Many people in society put up with the fumes of household cleaners, hair products and nail polish to achieve clean kitchen surfaces, bouncy hair and shiny nails. Little do they know, those fumes do not just attack your nose; they are extremely toxic and harmful to those who make them, those who consume them and the environment they are all a part of.
“The Natural Product” is an event put on by the Associated Students Environmental Center, the AS Women’s Center and the AS Sexual Awareness Center. The event intends to educate students about the different products, such as cosmetics and household cleaners, and their environmental and health impact on the user and maker, said Nina Olivier, AS Environmental Center community outreach coordinator.
The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 30 in Communications Facility 110.
“We feel that the consumer should know what’s going on behind these products,” Olivier said. “A lot of people buy a product, and they read the ingredients, but don’t really know what they are.”
During the event, clips from documentaries will be shown depicting the working conditions inside the sweatshops of the cosmetic and household-cleaner industries, as well as discuss what goes into making these products, Olivier said.
One of the documentaries being shown is “Maquilapolis.” The film is about women in a factory in Tijuana, Mexico, and how making cosmetics and other products affect them.
At the end, there will be an activity where participants can make homemade cosmetics or household cleaning products. These products will be natural and contain none of the harmful toxins found in many big brand cleaners and cosmetics.
The AS Environmental Center, AS Sexual Awareness Center and AS Women’s Center all collaborated on this event because they are discussing an issue that has not been addressed by the AS, Olivier said.
The AS Women’s Center is also sponsoring this event to reinforce the empowerment piece that comes with the knowledge of these issues. They hope to give people the personal knowledge and empowerment to take care of themselves, said Kim Absher, AS Women’s Center coordinator.
“We just want to empower people to protect themselves as much as possible,” Absher said. “That empowerment piece is basically why we all decided to do this event.”
The event will hopefully encourage students to learn about the changes to petition for the government to install higher health standards and find better ways to educate the public about the products they are using, Olivier said. This education will hopefully insight action to stop the use of these products.
“I’m the kind of girl that will spray Windex on anything,” Olivier said. “Now that I’ve learned so much about it, I’m stepping back and making a different decision.”
Absher hopes students take away more awareness of how products are made and what the effects can be. After the event, students have to make the choice to whether they still want to use these products, Absher said. Either way, they will know what is going on with these products.