One of the best ways for us to eliminate unnecessary plastic is to eliminate the water. No water = no plastic bottle. The easiest step in that department is to switch from liquid hand soap and bath gels to solid bar soaps. But there are other products that many folks don’t realize come in a solid form, like shampoo, so here’s an update on my experiences with solid soaps, shampoo bars, and even plastic-free deodorant.
Plastic-free soap bars are hard to find in mainstream grocery and drugstores, I will admit. Even Ivory comes packaged in plastic wrap these days. But natural stores like Whole Foods are chock full of Castile soaps wrapped in little to no paper. Dr. Bronner’s is a good choice for many. Right now, I’m enjoying two different solid soaps:
Dessert Essence lemongrass/calendula soaps that I found, believe it or not, on sale at Grocery Outlet for a buck a piece and are packaged with just one strip of paper.
Iyoba Body… Read the rest
I was planning to write about DIY hair care products this week. But so far, my experiments have been less than successful. Take, for example, the sugar water hairspray, exhibit left. Here’s the recipe:
Dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar in a cup of water. Boil 3 minutes. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon vodka and 2-3 drops essential oil of your choice for scent. Pour into a spray bottle.
The instructions should also have said, “Keep out of the reach of ants!” But then, I guess the writer figured most sane people are aware that sugar attracts ants. Just to clarify, this hairspray ant invasion happened a month BEFORE last week’s sugar incident. You’d think I would have learned. And you would be wrong.
So, about the hairspray. It didn’t work anyway. Still looking for a plastic-free alternative. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post.
What I want to talk about is letting go of … Read the rest
Vodka’s not just for drinking anymore.
Spicy Sweet Homemade Mouthwash
On November 4, I wrote that I had finished up my last bottle of Act fluoride rinse and had decided not to replace it. Several dentists told me they didn’t think I needed it. However, I wasn’t just using the rinse for the fluoride; it had also served as my mouthwash for the last couple of years, leaving my breath minty fresh. Without it, I needed to find a plastic-free alternative, and since there are apparently no mouthwashes sold plastic-free these days, I decided to make my own.
I found the following recipe on Mother Earth Living and tried it:
Spicy Sweet Mouthwash
This mouthwash requires a couple of weeks for the spices to steep in the alcohol.
1 cup vodka
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips (I used ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon fennel seed (ommited because I didn’t have)
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon licorice root (also ommitted —… Read the rest
03/25/2008 UPDATE: Warning to those who would order Lush products through the mail. I have had several reports from readers who ordered what they thought would be naked chunks of shampoo or deodorant, only to have them arrive wrapped up in a ton of plastic. So either be very specific in your ordering instructions that you don’t want any plastic packaging, or don’t order from Lush. Reading the comments on my updated 03/24/08 blog post might be helpful to you.
When you walk into a Lush Cosmetics store, (there is one at 240 Powell Street in San Francisco, as well as locations throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world) you are greeted not by rows and rows of products packaged in plastic (as you are when you enter The Body Shop, for example), but by big unwrapped chunks of solid soap as well as shampoo, deodorant, bubble bath, and massage oil. That’s right, big solid chunks of these things! They are sold by weight. You tell the staff how much… Read the rest