Last week I blogged about my aims to reduce plastic waste in the bathroom. I thought an update was due. I’d decided to concentrate on reducing my list of ‘infrequent use’ toiletries even more and look into finding alternatives to my ‘frequent use’ toiletries. After a ruthless clear out of the bathroom cabinet and the en suite bathroom cabinet, this is what I’m left with:
Here’s how I’ve been getting on finding alternatives to everyday toiletries:
Deodorant/Anti-Perspirant – I already blogged about my experiments with homemade deodorant a few weeks ago, so that’s one of the products from my ‘frequent use’ list ticked off.
Moisturiser – I rarely wear make up, which is why cleanser is on my ‘infrequent use’ list. However, washing your face is inavoidable and with dry, sensitive skin I need to moisturise in the morning and, in colder months, at bedtime too. I used to wash my face with water and a flannel (no plastic use there!) and then apply a light moisturiser. I’ve recently swapped the moisturiser for olive oil, which is doing a great job and helping with my eczema break outs too. Coconut oil would do just as well. I have a bottle of micellar water and a bottle of eye make up remover for the odd occasion when I wear make up. When these run out, I’ll switch to taking my make up off with coconut oil or olive oil. And when my cotton wool runs out, I’ll be using a muslin cloth or flannel for removing make up.
Shampoo and Conditioner – I’ve been trying out a different way of washing my hair that I found on Detrash the Millennials, which involves bicarb of soda and cider vinegar. Yes, you heard it, baking soda and vinegar! It’s also known as the ‘no ‘poo’ method. I’m still experimenting to get the right quantities and method for my hair, but I’m very pleased with the results so far. I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner for two weeks and my hair is soft and silky. Whilst it feels slightly oilier than usual, it certainly doesn’t feel greasy or dirty. My husband has explained that the combination of the two is probably dislodging dirt from my hair and rinsing it through but leaving the hair’s natural oils behind. Since I can’t stand the feeling of having greasy hair, I hope this continues!
Soap and Shower Gel – I’ve switched to bar soap, which comes in paper packaging. I either recycle the paper or use it to start the fire.
Toothpaste – I’m not quite ready to ditch toothpaste yet and I’m very attached to Colgate. I’ve seen bamboo toothbrushes with natural bristles that you can compost when they run out, but I’m guessing they’re a bit pricey. I think oral health is not something I’m prepared to compromise on and it’s such a part of my routine that I’m not sure I can go to bed or head out on a morning without that minty fresh, just-brushed feeling in my mouth. However, I’m willing to try using bicarb of soda to brush my teeth once I’ve had a chat with my dental nurse friend about it. I’ve heard good things about using bicarb of soda instead of toothpaste and I’ll try it for a week to see how I get on. Wish me luck!
Perfume – Perfume is my luxury item. In terms of packaging, it’s in a glass bottle that I can recycle when it runs out, though I need to find some reputable information about the manufacture of perfume to weigh up its full impact on the environment. I’m not going to feel too guilty about this just yet!
And to finish, here is a picture of the unopened, unused toiletries that will be donated to charity or passed on to friends and family: