We are all extremely aware now about what we are doing to the environment
and the steps we need to take to change it.
Me and my family have been slowly making changes that have been very easy,
I wanted to share what we have done,
in order to encourage you to make some small steps too 🙂
All the Bars!
The easiest way to cut back on plastic and waste is to switch to bars in the bathroom. Shampoos, shower gels and even bubble baths can all be swapped to a bar. The best thing about using bars is that they usually come as is, or in paper packaging – if you can shop for these local you should!
You would also be shocked if you looked at all the ingredients your products contain, including micro plastics which you are washing into the sea (and into our sealife, which you may then be buying and consuming). Many bathroom products are bad for our skin and hair, by destroying our natural oils, meaning we need to wash more often and therefore buy more products – Consumerism eh?
Another simple swap is one that makes so much sense, a soap bar for your hands! You can pick these up anywhere in cardboard packaging, or try out some fantastic variants from handmade shops. You will find your hands stay more moisturised that with liquid soap, as liquid soap is actually a detergent.
It is so easy to make your tooth care choices better for the environment and yourself. By picking up bamboo toothbrushes (for not a great deal more than plastic toothbrushes) you can cut back on the amount of plastic you chuck away. You can pick up bamboo toothbrushes with either bamboo bristles or plastic bristles. We have some with plastic bristles this time, but will be replacing them with bamboo bristles when they need replacing. You can also pick up bamboo heads for those that prefer electric toothbrushes! The bamboo part is biodegradable and sustainably sourced.
Further things you should switch out are your plastic tubes of toothpaste and mouthwash/dental floss. Toothpaste is another product that contains micro plastics, and further nasties that strip the enamel off your teeth, meaning you are more likely to get sensitive teeth and need fillings. You can get toothpaste in an actual paste, or as tablets (tabs), or if you are feeling brave, whip up your own with hardly any ingredients!
I mostly use coconut oil as mouthwash, as oil pulling is great for cleaning between your teeth and looking after your oral health. I simply pick it up in a glass jar in the baking aisle in any supermarket. My partner however doesn’t like the idea of it, so we have got a mint flavoured one for him too!
Before the ease and convenience of disposable cotton pads and wipes, we used cloths which we rewashed between uses, it’s time to bring these back. They are kind and gentle to your skin and can be used for years if looked after.
I have muslin cloths and cotton pads which can be washed between uses, I also have loofah pads, which are made from a sponge, these can be used for around 3 weeks then should be disposed of (due to germs), however they are fully compostable.
I also use these super soft cotton rounds for taking off eye makeup, washable and gentle on my eyes!
For baby we use these washable cloths to wipe down his hands and face after food.
I have always hated deodorant sprays due to their aluminium content, and hate the wetness of roll on’s, so I am always looking for something new. I picked up this ‘mud’ recently, once you have detoxed it only needs to be put on every 3 or so days, even if you have been exercising or showering. A 15ml tube lasts 6 weeks and comes in a sugarcane tube and a plastic lid.
Whilst I love the lack of effort I need to put in with this deodorant, I will probably try a natural deodorant bar next!
I never leave home without a resuseable bag, and have a few types to pick from. Standard canvas bags, mesh produce bags, water proof bags, and some plastic ‘bags for life’. This means I never need to take a bag from shops, cutting down on the waste they produce.
I’m am also trying to shop local more often, and am trying to curb my amazon/online shopping habits to cut back on the carbon emissions of receiving deliveries. I only drive when going out of town, and will generally walk everywhere.
You don’t need to do it all at once
Save your pennies and sanity, use the products you have (you already have them, and they will be waste regardless) and replace with better alternatives as you go along.
You don’t need Instagram fancy jars to go low or zero waste
Reuse tubs/jars you would be throwing out! I use an old ice cream tub for my muslin cloths, an old laundry detergent tub for my homemade dry shampoo. Make use of what you have!
Do your research
You may be able to replace multiple products with one sustainable one!
Don’t feel overwhelmed
I got so stressed about our impact on the planet and it really didn’t help my mental health. By picking some steps, it feels more manageable. My goal is to be completely plastic free, and as low waste as possible in the bathroom by the end of the year.
It needs to be done
This is just a fact. We need to make these changes, you will have people say one person can’t make a difference, however if everyone had that opinion things will never change. Sing the praises of products you love to friends and family, gift them for birthdays/Christmases, and challenge people who never consider their carbon footprint.
As I said, I plan on replacing everything in my bathroom by the end of the year. I have found cleanser bars, which means I can really streamline my skincare, and am excited to try out some refillable, bamboo packaged makeup I have found.
Another goal I have is not to buy any new clothing for myself unless it is from an ethical company. Fast fashion is a very large issue for our planet, one which will need a further post 😉
What changes have you made?