Two years ago, I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption:
People ask me what I do for hair elastics since they are plastic. The truth is, I’ve never had to buy them because there are a gazillion on the ground every day. Parking lots, sidewalks, the floor of the gym… How do they get there? And is reusing discarded hair elastics gross or thrifty? Would you do it?
So, um, yeah. I pick up crap off the ground and put it in my hair. For the rest of you, please check out KOOSHOO certified organic hair accessories. Their hair elastics are made from organic cotton and natural rubber, not plastic!
KOOSHOO sent me a pack of five hair elastics to try out. Ironically, I had just gotten my hair cut before trying them, so I did the best I could. They work great, and because they are covered in cotton, the natural rubber elastic does not pull your hair.
You can order KOOSHOO plastic-free hair ties from my friends Jay and Chantal at… Read the rest
So, you’ve been reading about ways to reduce your plastic use, including bringing back empty bottles and containers of personal care and cleaning products to refill, and you think, “I’ve got to try that sometime.” (The BULK mobile site can help you find refill locations.) But that means planning ahead and remembering to bring your empty containers back to the store. Once you get in the habit of doing it, remembering is no big deal. But getting started can be difficult for folks just beginning the plastic-free, zero waste journey. If only there were a service that would pick up those empties and deliver freshly filled ones right to your door.
If you live in the Bay Area, Stéphanie Regni can help! Her company, Fillgood.co, delivers refilled glass containers of natural personal care and cleaning products to local customers. I paid a visit to Stéphanie at her home in Albany, CA, last month, and chatted… Read the rest
Every time I stay in a hotel (and nowadays, with all the travel I’m doing to promote my book, I’m getting to visit more and more of them), I inevitably roll my eyes at the preponderance of single-sized, plastic-packaged amenities: little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and single-sized soaps. Sure, many guests love them and stuff them in their luggage to take home, but does that justify their wasteful existence? I’ve blogged many times before about saying no to single sizes, which have a higher ratio of plastic packaging to product than larger sizes, and now an Albuquerque luxury hotel is promoting the same message by providing a better alternative: bulk amenities.
Not Like At the Gym
But let me back up a bit because offering personal care products to guests is not a new idea. The showers at my gym have dispensers for body wash/shampoo afixed to the wall, as do all of the hostels I have stayed in during my travels.… Read the rest
A few nights ago, while cleaning out the pile of stuff that has collected once again by my desk, I found a box of MadeOn Lotion products that the owner, Renee Harris, sent me to review in the beginning of this year and which sadly ended up at the bottom of the giant pile of stuff by my desk, unopened and unappreciated.
I have to apologize to Renee because she emphasizes the freshness of her products and is probably horrified to know that they’ve been sitting here for so long. But I have to say that even after waiting unopened for 6 months, these products are still wonderful and smell great.
Packaging: All of the products in this review come in recyclable/reusable metal tins with no plastic. And they were shipped to me with only tissue paper and cardboard and without plastic shipping tape. Make sure you specify zero plastic packaging when placing an order, and Renee will be happy to comply with your request.
MadeOn Bee Silk… Read the rest
I don’t color my hair often, mainly because I’m lazy and don’t want to take the time to do it. But once a year, when it’s time for the annual BlogHer conference estrogen fest, I feel the need to cover my graying temples that make me look older than I feel.
(It’s also the time I get my annual pedicure and clean up my crazy eyebrows with homemade sugar wax.) But hair dyes are pretty toxic — even the “natural” ones — and all come in plastic packaging. For a while, I would go to a salon and use the “Don’t ask; don’t tell” method of living plastic-free. If I didn’t see a plastic bottle, it didn’t exist. Clearly, that was cheating.
So I was very happy when I discovered that I could buy henna (which is about as safe as it gets) with less plastic packaging and that it would actually cover my gray! [Note: Your mileage may vary. I’m only gray at the temples… Read the rest
I’m in love with Life Without Plastic’s new plastic-free wooden hairbrush. Bald people, please don’t run away. This post has something for you too.
