By Kathryn Tuck
Exploring the great outdoors is an activity many people enjoy doing in their free time. Summer Trippe, a University of North Georgia sophomore from Conyers, enjoys everything from eno camping to white water rafting on the Oconee River. Trippe appreciates all the activities and experiences nature has to offer, which is why she is an environmental advocate. She is a member of the University of North Georgia environmental club. They coordinate a wide array of events, including an annual festival dedicated to inform and allow students the opportunity to engage in environmental efforts in not only the Appalachian community, but also in the greater Atlanta area. Trippe also uses the environmental club as a way to spread more word about her natural beauty products. She creates safe and natural products that include but are not limited to body butters, body scrubs, shampoos and facial toners. She works not only to cut harmful chemicals out of her own life and beauty routine, but encourages others to do the same.
Trippe became interested in the use of alternative beauty products freshmen year of high school when her cousin introduced her to using tea oil as a face wash. Looking back on this experience Trippe says, “It was cool to me how our well-being could be found not necessarily in an expensive beauty product, but perhaps where it was always intended to be found - in nature. Since then, I gradually grew my interest level, research and habits of natural product use.” This spark of interest in protecting herself by using natural products left Trippe with the realization that she should be caring for the environment as well. She believes, “The concept of protecting the environment is so important because this is where we live. Our livelihood is based upon our environment. At a glance, it can seem so inconvenient, and we do have to have some means by which to live, but I’m a believer that it’s possible and worth it to utilize alternative means for life that are mindful of the environment.”
One of her products that Trippe particularly loves is the sea salt spray. It helps add texture to hair. The spray is so simple to make that anybody can do it and inexpensively enjoy the beauty benefits of sea salt. All you have to do is simmer a 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan, and add in 3/4 teaspoons of sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil. Don’t forget the olive oil, it is an important moisturizing agent! Stir all the ingredients at a simmer until they are well mixed, cool and finally pour into a spray bottle. This spray works to enhance curled hair, as well as being able to add definition to straight hair.
According to Trippe, most ingredients for her products can be found at a typical grocery store. She does mention, “The ingredients can be harder to come by than most mainstream products, so if I happen to need something on short notice, it’s not necessarily convenient. If the rare occasion occurs where the grocery stores fail you, you can always research natural health food stores in your area.”
Last year in the spring of 2015, Trippe hosted a “Create Your Own Body Spray” booth at the environmental festival her club hosted. She taught and worked with festival goers to create samples of natural aromatherapy body spray. “I feel confident that this helped raise awareness for the usage of nontoxic personal care products,” Trippe says. Her booth was a success and used up all the ingredients she had prepared to make the body sprays.
Since Trippe does attend the University of North Georgia, probably a lot of University of Georgia students won’t have the opportunity to visit one of Trippe’s festival booths. “The goal isn’t to spread just my products; the goal is to encourage people to look for these natural alternatives to everyday items,” Trippe says. “These alternatives can reach much farther than just beauty products as well.” Sophie Moll, a Belmont University sophomore from Conyers is one of Trippe’s many happy clients. “When I use one of Summer’s products, I feel as if I’m using something that is meant to be used for my body,” Moll says. “Everything was put on this Earth for a reason, so why not use natural resources to achieve beauty results? I’ve been inspired to create my own versions of her products and pursue a more natural lifestyle.”
Many people enjoy spending time in nature. If you’re one of these people, use tools, such as the internet, to learn about how you can incorporate nature into so many more aspects of your life! “One of the best parts of using natural alternatives instead of conventional products,” Trippe says, “is the ability to cut down toxins in our everyday lives.”