A typical British bathroom is awash with colourful gels and 'exotic' smells, most of which contain an eye-watering amount of synthetic ingredients (including those branded as 'simple' and 'herbal'). It all amounts to a plastic-fantastic number of bottles and tubes, spilling over shelves and out of cupboards.
How can I go greener and leaner in the bathroom, I hear you cry? Here are some tips to get you started. (Rest assured your beauty and cleanliness will not be diminished; rather enhanced, in the process :-)).
- Swap all liquid soap for real soap. By real soap, I mean soap made the old fashioned 'cold pressed' way, without palm oil and other nasties. The Natural Soaps I sell at TWH are made in the UK by hand in small, fresh batches. Unlike shower gel, natural soap leaves no harmful residue in our waterways when washed down the plughole.
You may not get the bubbles galore you are used to (which are made courtesy of SLS, another name for palm oil) but you'll still get a decent lather plus the added bonus of a gorgeous, authentic aroma. Soap is so much better for you and kinder on your skin. Less plastic, less waste - it's the ultimate all-rounder!
- Swap Plastic Puffs & Mitts For Flannels & Cloths. The word 'flannel' might leave you feeling a bit queasy, but these veterans of the past are the ultimate washable, reusable cloth and will do a mighty fine job of giving you a rub down!
If you are flannel-less or would like something specifically fit for purpose, then you might want to check out my chosen range of cloths and wipes at TWH; from a Fabric Body Puff and Bamboo Wipes to Organic Cotton Make Up Wipes and new Hemp Cloths. All washable, and eventually, compostable.
- Swap Liquid Shampoo For Solid Shampoo. Shampoo soaps take a bit of getting used to as you have to give your hair time to adjust. Working up a lather can be a workout in hard water areas (if you've got a water softener you're sorted!). It is worth persevering as your hair's natural oils (not to be confused with grease) will return!
At The Wise House, after much trial and error I settled on Beauty Kubes, natural shampoo kubes made in Cornwall, UK. Plastic-free packaging - yey! (But alas in the imperfect world of trying to be eco, my 12 year old daughter is still stuck on her Pantene #workinprogress).
- Swap Your Plastic Toothbrush For A Wooden Toothbrush. An easy swap to make, avoiding the huge number of plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfill. I have both a kids bamboo toothbrush and an adults medium bristles beechwood toothbrush. (Insider news - we will soon be introducing a replaceable head toothbrush to save waste and money).
- Swap Your Unnatural Toothpaste For Natural Toothpaste. This is a simple swap, but a big one for some people. The Georganics Toothpaste that I stock doesn't contain fluoride, using other natural minerals and ingredients (like coconut oil) to keep mouth and gums clean.
My personal experience is entirely positive, after one years use, and I have had the 'all clear' from the dentist. It comes in an attractive glass jar, which will look a lot more designery on your shelf than a tube of Colgate...
- And Don't Forget Your Cleaning Products. Your bathroom is now an eco haven with a degree of minimalism worthy of Grand Designs. Don't forget to carry the vibe across to your cleaning methods and products.
White vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemons form the core of any natural cleaning caddy. I'm also very excited to introduce a new Bathroom Balm handmade by UK company Mangle & Wringer. An excellent Cif-like natural and plastic-free alternative, it removes bathroom tidemarks and the like with ease!
Scrub and buff-up using Loofah Sponges and Non-Sponges, which can be washed and reused and...yes, you guessed it...composted at end of life. I've just finished putting together an Eco-Geek Cleaning Starter Kit, pictured below, which is a good option if you are starting out. Add as little or much as you need!
Happy Swapping! - Lucy, The Wise House