• Vicky Lesant

5 Changes To Make Today, To Be More Sustainable.

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

So as part of my new year resolution to be more sustainable these were the first 5 products, which I can swap to today and start changing my habits. I have discussed my experience and shared some of the knowledge I have found out whilst researching. This is just step 1 in making it happen! Lets go...


SHAMPOO BAR

Looking at going plastic free in the bathroom is easier than you think. This was my first swap, to get rid of some plastic bottles. I got a bit over excited when I saw a shampoo bar in the shop and bought it straight away, but I need to use up the shampoo bottles I already have in my bathroom first. But for you, I tried it out to let you know how I got on.

You lather it up in your hands first, as you would with soap and then you can apply the bar directly to you hair to get more lather. Then rinse it out, easy! It lathered up quicker and more than what I was expecting, which was great. It didn't leave my hair silky smooth as I am used to with my liquid shampoo so I will look into getting a nice conditioning bar too. After reading a lot of reviews a few people have said they didn't like it at first, but after trying different brands they found something which worked for them, so don't give up.

There are many brands producing shampoo bars so they are becoming easily accessible. Also, check for sustainable packaging as I was so disappointed when I opened the cute box and it was all wrapped in cling film.


Another option if you are not quite convinced by the shampoo bar is to find a place where you can fill up and re-use your old bottles, this is becoming more popular and hopefully you can find one nearby you.


In china: Eco&More (Wechat ID: iloveecoandmore) also have refill stations in Shanghai hopefully they can expand to surrounding areas soon! Taobao has lots of shampoo bar options.

In the UK: sustbeauty is a great place to buy some plastic free bathroom products.


SHOPPING BAGS

Most people have converted to using their own bags, but if you are like me and have bit of a scatter brain, there is still those annoying times when you forget. So as part of my new sustainable lifestyle I made my own bag and now carry it everywhere. Tutorial to make your own super easy macramé shopping bag coming soon!


In China: BULK HOUSE on taobao stock some nice looking bags for your daily shops including, little mesh bags to put your fruit and veg in.




BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH

I love my new toothbrush, it reminds me every morning I am doing my bit to help the planet. The handle is made from Bamboo which is 100% biodegradable, antibacterial by nature and fast growing. The bristles on the toothbrush are slightly more complicated. The toothbrush I bought has bamboo/charcoal fibres - although I am not sure that is true, as they are pink!

A variety of options for the bristles are available with some being more sustainable than others. MyPlasticFreeLife explains in more details.



To summarize:

Charcoal is 100% biodegradable, but there are concerns about the abrasiveness if used over a period of time. According to getquip.

BPA free Nylon 6 is known to be resistant to degradation in the natural environment.

BPA free Nylon 4 will biodegrade but only in certain conditions and is quite hard to come by. Note: most of the toothbrushes just say nylon so it is difficult to know if it is 6 or 4 and sometimes even the manufacturer doesnt know.

Plant based 100% biodegradable but doesn't last for very long and needs to be replaced every couple of weeks.

Pig Hair is the most sustainable option but it is not vegan and is not guaranteed it is cruelty free.


So, now the decision is up to you, I think I made a small mistake buying my one with pretty pink bristles – not so natural! But I am still learning, it seemed so simple until I started really researching into the options. There are also options out there for plant based handles but I am happy with my bamboo one for now. Toothpaste is my next plastic free mission – watch this space!


BEESWAX WRAPS

So I was looking for a zero waste alternatives to single-use plastic wraps. Obviously cling film is big no no and terrible for the environment but what about tin foil? Oh that's really not good for the environment either, read curiosity's articles for more info. So I found beeswax wraps using all natural materials, hallelujah! BuyMeOnce has a great review covering different aspects, overall they cost a little bit more and require more care but the environmental impact is a clear winner.


I bought mine from BEEZIRO. Made of GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton, natural beeswax and jojoba oil. When I first received it the waxy feeling is a little bit odd, but as I have started using it I am pretty impressed with the ease and versatility. I love that I will never have to deal with cling film sticking to everything and anything apart from my sandwich again!


RE-USABLE BOTTLE/MUG

Now I am on a mission to make it a habit to carry my water bottle with me all the time. So, hopefully now I can stop buying any bottles of water. If you are looking to buy a new bottle look for BPA free, glass or metal. I even made a little bag to put mine in!

Tutorial coming soon!


We were recently in the Philippines and they had water refill stations everywhere which is great. I was also looking into a water bottle which filters directly from any water source in case filling up is not so accessible. I might come back to that one later, for now I have my eye on this one Alkaline Water Filter Bottle (Glass), pH


HYDRATE which seems highly recommend.


For my naughty little coffee habit, I started off just resisting buying a coffee on the way to work and actually I was feeling good about this and saved some money. However, I know I will get caught out soon, especially when travelling and I just need that coffee or chocolate (I am a mocha kinda gal) pick me up! I bought this amazing Stojo one which is collapsible so even fits in my small handbag, so perfect for on he go. It is made from LFGB Certified silicone and so far I have had no leaking disasters!


In china: these are available to buy in store at Cityshop.

TIPS
  • Use up what you have already before making my mistake of jumping in headfirst!

  • If replacing your toothbrush, don't throw your old one away, store it with your cleaning stuff, may come in handy to clean that small crevice one day.



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