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It’s 2019. It’s time we all started living in a more eco-friendly fashion. The problem is how people are advertising eco-friendly living: all or nothing. Which, it can be. But, you don’t have to jump right off the bridge and into the vegan or essential oil lifestyle (unless you want to!). It’s hard, and switching over completely takes time. Besides, a life that includes eco-friendly products and living can be balanced with science and technology. Not everything from back in the day should come back, just like not everything we have invented is the best (namely, a LOT of single-use plastics).
Start with one spot in your house, like the bathroom, and go from there. Even if it’s just switching to one of the below options, or cutting down on palm oil, you can do a lot. Then, when you’re ready, go from there. Believe me, it gets addicting and eye-opening once you start.
Watch your Products
Finished with one of your favourites and ready to replenish your stock? Read the label before buying new. There are so many products out there that contain palm oil. Like, so many. It’s in toothpastes, lotions, serums, soap, shampoo, lipsticks, lip balms, the list is seemingly endless.
I’ve recently just found out my beloved bb cream from Estee Lauder containers palm oil. So, now, I’m on the hunt to find one that doesn’t. I’ll be writing a blog post to review any new products that will make their way into my bathroom! I still haven’t got there yet as I’m a stockpile kind of gal.
Unfortunately, palm oil is often hidden under different names:
palm kernel oil; organic palm kernel oil; palmitate; palmate; sodium laureth sulphate; sodium lauryl sulphates; sodium dodecyl sulphate; elaeis guineensis; glyceryl stearate; stearic acid; strearth-2; steareth-20; sodium lauryl sulfoacetate; hydrated palm glycerides; sodium isostearoyl lactylaye; cetyl palmitate; ocyl palmitate.
Some of these may also be derived from coconut oil or ricinus oil. For the full explanation see my source here.
Now, throwing out your bathroom products just because they contain palm oil isn’t the right way to go. Instead, finish using your product, and when the time comes, buy something a little bit more sustainable.
Or, better yet, make your own!
DIY Dandelion Salve – has replaced my eye creams and serums…I only use the serum in the winter months as it can cause break-outs from the lush coconut oil. This summer, I’m hoping to update the recipe for the face!
DIY Like Lush Charcoal Soap – easy to make, this soap is perfect for acne-prone skin. Watch your melt-and-pours, as some bases may contain palm oil!
If you’re interested in learning more about palm oil, and how it affects a lot of your favourite snacks, the Rainforest Action Network has a great article here.
Cut Down on your Showers
That means the time spent in the shower AND the hot water. People tend to hop into the shower only to emerge hours later, looking pink and pruney. Chill out. It’s not the spa. There’s no need to waste precious water.
I’ve often thought of myself as a quick shower, but once I added a timer, I realized I’m really not. While I’d always come up towards the 10-minute mark, an amount of time that I’m sure is short for some people, I knew I could do better.
Eventually, I got a routine down and I’m always under 5 minutes.
Except for those shave, exfoliate, wash your hair showers. Those, I turn off the water when it’s not immediately needed aka shaving.
It’s so weird that people are SO obsessed with cotton swabs. I have had a pack of cotton swabs (cardboard, obvs) for YEARS. Honestly, who are these people who are ripping through cotton swabs, anyways?
Either buy a make-up brush that does the job for you (I love Eco-Tools and have been using for years), or just stop jamming them in your ear. Are there even more uses for cotton swabs than those two?
This is something I never even thought about until recently. I mean, you brush your teeth and that’s it, right? Except, no. Apparently, 111 million toothbrushes are thrown away EACH YEAR just by Canadians. That’s way too many.
Even after buying a bamboo toothbrush online as a kind of frivolous item, I never thought much about them. But, I’ve made the switch and am absolutely loving it! Not only does it help the environment (the bristles just need to be removed and the handle can be composted…I usually just snap the head off because I cannot, for the life of me, take the bristles out), but it makes your bathroom look much more chic.
You can get numbered ones, coloured handles, or coloured bristles to tell your toothbrush apart from your family’s. Because, ew, who wants to accidentally share a toothbrush?
I use HelloBoo toothbrushes and haven’t had any issues!
And after you do that…
Stop accepting the free toothbrush at your dentist and start advocating they give away bamboo toothbrushes. I know they’re horrible for the environment, but somehow, because it says free, I’m ready to take 5.
For your face! How many cotton rounds do you throw out because you’re taking off your make-up or using a refreshing toner or for whatever reason people use rounds for. Stop buying cotton and get some re-useable rounds.
I have a couple of cloths I use for make-up removal and for cleaning my brushes, but once I’m done with all of my cotton rounds, I’ll be purchasing some re-useable rounds.
Tip: Whenever you start in on something new, be sure to start it before you are fully rid of the old stuff. That way, if the new one isn’t up to snuff, or you’re getting used to it, you have time to adjust. Also, buy enough that you’re not going back to the single-use. You don’t want to be using re-useable rounds, only to run out because you haven’t done the laundry in weeks, and get pissed and stop your eco-friendly efforts.
Recycled Toilet Paper
Apparently, 27,000 trees are cut down A DAY in order for us to wipe our butt’s.
That is an unbelievably stupid amount of trees for something we literally use to wipe up shit.
So, stop using toilet paper (you know, bidets and stuff) or use recycled toilet paper.
Or, if you’re the fancy kind of person, bamboo toilet paper. I’ve recently started buying WhoGivesaCrap and am loving it as much as anyone can love toilet paper. They come in cute packing, which sparks up conversations about recycled toilet paper with guests!
Add a Plant
Because I’ll never stop recommending plants for your house.
Plants that are perfect for the bathroom coming soon!
Stop using liquid soap. Just stop. It’s easy. And, bar soap is much prettier.
Liquid soap was such a weird craze and now everyone and their dog uses liquid soaps (Bath and Body Works I blame you and your overly perfumed soaps) and I don’t get it. Much like the cotton swabs. Go back to bar soap. FOR EVERYTHING. Hand soap, body soap, face soap, shaving soap, get ‘er clean.
Plus, this sounds like it would smell way better than the kinds of soap you would get at the mall. The Etsy company also has a soap of the month club, which sounds luxuriously practical. What’s better than soap that arrives in your mailbox once a month, making sure you stay clean?
You’ll probably notice that I haven’t added home-made toothpaste to this list. It’s because I haven’t tried it and don’t yet believe in home-made toothpaste. I’m very skeptical of home-made toothpastes and am waiting on more information. Plus, you have to be careful of the measurements for a lot of the ingredients. For now, I’m sticking with my stock-pile of palm oil toothpaste until I’m through that and can switch to a more eco-friendly brand.
If you’re interested in alternative toothpastes, this Self article was really helpful.