Start living a plastic free life by replacing plastic bottles and tubes in your bathroom with more environmentally friendly personal care & hygiene products.
I must say that the longer I use the alternatives to the single use bottles that I so frequently bought in the past, the crazier it feels to ever go back.
It has taken a willingness to transition to living a plastic free life but after an initial adjustment it has proven quite simple. Some of these products are only available online but I suspect that will change as demand increases. Most of the sites offer discounts with automatic shipping which I found to be the best way to keep my supply just right.
The TruEarth strips that I now use to wash my clothes for example, are effective and arrive in a compact cardboard envelope. They take up less shelf space. Create zero plastic waste. Why would I ever buy those huge plastic laundry bottles ever again?
If you are just discovering my articles on the journey to freeing yourself from plastics for the first time, I encourage you to check out them out here, to review the plastics I have been able to move beyond so far.
With TruEarth all I’ve had to do to make it seamless was order the 32 load envelope of strips to be delivered every two months. The cost is less than my old detergent and I won’t need to lug it from the grocery store any longer. The same goes for all the other alternatives I covered in last month’s article. It can take a month or two to figure out how long everything lasts and then it becomes easy to keep things in stock.
Supernatural contacted me just when I needed my next supply of cleaning concentrates and it has become clear after that initial investment in the glass bottles and the starter kit, the long term routine will be cheaper than all those plastic bottles from the grocery store. Keep in mind, I have only sampled a few of the options out there so far and I encourage all my readers to explore and test out all kinds of different brands.
And if helping to save the planet and reduce the horrific amounts of plastic waste isn’t enough we also have our health to consider.
Living Plastic Free Improves Our Health
The June issue of Consumer Reports caught my eye this month. The cover article is “How to Eat Less Plastic”. It is an interesting read and more inspiration to attempt to take this journey with me.
Here is a quote from the article, “Scientists say we may be ingesting as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic a week through contaminated food and water, to the likely detriment of our health”. Deeper into the article another quote, “Cracking open a brand new plastic bottle or tearing a wrapper off a sandwich releases fragments of plastic that we might end up ingesting”. Storing our food in glass, silicone or beeswax cloths etc. can help lower this risk which is more incentive to start making these changes in our lives.
Personal Care and Hygiene
Plastic Free Shampoo Bars
This past month I ventured into the bathroom, the medicine cabinet and the shower to see where I might begin to get rid of the masses of plastic bottles that have entered our lives to help take care of and beautify our bodies. I started with shampoo, soap, toothpaste and mouthwash. I will attempt the world of makeup packaging another month!
The Humby shampoo bars from Zero Waste Cartel seemed a little strange at first and I encourage you to buy the little containers to house them so they don’t slide around in the tub. The shampoo lathered up easily and it has become my favorite shampoo but the conditioner bar has proven a little harder to transfer to my hair but I will just try another type or figure out a way to make it work, I’ll keep you posted. Partly it is just accepting that it will be different from what we are used to.
My kids are less convinced and still devoted to their bottled shampoo. Helping our family members to transition is just another part of this journey. The shampoo bars are easier to find than many of the other products. Stores like Lush have been selling them for a while. Finding something my kids will embrace is only a matter of time.
I think this area of self care and beauty is a harder change to make since many of us have become convinced that particular brands are necessary and essential to our upkeep. Just keep an open mind. The bar shampoo has proven to be just as good as plastic bottle shampoos, it just takes some getting used to.
Another easy switch away from plastic is to do away with body wash altogether. When did we all give up on bar soap to wash our bodies? There is no need for a big plastic bottle of body wash when there are hundreds of deliciously scented and moisturizing bars of soap on the market.
Personal Care and Hygiene
Let’s Talk Fresh Breath & Clean Teeth
Personal Care and Hygiene
Mouthwash & Tooshpaste Tablets
The toothpaste tablets and the mouthwash tablets are taking a bit longer to adjust to. It is just a different mouth feel with the toothpaste tablet and I admit I like toothpaste better but after a while I was able to get used to it.
My teeth feel clean and fresh from the tablets and I think I will just keep trying different versions so I can find the one I like the best. The mouthwash has the added step of first dissolving the tablet in water and I am a bit unconvinced on this flavor I chose so I’ll be looking at other options soon.
We have to keep in mind that this is just the beginning of these new alternatives and more and more alternatives appear everyday.
It is just so overwhelming to walk into a CVS and see rows and rows of plastic containers. It can make you feel hopeless that our dependence is insurmountable. But if we are willing to try new things we will really make a difference. And we can slowly make those floating islands of plastic in our oceans disappear one day.
These are just a few of the websites I have found so far offering different alternatives to single use plastic:
- Stasher Bags
- Zero Waste Cartel
- The Wild Minimalist
- Well Earth Goods
- The Earthling Co
… just to name a few. Start exploring!
Lisa takes the first steps on this promise to live plastic free. It’s encouraging to see that it can be done. Could you do it?
By Lisa Rogers
Lisa Rogers is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in eating disorders and addictions.
With a desire to become as environmentally responsible and as plastic free as possible, Lisa takes us on her journey each month of finding new ways to eliminate single use plastic with sustainable reusable alternatives.
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