This is a post in the Eco-Series~ posts giving tips and alternatives to the products and acts that can be environmental-harming in your home.
It may seem odd to start with the toilet room- so many environmental disasters happening; climate change, overflowing landfills, toxic waste, just to name a few, and I talk about the bathroom? But of course- little things build up to big things, and to upgrade supplies in your bathroom are a simple and easy place to start for environmental protection- let’s hear for the eco-bathroom!
*UPDATE 1/9/10: I promise that no company or person paid me to promote their products on this post- these are my tried and true preferences and techniques*
Your bathroom cabinet……
Razor refills [if you plan ahead that way]
Toothpick [do people still pick their teeth with those. I don’t, but just wondering….]
For all of the above, I highly recommend purchasing from Preserve, a company that makes all their products out of consumer #5 plastic and recycled yogurt cups. Even the packaging is recycled materials! Even better, when you need to replace your Preserve product, just send it in to them and it will become a new product. Also, Preserve’s methods of production are more efficient than traditional plastic production methods.
Dental floss– Eco-Dent make makes a vegan floss packaged in paper packaging, with the only plastic being the floss itself, a cover for the floss roll, and a sticker holding the box shut. The box may tear, but you can putt the roll into a normal plastic dental floss box. And yes, this one actually is vegan. Eco-dent marketed a “vegan” floss a while back, when in fact one of the ingredients was grown on a cow’s milk derivative, and people were disappointed and upset. So, they made this vegan one for you and I!
Shaving cream– Since shaving cream is generally packaged in plastic and other wasteful packaging, you can use assorted oils to replicate it- do a quick search on the web for many options. However, if you do continue buying shaving cream, be kind to the animals and choose a vegan one without the use of animal testing, such as Alba Botanica.
Lotion– Many lotion packaging is plastic and can’t even be reused [why the funny shaped packages? WHY?!], so I make my own. After a disastrous attempt at trying to replicate store-bought lotion, I settled on a simple, cheap, easy method that hasn’t failed me yet. Mix one part vegetable glycerin with 2 parts water, and shake vigorously with a dash of your choice essential oil [my favorite scent is rose] and voila! In my experience, for best results rub the lotion into your skin after showering or bathing for soft, hydrated skin. It’s works other times, too, but doesn’t absorb as quickly and has a funny feeling on the skin- not bad, just weird.
Shampoo– If you know of a way to make shampoo yourself, let me know. My family currently buys bulk concentrated shampoo, where you can use your own bottle from home and you add water. My favorite is Ballard Organics grapefruit scented- organic, so less strain on the environment and eco-system, and not animal tested either. Ballard Organics also makes other products you may be interested in, though I haven’t tried any of them.
Conditioner– I will reveal a secret: I don’t use conditioner! Nope, I use something else, that might sound odd- but don’t ditch it ’till you try it. Ever since I can remember, my family has used a mixture of vinegar and water to the same effect, making soft, tangle-free hair which has the added advantage of repelling head lice. Mix 1 part vinegar [any kind- we use apple cider vinegar, but you can also use white] with 2 parts water. To use, mix 3-4 tablespoon or so in a large cup of water and pour evenly over your hair. Don’t rinse it off- or it will be gone and won’t do anything! The best time to de-tangle your hair is when it’s still wet.
Soap– Sappo Hill, hands down! My younger sister has very sensitive skin [certain makeup, soap, bees, polyester- she get a rash], so for all those people who can’t use certain beauty care products- this may work for you, but try it first, just to be sure! Sappo Hill soaps are vegan, non-animal tested, and made with 100% vegetable oils. Some scents include lavender, aloe vera, jasmine [my families favorite], sandalwood, oatmeal [their most popular, but not good for us gluten-free people], and fragrance-free.