The Products We Use and Why…
Written by Christel Schultz – February 29, 2020
Note: I am not affiliated with any product, brand, etc. discussed. These are just my personal choices after researching and finding good products that seemed in line with changes I wanted to make.
As many of us try to minimize waste and use natural, sustainable products, it’s important to approach the transition with reasonable goals. Making simple changes creates a big impact over time.
Eliminating plastic played a role in our decisions. We wanted products made with simple, natural ingredients and sustainable materials. Supporting local markets and online creative entrepreneurs was another consideration.
Determine what is important to you. Think about switching a few items to begin at your own pace. A handful of bathroom swaps is an easy way to take action.
An estimated one billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year. And you may have guessed, nearly all of them are PLASTIC. Plastic toothbrushes are one of the most common items found during beach cleanups on coastlines around the world. Switching to bamboo toothbrushes was a definite priority. Bamboo grows very quickly and is quite versatile – a useful and sustainable resource. It did take some research to find a bamboo toothbrush with natural bristles that is fully compostable, though. We ended up choosing the Dr. Perfect brand. The toothbrush is simple, but the bristles are soft, and it works well for a very reasonable price. You can buy it here.
Along with the toothbrushes, approximately one billion toothpaste tubes end up in the trash every year. This is another staggering waste statistic. Our household doesn’t use a lot of toothpaste quickly, but we need alternatives to traditional products and packaging. Many natural products that contain favorable ingredients still use plastic containers. We need sustainable and/or reusable containers. After evaluating toothpaste and toothpaste bites, I leaned toward toothpaste. If you travel frequently, camp, or spend time outdoors away from facilities, toothpaste bites may be the better option. Regardless of your choice, be sure to check the type of container, too.
Considering the ingredients, container, size, and cost, I ultimately chose Native Essence Botanicals all natural toothpaste. Even though it doesn’t foam up quite like traditional toothpaste, my mouth feels nice and clean after brushing. The hint of orange peppermint flavor makes this choice well worth it. The toothpaste comes in a reusable glass jar with a plastic lid. It’s the perfect size for little stuff like collecting change in the car or storing paper clips on a desk. Check out the ingredients and order from the company or purchase here.
Our former shower regimen included body wash with harsh soaps, perfume, and dye in plastic containers. The list of ingredients, and the plastic container, made this an undesirable choice. I quickly located body washes that were made with natural ingredients, but most were in plastic containers, and the products did not seem to lather. I decided to try some simple coconut oil or goat’s milk soap; the soaps were typically less expensive than the body wash anyway.
The soaps we use are scented with essential oils, smell totally amazing, and deliver the clean you need. As a fan of anything beach related, I adore the tropical fruit and ocean scents I’ve discovered. Local farmers and/or artist markets tend to carry some of the best quality and most uniquely scented soaps, in my experience. Specific scents are often available for holidays throughout the year, too. If you have a local market or specialty store, check them out, or explore options online. I’ve been pleased with products from numerous markets and online sources.
I have yet to find shampoo and conditioner bars that work for our household. With long and curly hair in the family, we use a lot of shampoo, and even more conditioner. Those plastic bottles can add up quickly, but we need a strong conditioner, so I look forward to checking out more of the available products. A variety of shampoo and conditioner bars are currently available to meet a range of hair and scalp needs like traditional hair care products, so this is another easy bathroom switch to consider.
Want to support people making products? Check out a multitude of handmade soaps, shampoo, and conditioner bars on Etsy.
Some cotton swab manufacturers are now making biodegradable products. This is a positive move that would be made better if the swabs and packaging were biodegradable. Plastic packaging is still too common. Again, we needed an overall sustainable option. The Make Eco Choice bamboo cotton swabs are a zero waste product with zero waste packaging. And with the amazing attributes of bamboo, this is just a great product for day to day use in a health or body routine. You can buy them here.
Cotton Skin Care Pads
These reusable makeup remover and skin care pads are made of organic bamboo cotton. Another great role for bamboo to play, in fabrics this time. These take the place of cotton balls as the go-to skin care item, and they’re really soft. A variety of cloth pads like these are available through online vendors. The set of 16 that I ordered came in a flat cardboard box that I recycled. AND it came with a little laundry bag for the wash! I’m definitely pleased with this product, but there were so many to choose from, it was hard to decide. A wide range of handmade cotton rounds is available on Etsy; definitely worth checking out! With a number of useful and fun products available, this should be an easy swap, too.
It’s never been easier to make a change…
As people become more conscious consumers, their demands create a market for more sustainable options. Because we now have so many choices available, it’s a great time to evaluate products and practices. Look around your home and think of alternatives. Take action by choosing to change one thing today. Inside your bathroom, kitchen, or wherever. One choice makes all the difference today for a better tomorrow.