Cutting down on single-use plastics has been a big passion of mine for some time now. I am by no means perfect but I have made a few simple changes to what I buy in order to give me a bathroom free of single-use plastic. Here are some of the products I swapped:
Shampoo & Conditioner
Generic Shampoo/Conditioner from Store > Lush Shampoo Bar > Shampoo/Conditioner from the Filling Station
When I started this journey I tried out a Lush Shampoo Bar. I was extremely sceptical about it. I thought there was no way that this bar is going to get sudsy enough to make it through my extremely thick hair but I was surprisingly blown away. One swoop of the bar through my hair and it was more than enough suds. The bar I choose, which was called ‘Jason and the Argan’ was rose-scented and smelled so good and as the name suggests, was packed with argan oil. The bar was meant to make your hair ‘stronger, shinier and softer’ and it did. While using this bar I didn’t need to use conditioner at all. I loved it for the first few weeks but as time went on I found that the bar was disintegrating and was turning into more of a mouse. The bamboo holder I had got to store it in was starting to go mouldy and it kind of just turned me off.
Luckily, the filling station opened in Galway so that offered a new alternative. I had kept my Function of Beauty bottles because I thought they were pretty cool as they have my name on them and brought them to the Filling Station. Here, they had loads of different scented shampoos and conditioners to choose from. I stuck with rose and have been using this ever since.
I realise that my Function of Beauty bottles are plastic but they are not single-use. I have used them over and over again and will continue to do so.
Spray Deodorant > Lush Solid Bar > We Love The Planet Stick
This one is a bit tricky. I am still on the hunt for the right plastic-free deodorant. I got a block of solid deodorant from Lush (not sure which one) and it was good for a while. But the paper it came in began to break and it was getting all over my gym bag and then it was starting to dry up. It could sometimes be a little harsh rubbing it against my skin unless I warmed it up a bit first. It was okay but I didn’t love it.
So again, I went to the Filling Station. I a deodorant stick from a brand called ‘We Love the Planet’. I got the scent ‘forever fresh’. Initially, I loved this. It was a welcome change from the Lush bar as it was super creamy and glided onto my skin. However, over time I noticed that it was too creamy. It left a thick residue on the armpits of any clothes I wore and would almost cake in my armpit too.
I know the Filling station has loads of more options for deodorants so I am excited to try a few more until I find the right one for me. If you can recommend any please let me know.
Generic Cotton Pads > Reusable Cotton Pads > Skin Nerd Clense Off Mitt
This is probably my favourite substitute. I used cotton pads every morning and night to wash my face. l eventually decided to get reusable cotton pads. I ordered them online from ‘The Little Green Shop’ and have never gone back. A pack of 10 pads is €10.50. I love using them. I think they clean my face better as they are more durable and I like how I can squeeze the excess water out of them. When they’re all used I pop them in the wash bag they came in, and throw them into the washing machine with the rest of my clothes and they come out like brand new.
I have also invested in the ‘cleanse off mitt‘ by the Skin Nerd and really love this product too. I honestly go back and forth between the mitt and the reusable pads. I would definitely recommend investing in one if not both.
Or, you can make your own reusable cotton pads by taking a t-shirt and cutting it into loads of circles.
Generic Toothbrush > Bamboo Toothbrush
This was a pretty easy swap. Along with the reusable cotton pads I ordered a bamboo toothbrush from the Little Green Shop. The bamboo takes a little while to get used too. The texture in your mouth compared to plastic is odd initially. It can feel likes it’s giving you splinters even though it’s not. I stuck with it and now when I am forced to use a plastic toothbrush that feels weird.
Aquafresh > Lush ‘Toothy Tabs’
I got the ‘toothy tabs’ from Lush in the flavour ‘Dirty’. This is the mintiest one they had on offer. I was amazed at how much these tiny little tablets foamed up. So much so that I started only using half of one. That was plenty to get my teeth clean. The taste takes a bit of time to get used too. The tabs use natural products to give them their mintyness and it does taste what I would imagine a mint leaf to taste like. Minty yet herby. It’s a big difference from the fake mint taste in normal toothpaste. For clarity, the tabs do come in a plastic bottle BUT the inside of this plastic bottle stays clean so you can refill it at your local Filling Station OR recycle it. You can’t recycle toothpaste bottles because they are not clean.
Genric Plastic Hairbrush > Bamboo Hairbrush
This was the easiest swap. No noticeable difference. Not ‘getting used to’ phase. Just a clean swap. If you want to make a change away from plastic I wouldn’t necessarily start here. A hairbrush is hardly single-use plastic. I had my hairbrush for years but when it broke I replaced it with the bamboo one.
I realise I mentioned a few different products from a few different brands in this blog, given all that is going on now with Covid-19, I could encourage you to shop local where possible. The Filling Station in Galway or The Little Green Shop (online) are a great place to start. Both have a huge range of products that will help you towards a single-use plastic-free life.
If you have any questions, as always drop me a DM on my Instagram,