In my plan to cut out excess packaging, I discussed my plans for cutting out excess packaging this year. However, first I need to know which packaging I have that’s excessive and can be cut, so a small green home audit about said packaging is in order.
I went through my bathroom and found the following packaging – along side each I’ve made notes about which I can cut and which I’m not so sure about.
Packaging in my bathroom:
- Organic body wash: this was an unnecessary impulse buy and one I don’t need it and two I can cut it by using unwrapped bar soap, homemade body wash, or fill a reusable container with body wash at the natural food store. Plus, I already make homemade body scrub, which is a lot like body wash.
- Organic shampoo: I rarely use shampoo and don’t need a special kind so I can get a refillable bottle instead.
- Conditioner – I have naturally curly hair (blah) and use a super charged, really good organic conditioner. Since I can’t find a decent conditioner in bulk, I don’t know if I can cut this. One option is to make my own conditioner. I make hair masques, but I’ll have to look into homemade conditioner.
- Organic face wash – I should make my own like I used to, but not sure if I want to. I like my current face wash.
- All natural face grains: I LOVE these facial grains, but I can make my own facial grains and keep them in a reusable container, they’re not as good IMO, but close.
- Organic shaving cream: well, I could quit shaving, or figure out how to make my own. This is a bath product I haven’t ever tried to make though, so I’m not sure. We’ll call this a maybe.
- Razors – I use recycled razors from Preserve. Right now I like shaving, so I suppose I’ll keep them.
- Bath scrubby – I usually have a washable bath scrubby in the tub, most of the time made of natural hemp – right now though for the last year I’ve been using one made with organic cotton fibers. Since I use them to death and rewash, I’m not concerned.
- Lip gloss: OMG I have so much lip gloss that it’s embarrassing. I LOVE lip gloss, especially my Tarte lip gloss. I think though what I’ll do is just commit to buying new Tarte and one take along organic lip gloss when I run out, then recycle the packaging. Another option is to make my own lip gloss more often.
- Deodorant – This is one of the biggest baddies in my bathroom. I don’t buy organic or natural because I’ve never found one I like that works. Trust me, I’ve tried a ton too. The perfect goal would be to find a healthier one that works in less packaging, but I’m not holding my breath.
- Cosmetics: I actually own very few cosmetics. I don’t really wear make-up much due to the excess packaging and time involved. I have maybe 4-5 organic products, but they were all sent to me by companies for reviews and all have recyclable packaging. However, it’s not like I’m out there buying cosmetics.
- Body lotions: I actually have two bottles of lotion right now, (impulse buys) which is not cool. I used to buy only bulk lotion. However, I think what I’ll do here is switch over to just using my organic soy lotion bars. I LOVE these bars and the packaging is not only reusable but recyclable.
- Face lotion: I hate my current face lotion, and frankly don’t use it much. It’s an organic brand that turned out to be lame. I would like a good face lotion, but I think I’ll stick with making my own unless I can find a brand I actually like that comes in recyclable packaging.
- Q-tips – not organic, and come in lame packaging. I’ve never seen them in bulk though, but I bet could find them in organic cotton. They’d still have the packaging though, but I use them for various things, so I’m not sure I’d give them up.
- Nail polish remover and nail polish – this along with the deodorant above is a big bad, but I like cute nail colors. Darn it. I need to switch over to just using more natural brands of both. Goal – better brands and just a couple of colors.
- Female products: I actually have various sorts; reusable pads, organic tampons, and organic pads. I should cut out all non-reusable pads, which I never used to use ever (not sure why I half switched? Lazy maybe). There are lots of options that are not disposable, so being lazy is a bad excuse.
- Hand soap: I always buy bulk soap or make homemade hand soap and refill my refillable container, so I’m doing good here.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – I only buy recycled toothbrushes from Preserve and I recycle them when I’m done. I’m not sure what to do about the toothpaste situation. I currently use Tom’s of Maine cinnamon clove paste with fluoride. I know the debates about fluoride, but I’m on the side of it’s better. I’m not sure if I could make my own. I’ll look into it, because it would cut out the packaging. However, one good thing is that the tubes are recyclable so maybe this is some packaging I could keep.
- Floss: my dental floss comes in plastic packaging and while I do toss it in the recycling bin, I’m not 100% sure it’s recyclable. I need to cute out floss packaging, but since I don’t know anything about it, I’ll need to look into it.
- Oils – I don’t use perfume, but I do use essential oils. The packaging is recyclable though, and I use them to make homemade beauty products, so I won’t be cutting them. Note, I rarely buy them.
- Hair ties and clips: I use little plastic bands and plastic hair clips right now if I want to wear my hair pulled back. I could quit that and just use a piece of cut hemp like I used to.
- Comb – I have a plastic comb, which will probably last many more years. I should buy a more sustainable, non-plastic version the next time I need one though.
Whew. That’s a lot of bathroom stuff, and I’ve got a lot less than most people I know, which is scary. All in all my audit revealed the following…
- There’s some non-reusable packages I can cut. Shampoo, lip gloss, body wash, and facial grains. I’ll need to get some refillable containers that are non-toxic for these products or buy less (like with the lip gloss).
- I need to research floss and see what’s out there that’s eco-friendly.
- My bathroom is pretty non-toxic overall. I use mostly organic products, but I could find a better, more eco-friendly versions of deodorant, cotton swabs, and nail care products.
- I need to do away with non-reusable female care products and plastic hair clips and bands.
- I need to find out if it’s possible to make homemade organic shaving cream.
If I do all this, it’ll save on lots of packaging and result in a healthier bathroom overall. Coming up soon, I’ll run green home audits for packaging in the kid’s bathroom, kitchen, and pantry too.
Now, is there any excess packaging in your bathroom that you could cut?
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