Like me, you recycle your plastic but then find out that most plastic you recycle doesn’t get recycled. It seems companies don’t use that recycled plastic because it doesn’t hold a shape like first/single-use plastic. So you throw up your hands and say, what can I do? Below are some simple suggestions to reduce your plastic footprint. Please note that these products do not sponsor me; I use them if they give me free stuff; that would be great.
MISSION: We’re on a mission to rid the world of plastic waste while offering our customers 100% sustainable, ethically sourced products, made from natural and effective ingredients. Better for you. Better for the planet. – Ethique
Soap, shampoo, and conditioner. We are all familiar with bar soap but did you know they make bar shampoo and conditioner? I didn’t either, but then I found some brands that make it, and I have to say my hair is looking good. I am super sensitive to dyes and perfumes, but I can use Ethique Brand Bodywash (Charcoal, kaolin, Oatmeal Bar for Sensitive sky); the oat grains are in the soap, so you get a bit of exfoliation action going on. They don’t have a scent-free shampoo and conditioner, which is how I found another brand called Whiff Botanicals. I’ve had the shampoo and conditioner bar for months, and my hair has never looked better. With the usual stuff, I would wash my hair every day, or else it would get greasy and limp; I can go days before I need to wash it, and that’s usually down to sweat.
MINIMIZE YOUR FOOTPRINT: no plastic bottles, no colorings, no fragrances, no palm oil, no sls, sles, parabens, cocamide, dea, silicones. No cruelty to animals through testing or otherwise. No to the over 20 ingredients you can find in most shampoos including water! If we don’t need it, we don’t add it. – Whiff Botanicals
Paper towels and toilet paper, I used to use Seventh Generation as they use almost 100% recycled paper, but then I found out about Bamboo products. Bamboo is technically grass which is why it grows so fast, has low water needs, absorbs more CO2, and produces more oxygen than trees. So wipe away with Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo TP and PT (I just realized paper towels initials are PT, but we don’t use the initials as we do with TP). Caboo Tree-Free also has tissues that I will be trying out in a few days when it’s shipped.
Toothpaste and dental floss. You no longer have to fight with people that squeeze the middle of the toothpaste tube due to Chewable Toothpaste Tablets. It’s a bit odd at first, but WELdental sells toothpaste tables in small glass bottles. Chew one tablet, add a wet toothbrush, and you will foam up in no time at all. Lucky Teeth sells bamboo dental floss in a small glass bottle that lasts way longer than plastic dental floss. Plus, Lucky Teeth and WELdental come in plastic-free shipping; it’s all cardboard boxes that you can recycle.
But wait, there’s more. The next step is the laundry detergent; you can replace that big old plastic bottle with Try Earth Eco-Strips. It saves space in your laundry room, and they claim it reduces massive amounts of CO2 due to a 94% reduction in Transportation Pollution compared to liquid detergent. Which makes sense because it’s 30 strips of soap with a thickness of heavy-duty paper; think wedding invite paper. So you can pack way more into an 18 wheeler than big detergent bottles, so it reduces the number of vehicles needs to transport.
Will I save the planet doing this? No. If everyone in the world made these switches, would climate change and trash in the oceans stop? No. So why am I doing this? Because I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and this is a step forward. So often, we are convinced it’s all or nothing, but that’s not true in this case. Can we eliminate all trash or waste? No, but we can decrease the amount, the sheer volume of stuff we chuck. What’s easier to clean up One Trillion Tons of plastic or One Million Tons of plastic? If we can reduce the volume, then we have a better chance of collecting, sorting, and safely trash(not in oceans) vs. what we have now. This is also a way to reduce waste while not giving up modern creature comforts or good hygiene.
In my view, let’s decrease our garbage to a manageable and then we can focus on ways to replace plastic with something that works, is better for everyone (Manmade Chemicals are bad for everyone), and is eventually affordable. We can also change some of our behaviors as well that makes for a healthier planet and you. Take reusable bags and reusable produce bags (put the fruit and veg in cloth bag vs. plastic) just small one-time purchases. The hardest part is remembering to bring them with you.
Last thing. Stop throwing trash everywhere; look for a trashcan. If you can’t find one, hold onto it until you find one.