*Ish. Happy Tuesday again everyone! As you may have guessed, this post is about my recent moves to going more eco-friendly, and the small steps that could be done if it’s something you’re interested in.
So I was heading to bed a couple of weeks ago, and saw a few posts on Instagram with some important information – Earth Overshoot Day was 3 days earlier than last year. Now, if like me and you have no clue what Earth Overshoot Day – I did the leg work for us and searched it, the following is my interpretation of the information I found out. Earth Overshoot Day is the date in the year when we humans exceed the amount of ecological resources that Earth can regenerate in that year. This year, it was 29th July. That’s the earliest it has ever been since records began. Now, I’m not here to preach or push, especially as we are all aware of climate change, and the effect we are having on our planet.
A few months ago, I made the decision to reduce the amount of waste I produce, and to try and be more sustainable in the things I buy. Fast fashion, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, and all the other phrases we’ve become so used to hearing, that really I’m not sure if we understand the severity at times. Even sitting writing this, I’m remembering a show we watched in primary school called EarthWarp – about an alien who came to Earth and helped the children in the show learn to recycle, and the importance of saving the planet. I think I was about 8 years old at the time. And here we are 16 years later when I suddenly realise how much I have helped contribute the current health of the planet.
A side-note to try and lighten the mood of this rather heavy introduction – Maisey has just discovered a moth flying around my bedroom and so is in full hunting mode. This is not going to end well… Anyway, back to the post.
I wanted to cut back on the amount of plastic I was using, and spent one wet Sunday afternoon searching the internet for all the best places to source either eco-friendly and/or cruelty free products I could.
Starting simply, I decided to place an order with Lush. The first thing that went in my basket was the Aromaco deodorant bar (found here). A solid deodorant, looking a bit like a bar of soap, that came with zero packaging around it. If buying from the shop, you get the brown paper bags that you can store this in, but I am using one of the airport security clear plastic bags – at least I’m reusing something plastic I suppose! The smell of the bar is lovely in my mind, but I have to admit that I was very self conscious about it when I first started using the bar – because it was new to me, it was all I could smell, and I was worried it would offend the people around me. But having asked a few people around me, none of them had noticed it which is good I guess! Now the real test was when the heatwave hit, and no amount of loose light clothing could keep us cool in the office. Did I sweat? Did I smell? You can bet I didn’t! So this deodorant definitely gets a 10/10 from me! I’ve been using it for a month now, and still have at least half the bar left, so while £6.50 can seem a bit steep, if it lasts twice as long as my old plastic roll on deodorants then I don’t mind spending the money. *Update 2 weeks later* – I’ve had to change to using this every few days as for some reason the bar was beginning to irritate my skin… no idea why, and I’m kind of sad as it was definitely my favourite swap.
I then spent a while trying to find a cleanser, toner and moisturiser for my face so that I could cut down on my plastic uses there. I had already made the swap to reusable makeup remover pads made (predominantly) from bamboo! You can find them on Amazon here if you want to read more about them. Admittedly, I chickened out of changing up my skin care routine because the stuff I’ve been using has really agreed with my skin, but then I found out something quite interesting. The Vitamin E cleansing cream and toner I’ve been using from The Body Shop? Well, not only are they cruelty free, but our nearby Body Shop is running a recycling scheme where I can return the bottles to the shop for them to be reused or recycled (I can’t quite remember which). This is true for the shampoo and conditioner set Mum and Dad got me from there for Christmas, so I suppose that’s a bonus!
Speaking of shampoo and conditioner, have any of you tried the solid shampoo and conditioner bars you can get? I currently have the Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar from Lush, and also the Sugar Daddy-O solid conditioner, and love using them. At first I bought these for travelling on holiday as they’re so much lighter than bottles, and seem to last so much longer, but I also found my hair sits so much better when I use them, so these are going on the “buy again” list when I’ve worked through all my current endless bottles!
Now one thing I would struggle with would be changing from bottles of shower gel to bars of soap. I find that soap leaves my skin almost sticky and just not feeling at all clean. One alternative I have at the minute is a few of the bars of Fun from Lush – about 3 Christmas versions – however I don’t think I can count these because they’re wrapped in cellophane… So if anyone has any suggestions, then I would be very grateful!
My final purchase from Lush on that wet Sunday was a bottle (unfortunately plastic) of the “Dirty” Toothy Tabs – solid toothpaste. At the time, my idea was to try toothpaste tablets to see if I could make this swap. So I now have a small plastic bottle that I can reuse for when I’m travelling, and it means I can purchase from somewhere that uses more sustainable packaging without worrying about the basic concept of toothpaste tablets! Oh, and while I’m on the topic of teeth, I recently found out that you can get bamboo replacement heads for electric toothbrushes! These have been added to my shopping list for when I finish the plastic heads I have in my drawer at the minute.
One final change I decided to make – and this one may be a tad TMI – was to more a sustainable period product. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about their Mooncup, but having done some reading into it I decided it wasn’t for me – I really don’t like dealing with blood, even nose bleeds terrify me. So after a bit of browsing on Amazon, I found these reusable options instead. Having had 2 months of them, I can honestly say I’m pleased with them, and would recommend for anyone!
One final step I haven’t taken yet is in my wardrobe. However, How To Reduce Clothing Waste by Karalee is a good place to start! So I’ll be reading her advice and taking some notes for the future!
Is there anything you’ve done to reduce your affect on the environment, or have you any suggestions on more swaps I can make? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!