It is becoming more and more apparent that we must improve the future of our world not just by recycling, but by preventing waste! Cat takes us through a few nifty ways to go waste free in the bathroom!
Although you can recycle your shampoo and shower gel bottles there are alternatives! Lush sell both solid shampoo and conditioner, which although appear pricey, they actually last a long time and smell rather lovely. Soap bars are a rather obvious one but most people buy bottles of hand wash and shower gel without thinking. Look out for bars of soap in cardboard boxes rather than plastic. A quick search online will point you in the direction of eco-friendly packaging, vegan and vegetarian soap making and palm oil free products.
Toothpaste tubes are difficult to recycle and most councils in the UK won’t take them. A friend of mine had a go at making her own toothpaste. It’s powdered, charcoal based and flavoured lightly with cloves. It’s taking me some time to get used to if I’m honest. I don’t use it before I go out because I’m so used to that minty taste that without that I wonder if my breath isn’t as fresh as it could be. However, before bed and getting up on my days off it works perfectly fine. My teeth definitely feel clean and if you want to try it yourself there are plenty of recipes online. Making it yourself also means the toothpaste you use is made of natural ingredients rather than a cocktail of factory chemicals.
While on the topic of dental hygiene, I am currently waiting excitedly for my first bamboo toothbrush, so while I can’t write a full review they are available on eBay for as little as 99p and you can buy them in bulk to save on packaging. There is also vegan dental floss and mouthwash tablets available if you want to completely overhaul your dental health regime in favour of waste and cruelty free products.
Fabric cleansing wipes.
An excellent birthday present, these little pads can be used for your cleanser, eye make-up remover and toner. When they’re dirty you pop them in a net bag and wash them ready to be used again. You can even make your own from brushed cotton in fabulous patterns and colours.
Next time you’re ready for a new body buffer for your shower, why not think about swapping it out for a natural sponge, pumice stone or loofah? This will also do away with the need for a body scrub containing all those harmful microbeads, which are used in exfoliating products. There are many options for stepping away from plastic disposable razors, you will pay more for a safety razor but the disposable blades are reasonable and you keep the base. A friend of mine opted for laser treatment and was very happy with her decision. Permanent hair removal, although pricey initially is both time and plastic saving. Personally I gave up shaving my legs more than a year ago but I can appreciate that’s not for everyone!
There’s quite a range pantie-liners and sanitary towels made from cotton that are available to buy online from the Waste Not Store, no more sticky, sweaty plastic crinkly knickers. They also sell Mooncups (google them, I have a friend who absolutey swears by them and has done for years). There’s Thinx pants, designed to be absorbent and replace tampons and pads which are available in Selfridges, London or online. Although there are many different products available some women will find it difficult to swap their routines and usual products, especially if you have a heavy flow or irregular periods, it’s much easier to carry a plastic wrapped pad or tampon in your handbag just in case but you might just .
There are no hard and fast rules for going waste free and I feel while it is important to try and change our habits, women shouldn’t feel pressured to use products that don’t work for them. You can also make a difference by asking supermarkets or the companies that make your favourite products what they are doing to reduce their packaging waste, and there are plenty of online petitions if you want to get involved with campaigning. Looking for more inspiration? There are so many blogs and websites with helpful advice and products that are available and recipes from hand lotion to blusher that you can make yourself at home.