Why ‘Radical’ Must Become the New Normal
A few years ago I was negotiating with a large online store specialising in selling natural skin care, and was told they had decided against taking on Mokosh products because they believed they would not sell well - because they were too ‘niche’. I have to admit to being at first puzzled and then annoyed by this response. It meant that a store claiming to sell ‘natural’ skin care would prefer to sell only products containing potentially harmful synthetics. To introduce a brand that was truly natural would be problematic, because the products would appeal to too few!
At Mokosh we have faced this hypocritical way of thinking for many years. We have shown that it is possible to have your healthiest skin ever by switching to 100% pure botanical skin care, and ditching the products diluted with water, mixed with emulsifiers (detergents), given a shelf life with the addition of powerful antimicrobials (preservatives), and thickened and stabilised with synthetics, many of which are derived from palm oil. And yes, these synthetic ingredients are still the norm in ‘natural’ skin care, even in certified organic brands. Do these synthetic-laden products sell well? They sure do, as the owner of the successful online store knew so well.
Humans dislike change
Unsurprisingly, when our customers switch to Mokosh and their skin is fed only pure certified organic botanicals, their skin undergoes a sometimes dramatic improvement in appearance and health. Yes, Mokosh skin care is different to what most people are used to putting on their skin and it can take a few days to adjust to it. But the change in the health of the skin can be profound, while the benefits to the environment of omitting synthetics is potentially huge. For your skin, it’s like switching from processed junk food to a pure, whole food diet. For the environment, the benefit is the elimination of the factory processing required to produce the synthetics, with all the inherent waste and pollution that involves. In addition, it’s possible to be certain that palm oil is not hiding in your skin care (read more here). So many of the synthetics used in skin care contain palm oil, a major cause of deforestation, carbon emissions and species loss. Making a change in our lives is not always easy, even when we know it’s probably a good idea. This is because humans are creatures of habit and dislike change.
With our young people taking the lead in demanding radical change during the Climate Strike marches last week, the issue is similar, but on a gigantic scale. Because humans don’t like change, even when it’s clear there is a better way, only a few enlightened pockets of society take the first step. Most will not budge from their comfort zone until they are forced. The survival of our society and our ecosystem relies on an evolution in our thinking, so that radical becomes mainstream, and continuing business as usual is not tolerated. The time to change is now, because we have only a few years to act before it is too late. At our local climate strike march in Perth last week, I felt hope, because the protesters ranged from school and university students, parents, grandparents, babies and children, to teachers, university staff, business owners and workers. This movement is becoming everyone’s movement. What started with one 15 year old girl protesting alone in front of the Swedish parliament has grown into a huge global movement for change.
What to do?
We recently wrote an e-book ‘How to Live Sustainably’ (you can download it for free here) to summarise the state of our environment and the steps we can each take to create our new world. The first is to change our way of thinking. ‘Normal’ is no longer ok. We have to create a new ‘normal’ and we can do this one step at a time. Gradually, we will evolve into the society we need to become.
Powerful actions you can take
Action must be taken by you, me, your neighbour, our country, all of us. We can’t wait for our governments because they are too slow, too invested in power, and too lacking in leadership. There are simple changes we all can make right now.
Switch your electricity to 100% renewables or as much as you can afford. Contact your electricity supplier to arrange this. Australia still relies on fossil fuels for 80% of its electricity, and electricity accounts for 33% of Australia’s carbon emissions. If you do nothing else, do this.
Cut back on car use by cycling, walking, using public transport and car-pooling. When you replace your car, choose a car that is very fuel-efficient, hybrid or electric. Reduce unnecessary air travel and buy carbon offsets whenever you do fly. Transport accounts for 21% of Australia’s carbon emissions.
Cut back or eliminate consumption of animal products, which are responsible for high levels methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Animal farming is also an inefficient use of our agricultural land. What’s more, studies have shown that increasing our consumption of plants and reducing consumption of animal products will deliver huge health benefits and cost savings to our society. Buy organic when you can to preserve healthy soil and protect insects and native plants, the base of our food chain and ecosystem.
Buy food as much as possible from bulk food stores to reduce plastic packaging. Slowly eliminate plastic from your home and replace with glass, wood, ceramic, recyclable metal and compostable materials.
Do not buy products containing hidden palm oil, unsustainably grown coffee and cacao, and other crops that are harmful to our world’s forests. Remember that as a consumer, you have more power than anyone to determine what is placed on supermarket shelves.
Buy carbon offsets to offset your carbon emissions and maybe some extra for someone who can’t afford it. Plant natives where you live, join or contribute to a tree-planting group to help preserve native wildlife and offset carbon emissions. Tell your politicians that you do not support land-clearing. To our shame, Australia is listed by the World Wildlife Fund as a global deforestation hotspot, the only developed nation on the list.
Tell your politicians you want action on climate change. Join protests for action on climate change, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Finally, be radical, be niche, and be proud of it.