Get your sh*t together
A series educating on how we can all get our collective.. well, sh*t together for a more sustainable planet.
As we sprayed our tub with yet another single use plastic (plastic, plastic. Ugh, it really is EVERYWHERE) container of, albeit, eco-friendly cleaner (one of four cleaning products we use to clean the bathroom), it hit us. There is still a LOT of room for growth on this quest to a truly sustainable lifestyle.
Of course, we wash and recycle our plastic bottles, but we know the ugly truth: once it goes in that recycling bin, it’s out of our hands, and not everyone is aboard this green train. Recently, an expose on Philadelphia’s recycling program showed that more than half of all recyclables end up in the incinerator. Womp, womp.
And it’s common knowledge that only about 2 out of 10 plastic containers ACTUALLY end up being recycled. Here’s how we cleaned up our bathroom plastic disaster and even detoxified our bathroom routine with safer, non-toxic swaps.
1. Bring back the classic
We started out in the shower. This was easier than we thought! First, we swapped out our body wash for bar soap. There are so many awesome, all natural, organic bar soaps out there, so no reason to buy those body washes in plastic containers! Our favorite is Vellum Soap Company’s bar soaps
- so clean, you can literally eat them. No, really, all of the ingredients in their soaps are edible! Talk about clean.
2. Stay at the bar
Next, we traded our bottled shampoo for a shampoo bar. Yes, those are a thing. We’ll admit it, we were a little hesitant to give this a go until we tried it. It works just as well as liquid shampoos and the good ones don’t leave any residue.
3. Invest in a quality razor
We then splurged on a first-class razor instead of a cheaper disposable alternative that you throw away every 2 weeks. This one we can’t believe we didn’t do sooner. And the shaving gel we thought we couldn’t live without? Coconut oil will do the trick, and even better as it’s hypo-allergenic and mild on sensitive skin, plus it softens and moisturizes so you don’t get ingrown hairs.
4. Using the same products for the whole family
Since we switched out our body wash and shampoo for safe alternatives, we were comfortable using them on the kids too, so we no longer needed kid-specific products in addition to ours, though we have to admit, we kept our Beautycounter Baby Oil. It’s literally the BEST. Although this oil comes in a plastic container, we still love the brand because they are incredibly responsible about the the ingredients they put in their products and the plastic they use, with 100% of their containers being 100% recyclable.
5. Give DIY a try
To keep our skin soft and supple, we pulled up a recipe on our favorite beauty DIY site for a homemade sugar scrub to substitute for our exfoliator. We used ingredients right from our kitchen and, to be honest, we like it so much better than the one we were spending 10x the moolah on.
*Fun idea: throw a (NO) SCRUBS TLC Party - supply all the ingredients, plus glass jars you can buy online or at your local crafts store, throw in some wine and snacks for the TLC part (Tender Loving Care, because, wine does that for us), and get scrubby with your friends. You’ll be surprised how affordable and fun this is!
6. Bamboo > Plastic
Next, we moved onto our pearly whites. This is a no-brainer; a bamboo toothbrush is a MUST in 2019. And our winning DIY toothpaste recipe is easy-peasy: 1 tablespoon of baking soda, a few drops of peppermint essential oil, like this one from doTerra, and water to make into a paste. Play with the amount of water to get the consistency you want - the coarser it is, the more whitening power it has. Mix it all in a ceramic bowl and spoon into a shallow glass jar with a metal lid. DONE (clap) and DONE (clap).
7. Coconut oil is special stuff
We don’t typically use deodorant because we haven’t found a natural one that we love but we have found that the antibacterial properties in pure coconut oil can do the trick short term. You would be amazed what coconut oil can do. We keep a glass jar of raw organic coconut oil and use it as our deodorant and moisturizer instead of lotion, killing two plastic birds with one stone.
8. Treat yo' Seat
To solve our plastic potty problem, we spent a little extra on a wooden toilet seat and WHOA. It’s not shockingly cold on a winter’s night (you know what we’re talking about), and it brings in a natural, earthy touch to an otherwise tiled, cold bathroom.
9. Step up your game
Use a squatty potty? If you don’t, it’s loooong overdue. A squatty potty is our potty-time bestie. Look for an eco-friendly wooden alternative. If you can’t find one specifically marketed for potty use, a wooden step stool will also get the job done.
10. Step up your game
Lastly, a simple google search led us to an all-purpose, homemade, safe cleaner made from ingredients we already had in our house that we use for all of our surfaces instead of multiple cleaners in multiple plastic containers. And with just washing out an old cleaner container and refilling when needed, we’re squeaky clean.
These simple swaps helped us Eco-Kondo out our bathroom and significantly reduce our plastic consumption in an area of the house we can’t believe we’ve overlooked this long.
There are some things we couldn’t part with, like conditioner for our wild, unruly curls, and our other Beautycounter products that love on the outside as well as the inside, like our face oils, split end serum, and sunscreen, but, simply being more mindful gave us a totally different perspective on the products we use and over time will save countless plastic bottles and containers from ending up….well, who knows where.
It’s a slightly more costly upfront investment to purchase reusable, sustainable containers and products, but now we can start and end our day in a clean, green, self-care machine space…and that, my friends, is priceless.