This week my quest to reduce plastic in our home has continued. After the focus on the kitchen last week, I’ve turned my attention to what we can do in the bathroom. Whilst I’m happy to experiment on myself, I have found it tricker to find alternatives I’m happy for the kids to use. But I give you my seven suggestions of things to try:
My initial venture into the world of Shampoo bars took me to Lush. They seem to have the widest variety available but despite boasting ‘volumising’ properties Seanik didn’t really do much for my hair. But I do really like the transportable nature of the shampoo (in a little tin) for the gym so I’m now giving ‘Montalbano’ a try as it smells nice!
Another discovery is Do Lil Things who are great for a variety of reasons: They stock a shampoo bar made in East Lothian – obviously in close proximity to Edinburgh – that boasts a number of natural products containing Extra Virgin Olive, Castor, Rapeseed, Sunflower & Coconut oils, Apple cider Vinegar with Rosemary & Lavender Essential Oils, and Water. But they are also a social enterprise so 100% of their profits go to local sustainability initiatives. How amazing is that?!
They have an array of plastic-free products but the hair-related one that stood out was this Wild Thing Natural Hair Conditioner. Also made in East Lothian, I thought it was cool that it came in a tin – I wonder if they’d be open to accepting the tin back for a refill?!
I still have a lot of my normal face cleanser to use up – and I have to say it would be a wrench not to use it anymore so I really hope they start producing it in a glass jar! But failing that – I noticed this Friendly Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar. I’ve been wondering about moisturiser but noticed in the description that one Mum uses it on her eczema prone kids for a moisture boost.
Obviously this could be used to wash the kids on a day to day basis – and given it comes packaging free that has to be a win?!
I had sampled Lush’s solid shower gel but just felt it was a bit slimy for me. I’ve been using a bar of soap instead but really had missed how gel bubbles up on my sponge thingy. But I think I’ve found the solution:
These are Bamboo Soap Bags designed to hold your soap – so no unsightly dishes or soap scum needed – you simple place your soap inside, wet the bag and scrub away. Obviously it can then just hang to dry. I’ve ordered two so Mike and I can both dry them out. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and anti fungal so sounds like a perfect compromise.
For kids bubble bath, I was delighted to find ‘fun’ from Lush on my last visit to The Centre Livingston – it basically feels like playdoh and you can actually model it into different shapes. But a tiny bit makes A LOT of bubbles so it has multiple uses. Obviously, bath bombs are a lot of fun but we couldn’t afford one very often so ‘bubble bars’ from Lush are another good option and do stretch quite far.
I’m also a fan of my electric toothbrush and I’ve been trying to justify this in my head for a couple of reasons. My dentist advised me to get this one and I like how clean my teeth feel. I’m only replacing the head every few months. And well, it cost a fair amount of money! But plastic is still plastic and I’m just adding to that problem each time I replace the head.
So the obvious answer out there is bamboo toothbrushes. The kids both have ‘normal’ toothbrushes so I’m happy to switch to these when they need their current ones replaced.
The big question is over toothpaste! All of the ones I’ve sourced not in plastic are fluoride free. On the one hand, all the toothpastes recommended by dentists contain fluoride and I’m pretty sure they put it directly on the kid’s teeth at check ups. But on the other hand, there are now dentists raising concerns about fluoride being a neurotoxin that can accumulate in the body overtime. Logically – there must be a reason that we need to spit it out each time?!
I think it’s one of those things that you should try to get informed about and make a decision from there. I found it interesting that even the ‘pro-fluoride’ people said it wasn’t really necessary if you avoided sugary drinks etc. But given I know my kids aren’t the best at teeth brushing – for them I think we’ll stick to convention for a while.
I on the other hand, am going to give Georganics Natural Toothpaste a whirl. I have to be honest and say it costs far too much to be my ‘normal’ toothpaste brand but as a one off – I’d like to see what the alternative is like and then keep an eye on anything else coming into the market.
Obviously toilet paper is flushed away so it doesn’t really enter my head as something that’s ‘plastic’ but of course, it does come wrapped in plastic! The solution has arrived with ‘Who Gives A Crap’ toilet paper – made from either bamboo or 100% recycled paper – and wrapped in paper. Another plus is that 50% of their profits go towards building toilets for those in need. We’ve signed up to their ‘free trial’ to work out what kind of paper we want and then will just receive our subscription after that.
Or rather makeup removable – I had always just used a cotton pad to remove my make up before cleansing at night, but obviously these do come wrapped in plastic and just felt like unnecessary waste. Were used Cheeky Wipes with Thomas since he was tiny and found them hugely superior to disposable wipes – so these were the natural purchase for me! I simply wash these with my normal washing so don’t really need many at all and work perfectly well with my normal remover – which admittedly is in a plastic bottle (drat!!)!!
There are a whole array of reusable sanitary towels out there and I think it really has to come down to personal preference. After using reusable nappies with Thomas, I didn’t find the switch ‘icky’ or more of a hassle but it just felt like a natural move. Lots of companies offer trial packs and I just thought this was a sensible approach. The moon cup is the obvious alternative to tampons, but I think the important thing to note is that both can take time to get used to. Remember back to when you first started your period – I’m sure it wasn’t all plain sailing from day 1 for everyone! As with anything new, a bit of perseverance might be necessary but in the long run, aside from the environmental benefit there’s clearly a financial saving too so keep both in mind and go for it!
I’d love to here what else you’ve tried in your bathrooms – particularly anything that’s child friendly so please do come and have a chat on Facebook!