This year I have been joining the environment revolution and doing my best to make conscious consumer decisions that reduce our household waste and use of plastic. It isn’t an easy task and it is one that I have found slow and sometimes hard as so many products are plastic heavy or not as environmentally friendly as they first appear. However after much research and shopping around I have found some plastic free and zero waste bathroom and beauty products that I am loving, and I really do mean loving.
I just wanted to say a little note on Palm Oil. Palm oil is a tricky one as the stuff unethically farmed is incredibly damaging to the environment and the eco system where it is grown. However the demand for it is so high (seriously it is found in so many places) and the alternatives require so much more land to equal the same amount of oil produced. So as you can see it is a tough subject but if you can make educated choices then you have done your bit.
After years of using shower gels this was an easy one to change. I now buy soap bars. The ones I currently buy are from Lush as they do a lot of work to reduce as much palm oil in their products as possible and the oil they do use are farmed from sustainable sources.
I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t lather like a gel and whilst they take a bit more effort to get up a lather they certainly do produce some bubbles. The other thing I was concerned about was that it would dry out our skin, this was a greater concern as I was going to be using it on the kids skin too. Well I need not have worried. Due to the fact that natural ingredients and essential oils are used to produce the soap our skin (especially mine) has never been softer.
Get Monthly Eco Tips
If you shop in a lush shop then you can smell all their soaps before you buy and they are packaged in paper and brown bags. IF you buy online then they arrive in a cardboard box degradable foam wotsits (the technical term).
It took me a while to take the plunge from tampons to a menstrual cup. I had my worries; that it would be uncomfortable, difficult to put into position, a little gross. Eventually I decided it was time to take the plunge and at least give it fair shot because tampons are uncomfortable, as are sanitary towels. Secondly, lets face it, tampons aren’t the easiest thing to get into place unless you uses the applicator ones and they are more waste. Then there is the gross part. And yes it is all a bit gross but then again our periods are something we deal with every single month as a woman. From a young age to an older age. It may be gross but it is part of our femininity and we may as well embrace it and own it. Plus as an ex nurse I felt a bit of a fraud being grossed out by my own blood having dealt with so many other peoples.
So I took the plunge and now I am a convert. I have used mine for four months now and I hands down prefer it to all other menstrual products I have used in the past. This will be covered in greater depth in another post but I strongly urge you to get one and try it. I think you will be surprised.
Body Brush & Cotton Pads
I have used those plastic shower puffs before and never really liked them. I now use a bamboo body brush and it really exfoliates my skin so well, clearing pores and removing dead skin.
Follow Along On Instagram
The cotton pads are made from cotton fabric and are designed to be washed in the washing machine rather than to throw them away. One side is a terry towelling fabric and the other is a harder waffle cotton which is great for gentle facial exfoliation. I use these in conjunction with organic coconut oil to remove any traces of makeup.
I have mentioned Who Gives a Crap toilet paper and they feature on my email newsletter. I recommend them to anyone I see as they are made from recycled paper or bamboo and are wrapped in paper. There is absolutely no plastic involved. Now I am also aware that because they are imported that are not as environmentally friendly as they could be if you buy in the UK. So I am in the market for a more local, plastic free alternative. But for now they are brilliant and the paper is so soft.
A safety razor is a razor that uses single blade, disposable metal blades. The sharp edge is exposed on both sides of the razor and to be honest I would say these razors are far from safe. It is important to remember to never pick them up near the blade, and whilst using it there is no need to push against the skin as the weight of the razor itself is enough. Whilst shaving the blade should be held at about a 30 degree angle to the skin.
I won’t lie the first few times I used this I was so nervous and I didn’t get the closest of shaves. But once I was used to it I can get a closer shave than before. And when used alongside the shaving soap below the shave is even closer and my skin is soft and there is no shaving rash.
There Is Still Some Work To Do
These are the changes I have made so far. I still have some work to do and some products to swap. First up is the toothbrush and toothpaste. The issue I am finding is that only purely natural toothpaste comes in plastic free packaging and I still believe in an element of fluorine for dental health.
The other issue also relates to dental hygiene and it is the toothbrush. I currently have an electric toothbrush that is in perfect working order so I am not about to throw it away needlessly. However I don’t travel with it, preferring to take a manual away with me. For this I use a bamboo toothbrush but the truth is it doesn’t clean my teeth as well. It doesn’t feel odd in my mouth, like you would expect wood to do so. It simply doesn’t clean as well as an electric brush.
So if anyone knows of where I can source environmentally friendly dental products that would be recommended by dentists I am all ears.