Green Book Fairies #3: Let’s Talk About Washing Yourself!

Part three of our Green Book Fairies sees us exploring the bathroom – and finding ways to reduce plastic in there!

Let’s Talk about… Washing Yourself!

Each room gives us opportunities to reduce our waste. The bathroom may well be the worst offender for single-use and unnecessary plastic – which means it’s full of quick wins!

The problem:

From National Geographic: Today, personal care products fill entire aisles of grocery stores. The industry in the U.S. has grown into a $90 billion behemoth that rivals the pet, sports, and private loan markets in economic value.

Simultaneously, the industry’s plastic footprint has ballooned. The amount of plastic packaging on U.S. products (not just on personal care items) has increased by over 120 times since 1960—with almost 70 percent of that waste piling up in landfills. Globally, the packaging industry for beauty and personal care products, which primarily reflects plastic packaging, makes up nearly $25 billion in sales.

The solution:

Go solid! Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, soap, facial oil, body scrub (or make it yourself! See our blog), make up, bubble bath, hand moisturiser, the list goes on! You don’t compromise on quality and the companies who make these mostly use natural ingredients – far better for your skin and hair than many of the bottled ‘norms’. Solid items last far longer than their bottled alternatives, because by removing the water they are creating a far more concentrated cleaning product.

The bathroom is a room where we can all switch out a number of products. Starting with solid bars, maybe you could also switch to a metal razor. Washable face pads or flannels can be used instead of disposable alternatives – have a look on Etsy to find handmade items, often made from waste material so it’s win win!

Cleaning products should be considered too – like with the kitchen, white vinegar can be used instead of sprays.

A final tip – face-mask, body scrubs and more can often be made from ingredients in the kitchen.

Recipes for facemasks:

Thanks to Prevention.com for these recipes!

Porridge/oatmeal and yoghurt:

Stir together equal parts plain cooked oatmeal, plain full-fat yogurt, and honey. About 1 teaspoon of each is enough for a mask. Spread evenly over your face and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

Oat/Honey/Banana:

Mash together 2 tablespoons of raw oats, 1 teaspoon of honey, and half a banana. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of full-fat yogurt. Rub the mask in a circular motion on damp skin for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water, pat your skin dry, and moisturize.

Useful accounts to follow:

Need we say it, Lush. They invented the solid shampoo and have saved MILLIONS of plastic bottles from being created. Their main page on instagram is @lush and they have a tonne of local pages, too. @wastefreeplanet has some great ideas for making your own cosmetics and bathroom cleaners.

Fairy verdict:

“Switching to solid products might seem odd at first, but it’s a great transition and it’s easy when you travel, too. If you ever feel like something’s not quite working, you can sometimes melt the product with water to make a liquid version! Everything is more compact and it smells amazing in my bathroom!” 

Michaela, Slovakia 

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