As the first quarter of my kids’ school year comes to a close, I have been flooded with parent/teacher conferences, report cards, and standardized testing. While I am so very thankful that it’s not me in the testing hot seat, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own “continuing education.” Being a healthcare professional, I am required by law to attend a specific number of hours in lecture and hands-on training in my given trade of dentistry. Who would want to be treated by a dentist that wasn’t familiar with the most effective materials and latest techniques and advancements? But what about other aspects of our lives? Whose task is it to stay educated on our day to day choices in things like foods and products? If you are like me, I have my certain “go-to’s” when it comes to food, cleaning supplies, and beauty brands. As a matter of fact, my grocery list is so predictable that the actual hand-written list only includes any “one-offs” that are on deck for this week’s trial recipes. As a mom, it’s just easier to get into automatic mode. You know, Monday is Sunday leftovers, Tuesday is tacos, Wednesday is spaghetti, etc. It’s so easy to pick up the same convenient brands. When I decided to clean up my pantry and cosmetic bag, I was thrown into a panic. For so many years, I had trusted that the brands I knew and loved were looking out for me and my best interests. Who would ever even think that my soaps, for instance, could be making me sick? Afterall, I didn’t eat my soap……. except for that one time when I was seven and my mom caught me sticking my tongue out at her and I got a nice taste of Lever 2000! Once I had learned about the lack of regulation in the food and beauty industry, I decided to do a little research for myself to see what I had actually been buying all these years. What I found was equally alarming and infuriating. I decided at that point that it was up to me to educate myself as much as possible on ingredients, sourcing, and production standards. Unfortunately, it was going to be up to me to make sure my family was getting the quality and performance I expected, while also being cognizant of our environment.
When Lindsay, Suzanne, and I founded Sea Salt & Sugar, we wanted it to be more than just a nail salon. We wanted to make it a hub for knowledge and a resource for education. We love supporting companies and people that have a commitment to providing health conscious products. That is why we have taken every step we can to focus on our products and their safety as well as efficacy. That’s the SAFE portion of our mission. We urge you to take some time to research websites like EWG.org and bcorporation.net. While no products or companies are perfect, these outlets allow you to make decisions with your personal priorities in mind due to the transparency of their research and ratings.
We promise at Sea Salt & Sugar to constantly learn and research, just like we do in our healthcare day jobs, to bring you the best balance of safety and efficacy, and to try to provide educational community events in the mode of pop-ups and round tables to do our part in moving toward a place where our grocery and products list is a new “safe” automatic. We know from personal experience that it’s hard to create a new “standard” list that’s easy and mindless. But once you do, it’s as easy as an Amazon click to make better products your norm. Social media such as Instagram and Facebook can provide great support groups and platforms on cleaner living. By supporting companies committed to these standards, we help push the market toward cleaner product demands despite lack of federal regulations. So, in short, education should never stop. Even long after the SAT scores and grade cards have come and gone, there is still more to learn, even about the simple things in life. And its unfortunately up to you to educate yourself on what is best for you and your family because no one else cares more about your needs than you.
Christy Harpring, Co-owner Sea Salt & Sugar