicine cabinet. The Therapy massage bar leaves my skin soft and smooth. I use it after my bath before bedtime, and the neroli and lavender, known for their relaxing benefits, help me to fall asleep.
Lush's Naked Kit is availabe online at www.lush.com or at a Lush shop near you (see the website for locations). And since Earth Day 20 in 1990, great strides have been made in cutting down on waste and creating a healthier environment. Recycling laws are now commonplace, and many companies are focusing on making "green" products, including organic foods, hybrid cars, solar energy in homes. There has also been a huge increase in the number of natural-personal-products companies. If only Lush had been around on that disasterous Earth Day twenty years ago. I could have relaxed and washed away the mud in a nice hot bath with Lush products. I think that's how I'll celebrate Earth Day this year!