Updated: Jun 24, 2020
See The AM Show interview here.
Did you know that the average household has more than SIXTY plastic bottles,containers and tubes in their bathroom/s?! * While these numbers are pretty mind-boggling, the great news is that the bathroom is also a place where there are lots of easy ways to reduce plastic! This Plastic-free July, I’m sharing tips for gradually reducing the plethora of plastic in your bathroom. As always, I endeavor to find tricks and tips that are easy, don’t take up much time, and can save rather than cost you money.
1. REFILL. There are a number of bathroom items that you can refill rather than replace.. Hand wash, shampoo, conditioner and body wash are all refillable from refilleries and bulk stores. (Find your closest refill spot here) The exciting news is that they are soon going to be more mainstream than that (I completely get that for many people an extra trip to a refillery is off the cards)! EcoStore now have refill stations at 5 New World supermarkets in Christchurch/ Wanaka – with a plan to keep expanding nationwide.
2. GO SOLID – Solid beauty bars are now a very accessible product, with brands being sold in supermarkets, health stores, markets and bulk stores nation-wide. Shampoo and conditioner is a great place to start, but you can find anything from face wash to shaving bars, moisturisers to deoderants and hair masks to body bars…. All in solid form. Most come wrapped in tissue paper or a cardboard box, and are therefore completely plastic-free! Price-wise, once you take into account how long they last (up to four times longer than their bottled counterparts) they are very affordable. I love my shampoo and conditioner from MiaBelle (you can use the code ECOJOURNEY10 to get 10% off) and my husband has a great shaving bar from Totally Balmy which lasts him around 18 months! Ethique is a NZ beauty bar brand which is taking the world by storm.
3. DIY -for those crafters amongst us, or those keen to really save financially, there are tonnes of easy recipes for things like makeup remover, face masks, face wash, dry shampoo and even makeup! If you’re keen to give it a go but now sure where to start, dry shampoo (cornflour) and makeup remover (coconut oil) really are one-ingredient hacks! If you’re ready to get a bit more adventurous, check out Pumpkins in Trees for lots of awesome recipes! I have started making her oil cleanser and love it!
4. NIFTY NON-PLASTIC ALTERNATIVES. It’s not just about the bottles, how about all the toothbrushes, razors, sanitary items, ear buds and face wipes? Well fortunately there is now a huge range of non-plastic alternatives available, like bamboo toothbrushes, eco-floss (I use both from The Eco Brush – code GREATECOCHALLENGE gets you 10% off), menstrual cups, face cloths and stainless steel razors.
Toothpaste is something that I have battled with, as much as I can’t stand the plastic/metal-lined tubes, it’s something that I am not willing to take risks with for my own and my family’s dental health! I know people who make their own toothpastes (usually a combination of baking soda and coconut oil), but I just worry that if I did this, down the line I may regret it. So I am very happy to have found a potential solution! Waste-free, but dentist-approved, and available in fluoride and non-fluoride, we are making the switch to DENTtabs for plastic-free July and all going well, forever! (watch this space for our how-to guide and review). You can use the code GREATECO10 for 10% off for a limited time.
5. My final tip is to use up what you have first. You don’t need to have an overhaul and biff every plastic bottle you have. In fact, it’s important to honour the resources involved in creating that bottle and product! Rather, cut it open and get out every ounce of product you can!! Then, gradually, as you finish off the items you have, replace them with some of these amazing alternatives.
Want to hear some more tips for reducing your waste this Plastic-free July? Check out the Aotearoa Plastic Free July Online Launch Party TONIGHT. (Weds June 24th) You can join plastic-free champions like Hannah and Liam from The Rubbish Trip, Ethically Kate, Kate Meads, Nic from Mainstream Green, Te Kawa and Shirley from Para Kore, Anthea from Remix Plastic, Coralie from Practically Green, oh, and ME. There will be demonstrations on how to make your own crackers and lip balm + virtual house tours, spot prizes and the chance to connect with hundreds of other people around the country who will also be taking part in the challenge. Sign up (free) here.
Happy Plastic-free July everyone! And remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.
*from my own survey. Based on a four person household. This research is ongoing and I will continue to update these statistics.