Friday, May 8, 2009

reducing the bathroom

Before the plastic diet:

After the plastic diet:

I had the forethought to take this picture back in July 2008 of my plastic related toiletries in order to compare to (my then hopeful) reduction of these toiletries over the year.

So, here is what I have done...

Conditioner: I went from plastic encased to the LUSH condition bar. (That is the funny shaped soap like object in the 'after' picture.) The use of the conditioner bar did play into my decision to cut 14 inches off hair (it just didn't work with long hair!), but over all this change was not the worst sacrifice I have had to make.

Shampoo: I have not bought any all year! I had a backlog to go through for some reason. Now I am at the end of my shampoo supply and I'm looking into bar soap shampoos. Currently taking suggestions...

Face cleansers/scrubs/etc: I went from plastic encased face cleaning products to good old soap! I have opted for handmade and local options (I'm using a goat milk soap now :) and found them to be great and moisturizing. Goodbye foaming cleanser and scrubs forever.

Deodorant: In the winter I used baking soda and tea tree oil, in the summer this plastic free option just doesn't work in the SoCal heat. So I am back to normal old plastic encased deodorant, but my winter deodorant is completely plastic free :)

Toothpaste: I've been using Tom's of Maine for a while. It is one of the only brands where only the cap is the only plastic in the product-tube is recyclable metal!

Toothbrush: No change...any thoughts on non-plastic toothbrush options out there?

Floss: Since I use it so rarely :( I have yet to need any more since last year. But as far as I know all types come in plastic...


Meg said...

Good job!

Here's what I use, not necessarily plastic free, but definitely less plastic overall than I used to:

* Shampoo: locally made tea tree oil shampoo that comes in a plastic bottle. Tempted to email the maker and see if I can get them to refill bottles directly.

* Conditioner: very rarely I use some coconut oil for a deep conditioner, but overall I don't use anything because my hair is loving the shampoo I use.

* Body/face wash/shave gel/makeup remover: I just use the shampoo for all this stuff. Another reason to try to get it directly.

* Deodorant: deodorant salt block. Comes wrapped in plastic, but minimal packaging and seems like it will last forever.

* "Toothpaste": Ipsab toothpowder. Comes in plastic but also seems like it will last forever.

* Hand soap: pure Castille soap bars

Still using traditional floss I've had for a while, but may switch when I'm done. Also have a traditional brush.

The Green Cat said...

Great job in reducing your plastic! As far as dental floss goes, check out Eco-Dent when you are ready. I thought there was some plastic wrap in this when I bought it a couple of months ago, but their website claims there is no plastic packaging so I'm either remembering wrong or they have changed it.

I don't know of a plastic-free toothbrush option but Preserve toothbrushes are made from recycled plastic and are also recyclable when they are worn out. You can either send them back using a postage-paid envelope from Preserve or you can drop them in a Gimme5 box at a participating store. See their site for more info:

Anonymous said...

I echo The Green Cat about Eco-Dent floss. It comes in a cardboard box. There is a tiny bit of plastic on the inside, but it's way, way less than other brands.

I also (like Cat) use the Preserve toothbrush because it's made from recycled yogurt containers and other #5 recycled plastics and you can recycle it by sending back to the company. There is a natural wood and bristle toothbrush out there, but it comes in a non-recyclable plastic container.

Have you considered the No Poo baking soda method for washing your hair?

Oh, and not to sound like your mother or a mean dental hygienist or Sarah Palin, but "Floss, baby, floss!" Keeping your teeth and gums in good shape is better for the environment than letting them go to hell and having to have major dental work. I tell you this from experience. Kaythxbai. :-)

Juli said...

I love this post and that picture! Congratulations on simplifying your bathroom-- I can't wait to make a serious dent in my own plastic toiletries.

Tell me more about the soap-- it seriously isn't drying? What about a moisturizer, do you use one? Those are two items I worry about with my sensitive skin (rosacea). I use a version of Cetaphil and have been told by a dermatologist to stay away from products with oil, but am commited to going the opposite direction when my facial cleanser runs out, and using a soap with natural plant oils for a while, and just seeing what happens.

Echoing Green Cat and Beth on the floss-- use what you have and then look for EcoDent. I'm with you on the electronic toothbrush situation, but have a few new toothbrush heads to use before looking for better options.

Lisa Sharp said...

Dunno if someone has posted this but here is plastic free deodorant-

I'm still using the same thing but it a plastic container. I'm going to get the above when mine is gone.

The stone works WAY better than the stuff you are using (I have used both). I live in VERY humid Oklahoma. I have spent many summers in SoCal and you guys don't sweat anything like we do and this stuff works great. My husband loves it as well and he didn't think he would.

Oh and I like the shampoo bar from Nurture My Body-

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Tom's toothpaste tubes are recyclable! Cool to know. For shampoo I recommend the rosemary shampoo bar from Just Soap ( Nice lather, very mild scent, and the guy makes it by mixing it in a bicycle-powered blender! It ships packed in paper, not plastic.

Ratliffs said...

For shampoo my dh and I use baking powder mixed with water (the 'no poo' method) and for conditioner we use apple cider vinegar mixed with water. We have both been doing this for over a year. For my face I have switched to Lbri. Their products are aloe vera based and simply wonderful (in plastic though). We also use Toms for deodorant and toothpaste, and I just found a site that has wooden tooth brushes!! For hand soaps we use a mix between castille bar and liquid soaps. I have a mason jar pump that I made that we refill. Love this blog!!