Creation Station: Students make hygienic products
The EcoAction Club’s do-it-yourself workshop taught students how to make products on their own. Fighting the middle-man and consumer frenzy, the EcoAction Club at Santa Monica College hosted a do-it-yourself workshop on Oct. 23 during Sustainability Week, where attendees were able to make their own healthy, personal care products.
“We’ve been preparing for about two weeks for all of Sustainability Week,” said Genevieve Bertone, director of sustainability at the college.
Sustainability Week, a week of daily events that promote environmental awareness, took place last week at SMC. The events were organized by EcoAction Club and sponsored by the Associated Students.
Bertone said the purpose of Creation Station was to raise awareness about the chemicals that go into body products and help people find alternatives.
The workshop was the first event of its kind, and the turnout was positive, as the Organic Learning Garden bloomed with students at the check-in table and many others who waited to be put on the list to participate in making the different products.
Throughout the event, both environmentally-friendly products and friendships were made.
Brian Cervantes, biochemistry major at SMC, said his favorite part of the event was the friendly surroundings and sense of community.
“I just like the fact that it’s so easy just to talk to people and to interchange ideas,” he said.
Students exchanged laughs and personal techniques while mixing, measuring and smelling their new personalized products. Groups of students worked together with measuring cups, stirrers and essential aroma oils to perfect their body products.
Tania Ragland, EcoAction Club president, walked around the activity tables, answering questions and discussing myths and facts about the cosmetic industry and its products.
Ragland said it is a myth that cosmetic safety is only a concern for women because although women on average use more products containing more ingredients, men and children also use a significant amount.
“The problem is that since we are using so many chemicals and so many products at the same time, studies have not been shown about how these chemicals interact with one another,” Ragland said. “That’s a big problem.”
The workshop offered a variety of healthy, toxin-free and beneficial ingredients to make the all-natural products.
The body scrub ingredients included olive oil, raw honey and brown sugar mixed together with drops of essential oils for a fresh, personalized scent. The finished product could be taken home in an eco-friendly jar.
The deodorant involved the melting components of shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax pastilles mixed together with a healing bentonite clay poured into a real deodorant container to be solidified into a deodorant that allows toxins to escape freely.
The mouthwash was a mixture of clove, glycerin, xylitol, tea tree oil, witch hazel, cinnamon, baking powder, distilled water, aloe vera juice and peppermint oil all poured into individual glass bottles.
SMC student Courtney King said the best part about being able to make her own products is that she can still continue to make them in the future.
“That means I don’t have to rely on anybody else,” King said. “It’s awesome.”
To learn more about product safety, visit ewg.org or attend an EcoAction Club meeting on Thursday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies.