in an effort to create less waste, even though it may seem like a half a drop in the pacific ocean in the effect it’s having, i moved a few of my household items away from plastic. let’s take a look!
dishwasher soap: while i had always tried to get the powdered cascade that came in the box so i could recycle it, i decided to give dropps a try. the packaging is cardboard, and the shipping is carbon neutral. the soap itself is plant based with no dyes, chlorine, phosphates, etc. plus, the soap comes in those little (eco-friendly) pods. so i just grab one, stick it in the soap holder, and push start. and, i have it on auto-order, so i never run it.
laundry soap: i’ve been making my own laundry soap for a few years now. i get a giant box of borax, a giant box of baking soda, and a few bars of castille soap (which comes in paper packaging). all the packaging is cardboard, and i just mix it all up in a giant bowl, stick it in a container, and it lasts me many many months. plus, you don’t have to use much. the worst part of it is grating the bar soap, but if you have a food processor, that makes easy work of that.
toilet paper: i tried a couple different brands of eco-friendly TP. it comes packaged in paper and is sourced from bamboo, which is much easier on the environment. the first brand i tried was “who gives a crap,” and while their marketing campaign is on point, their TP is not. or it’s too pointy. it’s rough and disintegrates easily. i tried out “reel” instead, and it is much better than who gives a crap. not exactly the same level as charmin ultra soft cushy bum TP, but if you’re looking for an eco-alternative, try out reel. the next time i order from them, i might get a couple rolls of their paper towels. (while i try to use cloth napkins, sometimes you just need a paper towel, like for cat barf.)
shampoo and conditioner: for the past year, i’ve used bar soap for washing my hair. i’ve tried ethique, which is super expensive, and i’ve tried minnesota-based hibar, also expensive. but for shampoo, i found that JRLiggets works just as fine for a fraction of the cost. it comes wrapped in paper and it lasts a few months. as far as conditioner, that is more difficult to come by, so i did stick with ethique for my conditioner. ethique also comes wrapped in paper. the downside to ordering the bar soap is that it may come in plastic packaging. ethique is based in australia, so they partner with amazon to sell in the US, and despite me directly contacting the bezos henchmen about my preference for cardboard, they still send me plastic. one thing i’ve noticed about moving to bar soap: my hair is a LOT lighter and a lot more flyaway-ish. i’m sure other shampoos were weighing down my hair, and this is a lot healthier. but now i’ve got to take more time to calm down the insane hair waves. OOOH it looks like they also launched a line of concentrates. i’ll have to check that out.
body soap: i haven’t used a bottle of body wash in years, at this point. i buy all my soap in bar form and make sure they’re packaged in paper. and i do buy soap made for washing your body, so it’s not harsh.
mascara: yep, i’ve even jumped on the mascara bandwagon! i got some besame cake mascara, which lives in a little tin. i use the mascara brush from my last tube of mascara, and every morning i wet the cake and put it on. i think it also helps keep away bacteria that like to fester in mascara tubes. i know you’re supposed to replace your mascara every few month because of that, and so far, i’ve been using besame for a lot longer than that. so i’ll spend the extra money. plus mascara is the only makeup i use regularly. it’ll probably even out in the long run.
face soap: i had been a neutrogena user for DECADES. but i decided to make the leap and am now using shae moisturize african black soap, made for sensitive skin. not only has it worked well, it smells great and has lasted me a long time. the most annoying part of it is that i keep it in the shower, and i sort of make a mess in the mornings when i pull it out to use at the sink instead of in the shower. but that’s ok.
deodorant: so HERE’s the interesting one! moving to a non-plasticized deodorant ALSO involved moving to a more natural deodorant. which meant a minor mindshift as far as how much i was allowed to sweat and smell like myself. about a year ago, i bought the ethique brand of natural deodorant. it was just a bar – no applicator – so it was kind of a pain to put on, especially as i got to the end of the bar. but, let me tell you a tmi story about my shift to non-aluminum deodorant. for many many years, i’ve had a bump on my right armpit that would just not go away. i don’t know if it was a permanently ingrown hair, backed up pore, or what. but it was annoying and it wasn’t pleasant smelling if i messed with it too much. after about 6 months of using my natural deodorant, the smelly bump disappeared!! i read up, and now i try to do a clay mask on my pit area once every couple weeks. it helps pull out smells that the aluminum deodorant had really been able to suppress and keep under wraps. if i skip a day, i can definitely tell. OK done with tmi, and back to review. the second brand i tried was native with the cardboard applicator, which wasn’t that much less expensive, but i can get it at target, and it works well. i tried out the brand raw sugar, and the smell was really overwhelming (unfortunately it was sealed and i couldn’t smell it in the store). then, i saw that secret had come out with a cardboard, natural version too. so that’s up next to try. NOTE on these deodorants: the smells are natural, so they are limited and unlike other deodorants. i’ve become ok with coconut, vanilla, and citrus to an extent. there are other scents like lavender and rose, lilac and white tea, herbal musk, cucumber, mint, etc. i don’t react well to florals, and some of the scents are strong, but they may work for you!
- like i said, i want to try out reel’s paper towels.
- i also need to take a look at what to do about my actual dishsoap and handsoap. maybe that ethique concentrate will be a good plan for those two.
- then, there’s the matter of anti-wrinkle lotion for my face. i’ve got to do some research, but i might just continue on with paula’s choice. they have a deal with terracycle to take care of empties in an environmentally happy way.
- then there’s a whole other issue with food and plastic packaging. that’s where the real waste is. what a mess!
in OTHER more inspiring news, there is a new type of plastic that is infinitely recyclable. good news! but this would require people to make sure to actually recycle it. keep it out of the dumpster, peeps!