US Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, is one of four federal lawmakers sponsoring a bill to phase out single-use plastics. According to a press release from Udall’s office, The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 would eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic products, hold corporations accountable for wasteful products, reduce wasteful packaging, and reform the broken waste and recycling collection system.
“The plastic pollution crisis is past the tipping point: our communities, our waterways, and even our bodies are at risk,” Udall said. “We are already bearing the cleanup costs of mountains of plastic waste, and it will only get worse for future generations. We have a responsibility to act now before the overwhelming public health, environmental, climate and economic effects of plastic pollution reach the point of no return.”
My journey with plastic continues. Although strange, it’s been a little harder with COVID and staying home to try new products, as I’m not shopping as much for a wide variety of reasons. For the most part, I am running down my current plastic bottle products to switch over to products without plastic containers.
Before I dive into my assessment of the products I am experimenting with, I do want to share that in Santa Fe we have a “refill store” called the SOAP Refill Station. It’s a brilliant idea. Here is a short overview from our local paper…
“The concept behind the shop is simple: we don’t need to trash the earth to keep our bodies and homes clean. Essentially, this is the stainless steel coffee mug option for home and beauty products—bring a reusable container, refill with your favorite product, and voilà! One less plastic bottle in the landfill.
Bulk drums and jugs, up to 55 gallons in capacity and containing products such as shampoo, stain remover and dish soap line the walls of the storefront at 1925 Rosina St., Ste. H. Tables in the middle of the room hold large aluminum tubs of powdered laundry detergent, slabs of hard soap, and bath bombs Harmon makes in-house.
There’s even an “oil bar” at the back for customizing one’s product of choice with essential oils and exfoliants.
All the soaps are plant-based and free of synthetic dyes and fragrances. Products are priced by weight, with discounts on larger quantities.”
Visiting this store before COVID hit made me realize that I can reuse the bottle I have if I just refill them. I am still cutting down on my plastic going to the landfill.I mention this because maybe you have a similar store near you. Our coop also has a few refill products – another place to check. Your goal might be to just refill rather than trying non-plastic container products.
However, if you are interested in less plastic in your home, here are my experiments with various products.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
Thanks to my niece, I was introduced to the idea of bar shampoo and conditioner. I have tried two different company’s products – one local, one national. The local product shampoo worked great and I loved the light tangerine smell. However, it made me question how good a conditioner bar could be. I never seemed to get the conditioning it suggested. I’m happy to report that the shampoo/conditioner my niece recommended, Hibar, scored high marks for both washing and conditioning.
The next test will be how long they last because I will say, they are definitely more expensive than bottled products. I’ve also found that at this point in my life, I don’t actually need to wash my hair everyday so that will save on the product use as well.
BODY & FACE BAR SOAP
This is an easy one, I’ve been using bar soap on my body for awhile. I enjoy finding fun bar soap shapes, smells and ingredients when I travel or at my local shops and farmer’s market. There are so many to choose from. One of my favorites lately is made from Goats Milk.
My face soap adventure was a different matter. I am a long-time Eminence face cleanser user and was concerned about changing my face routine to bar soap. But, I found I didn’t need to worry. I tried two different products in two different price ranges. The more expensive bar was by ethique. I liked how it felt on my skin, that it was chemical free and that it had a very mild smell. Cetaphil also makes a nice face bar soap at a much more reasonable price. I recommend both.
Well, this is where my story gets a little rough…no pun intended. For one month, I have been using a body lotion bar which I like but I can’t say it has converted me just yet. I like that it is locally made, works great on hands, feet and elbows. However, there is a challenge to smoothing it on your skin. It works best if you warm it up in your hands.
Because it is hard to “spread”, I have also experimented with pure coconut oil which I use for cooking and was easy to put in a glass jar and just refill. Smoothing on problems solved. In the winter, coconut oil will be “hard” but quickly turns to liquid in your hands.
I may still need to keep a bottle of lotion around but at least now I have options and feel I will cut down on my lotion bottle usage over time.
Here’s my before and after shower caddy pictures
That’s it for this month, thanks for reading.
Next month I’ll share my use of Tru Earth Laundry Detergent…
Just a reminder…
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