The Problem: palm oil, plastic containers, harsh chemicals, microplastics, deforestation, disposables
The Solution: solid bars, natural ingredients, recycled or refillable containers, reusables, recycled toilet paper
- Invest in a reusable safety razor. These will last you years and mean you don’t have to throw away plastic blades. You can also buy shaving soap bars.
- Get some reusable sanitary products to save waste and money. Research suggests that an average woman spends almost £5000 on disposable period products over a lifetime. Conventional pads and tampons are also made of synthetic fibres and harsh chemicals, which can be irritating for you as well as bad for the planet. Alternatives such as a menstrual cup will last for years, greatly reduce plastic waste and save you hundreds too, as well as being convenient for travel. Reusable sanitary pads or period pants made of cotton or other material can be washed again and again making them another worthwhile option.
- Switch to natural deodorant in a tin or cardboard tube, which is better for your health too, as aerosols may contain potential carcinogens and are packed full of synthetic chemicals, especially bad for asthmatics. Many deodorants and antiperspirants are also tested on animals, raising ethical issues. There are a wide variety of natural deodorants available which are very effective and come in reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. Alternatively, you could make your own using three store cupboard ingredients for a cheap, easy and fun option. http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Tt0qxQ-vo
- Change to a recycled or bamboo toilet paper, as conventional toilet paper is a massive contributor to deforestation and you won’t notice the difference. Fibre for toilet paper often comes from natural forests or unsustainable plantations and is hard to trace. Eco friendly brands offer subscriptions to deliver every month and often come in recycled packaging.
- Many sunscreens contain nanoparticles that damage coral reefs. Look for one that doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate and advertises itself as reef friendly. Options are either chemical or mineral based and some come in recyclable tins or cans. Make sure to try it out first before using all day in the sun and find one that works best for you.
- Instead of bottled body wash and hand soap, use soap bars.
- You can find body lotion bars, or use an oil such as Argan in a glass bottle. Closed loop systems are also available, such as in Lush. There are also loads of videos and recipes online to make your own bathroom products from toothpaste and deodorant to body lotion, for example see Wellness Mama and The Healthy Maven
- Most products can be found as ethical and environmentally friendly alternatives- do some research into everything you buy first and remember that the first question is do I really need it?!