January 30, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Mary Katherine, Week 14




I’m running out of shampoo… I tried the baking soda vinegar thing, but it left a nasty earwax-like residue on my scalp. It made my head itch too. I adjusted the amounts and everything but it still didn’t work. I tried a bar from Lush that worked well but it had sodium laurel sulfate in it. And it was $11… I tried a cheaper natural one from the farmer’s market, but it left my hair all dirty and nasty. What shampoo bars are good?

Location:Mountain View, California, United States

Name: Mary Katherine

Week: 14

Personal Info:

My name is Mary Katherine and I’m 17. I’m trying to generate less plastic waste to help the environment. Also, about why I skipped last week. I put out my trash to take a picture, but I got distracted and left it there. Then I went out for a while. When I came back my mum had thrown out my trash and taken the garbage pail to the dumpster. I didn’t have a picture and I didn’t remember what was in the pile. I didn’t feel like dumpster diving, so I just skipped week #13.

Mary Katherine’s personal blog: https://theplasticfreechef.com

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Plastic shopping bags
Plastic produce bags
Bottled water
Ice cream

Total items collected: 16

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Date container

Items: Nonrecyclable
Melted lid from pyrex dish (I turned on the oven when the pyrex dish was in there… my mum was making yogurt and she put it in the oven to yogurtify (not a word) since its warmer in there. I destroyed the yogurt as well as the lid. And it smelled like poison in my kitchen for a while. It was disgusting! Now there’s a sign on the oven so I won’t do it again.)
Date container
Broken ethernet cable

5 milk rings
1 half and half ring
2 sandwich picks with plastic on the ends… what is the point?
2 windows from cardboard pasta boxes
1 jar seal
Sage tag
Goji berry packaging

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Plastic date containers. I found a store that has them in bulk.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Goji berries

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Milk rings. I guess its not completely essential for me to drink milk, but I really don’t want to give it up.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Not eating in the cafeteria at school. I always feel sick afterwards anyway. Also, I need to be more conscious.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Date containers

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I don’t have tons of new stuff, so thats good.

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9 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Mary Katherine, Week 14"

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I do no-poo, and let me just say that if you’re noticing wax, then you need to lower your base/up your acid. But it doesn’t really sound like you want to break into the no-poo thing, which I understand, although I would encourage it because manufacturing and shipping shampoo bars uses a lot more energy than the baking soda and citric acid that I would suggest you use (and buy in bulk at the grocery store!).

I’ve used Chagrin valley before, and their soaps are really great. For shampoo bars, I preferred using their regular full-fat soaps.

You might want to try Baking soda and apple cider vinegar again- it has a ‘breaking in’ period while your hair gets used to it. It can take a while!

try soap nuts i use them for my laundry 100% natural and u can make ur own shampoo and body wash with them

Thanks everyone. I think I just have to try a bunch more shampoo bar brands until I find one that works. I think I’ve heard of chagrin valley, so maybe I’ll check that out.

I do the no poo thing, but my “recipe” is way different than all the things I’ve seen posted around the internet. My hair is somewhat curly, and that means that it is often dry. If your hair is like that, I wouldn’t recommend using baking soda every time you wash your hair. I use it at most once a month or every two months. I do use a capful of ACV diluted into a glass jar of water probably every other time I wash my hair. Otherwise my scalp gets dry and itchy. (Again, probably because my hair/scalp is… Read more »
I have really hard well water and I have a problem with bar soaps too. It turns into a nasty residue in my hair (thick ear-wax is a good description). For people who don’t have hard water, it’s hard to envision how difficult and nasty soap is on hair. I don’t find vinegar rinses to be as effective as many people claim, and my husband claims that he can still smell it several hours after it dries. It could be that the hair is not fully dry. It could be the vinegar is not effective because I’m not using it… Read more »
Hey! I too was concerned about Lush’s ingredient list. I’ve been using Chagrin valley shampoo bars. I found them by googling and checked them out on EWG’s cosmetics database. I do have a water softener on my house and have a well. I haven’t had any issues with their shampoo bars making my hair funky… But people who have extremely hard water I’ve heard have to do a vinegar rinse. One of my friends called chagrin valley after she just couldn’t figure out what she was doing wrong… And she said they were extremely helpful. Let me know if you’d… Read more »

Just use a good natural bar soap to wash your hair. I’ve been using one that actually comes wrapped in plastic (Desert Essence) because it’s the only soap that’s suitable for my face, but depending on how dry or oily your hair is, just try soaps designed for that skin state.

I haven’t had a lot a luck with the bar shampoos so I hope someone else has some insight. Some folks like Liggetts bar (sp?). Do you have hard water? I think the no-poo thing is more difficult with hard water. I do no-poo with diluted lemon juice instead of vinegar, and that works a lot better for me. I had a lot of troubles at first, but like not using shampoo now. Honey or sugar works pretty well too. Your yogurt story made my laugh (as I could see that happening at my home), even though I’m sure it… Read more »