This is not the perfect hairbrush.
My old beat up plastic brush has served me well for many years. I would continue to use it except that the little plastic balls on the ends of the plastic bristles are coming off, and without those balls, the bristles are murder on my hair. (Don’t worry. I have another use for the old plastic one. And it’s cute, as you’ll see at the end of this post.)
So I went looking for another brush that wasn’t made of plastic and didn’t have little plastic balls to come loose in the environment. About a year ago, I bought this one.
This is not the perfect brush either.
I used that boar bristle brush maybe twice. I wish I could have tried it in the store before bringing it home. In addition to the fact that it’s an animal product, and … Read the rest
I hear people bemoaning the high cost of “going green.” And while organic food does cost more than its chemical-laden counterpart, I’m here to tell you that it’s easier to spend more for healthy food when you save money in other ways. We can skip many of the green cleaners, deodorizers, and personal care products, most of which are fairly expensive. To that end, baking soda is our friend. (Ha! I rhymed.)
What’s so great about baking soda?
1) It’s cheap. On Safeway.com, a 1 lb box is $1.40. But I save money and packaging by buying it from the bulk bin at my local natural foods store, filling up my own reusable cloth bag. That way, it’s only 89¢/lb!
2) It’s simple. One of the ways I try to protect my health and that of the planet is to buy products that contain the lowest number of different ingredients possible. Baking soda is just about as simple as you can get.
3) It’s non-toxic. Need… Read the rest
So, you know I switched to the no ‘poo method of hair cleansing a couple of months ago, and it’s been working fine. But I do have the occasional frizzy hair day. I still have over half a (plastic) container of TRESemme styling putty that I purchased long before I stopped buying new plastic, but I quit using it months ago. First, because it contains 25 ingredients, many of which I cannot pronounce, and second, because once I started “no poo” I was worried it wouldn’t wash out properly.
So I was happy to receive an email from Rachel Whitman of the company The Name Is Product asking me to try out her… um… product. It’s a hair styling aide that claims to defrizz, texturize, soften, condition, and glisten using only 5 ingredients: “organic shea butter, pure aloe vera, natural source vitamin E (tocopherol), organic beeswax, and natural fragrance [which turns out to be tangerine oil].”
Now, … Read the rest
No Impact Man did it.
Life Less Plastic did it.
Wait… didn’t I just write this post two days ago?
No, because this one my friend Axelle is doing. And a few days ago, I started to do it too. No, we’re not constipated. (Although that is the tagline for the No ‘poo forum.) We’re all just attempting to give up shampoo. And conditioner. And most hair products in general.
I’ve written about solid bar shampoos and how they can help us save plastic bottle packaging waste. But giving up shampoo altogether saves not only packaging but excess ingredients and a ton of money. And according to believers, it’s a lot better for our scalps and hair.
Inspired by Life Less Plastic once again, I asked Jeanne to write a few pointers on her experience going shampoo-free. This is what she had to say:
I know you’re probably feeling extremely skeptical right now. I was the same way. When I started my no ‘poo experiment, I kept… Read the rest
The letter-writing continues. After mentioning Lush solid shampoo and deodorant bars in my post two weeks ago, I received several comments from readers who had mail ordered Lush products hoping to avoid plastic packaging, only to find that the products that are sold “naked” in the store are packaged in all kinds of plastic when shipped through the mail.
So I wrote to Lush. I’m not going to reprint my actual email because I’m embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t very nice. I must have been in a crappy mood when I wrote it, and rereading it tonight, I realize it’s pretty confrontational, which is not the best approach when we want someone to make a change for us. Flies and honey and all that. Nevertheless, the response I got back was very polite. And while I still don’t agree with all their packaging choices, I’m happy that they’ve obviously thought about the issue a lot and are working to get better.… Read the rest