Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My (almost) plastic-free bathroom

One of my resolutions for 2008 was to eliminate all the plastic bottles and containers from my bathroom by the end of the year. The only way to do this was to find products that come in either glass bottles or with no packaging at all (which I like much better). I've slowly been replacing all of the yucky plastic encased products with much yummier counterparts, so I thought I'd share some of my recent finds with you:


After very little research I found a plethora of solid shampoo options, none of which come with any packaging at all (providing you're willing to bring your own bag to the store or let the shampoo bar roam free in your purse). My favourites so far have been from
Rawganique and Lush. As an added bonus to becoming guilt-free (sorta), these products are WAY easier to travel with since they're not liquid.


I've found that I haven't needed conditioner since switching to the solid shampoos, but if you do, Lush carries a variety of choices, some with conditioners already mixed in.

Body wash:
This one was easy, I switched to good old bar soap, just like my grandmother used to use. But I made sure that all the ingredients were organic and paraben-, sulfate-, and evil-free. If you're in or around W'burg, Kings Pharmacy on Bedford and N4th has a lot of options, most of which are sold with no packaging, or a thin piece of paper that goes right in the recycling bin. If you're not in the burg, most pharmacies have several options in the soap aisle, just avoid commercially made soaps laden with chemicals.

I haven't used a facial scrub since my mom bought me an exfoliating glove for Christmas. It's made of some hi-tech fabric that is machine washable and it works really well. But for the rest of my body I still like a good scrub down every so often, so I've started making my own. Before you think I'm a total hippy, give it a try. It's way cheaper than buying the store bought counterparts and much healthier for you too. Here's the recipe I've been using but I change it up every time:
Home-made body scrub:
1/4 cup brown turbinado sugar (organic) or rock sea salt
1/2 cup cold pressed organic olive oil
juice from half an organic lemon or lime
5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil (I get them
*add a couple tablespoons of your leftover coffee grounds to help reduce cellulite (not that you have any!)

Razors & toothbrushes
I use an electric toothbrush but my boyfriend doesn't so I found this fabulous alternative from Recycline, they recycle yogurt cups from Stonyfield Farms and make them into all kinds of great plastic products. Even better? When you're done, you can mail your used toothbrushes and razor handles back to them and they'll turn them into plastic deck flooring. Who knew eating yogurt could be so gratifying!

Hand soap:
Here too I switched to bar soap which I don't actually like using at other people's houses or in restaurants cuz it's a little 'ick' but I've gotten used to it at home. If you really can't get over having a bar of soap by your sink then try to buy in bulk to reduce as much packaging as possible.

This was a big step for me since I'm super paranoid about smelling bad. But deodorant and anti-perspirants are one of the worst things you can put on your body, especially since it's toxins going straight into sensitive skin. I'll just come out and say it, I bought the crystal. Yup, I'm a big old dorky hippy who uses a crystal for deodorant. But it works, except maybe after Michael's yoga class at Go Yoga - but nothing worked well enough for that!
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's some

Laundry detergent:
I know there are a lot of eco-friendly options out there, and they're all perfectly good, but they still have that darn plastic container. And then I found soap nuts! Yes, you read correctly. They're a little quirky and newfangled (as my grandfather would have said) but they work. And they come in a reusable cotton bag that you use to keep them in place during the wash cycle. Also, they're available on

Okay, I think that's enough information for today, but I'd love to hear more about products I may have missed. Next year, I tackle the kitchen!