I feel like I say this on all of my posts but I am really excited to share this with you today! There is a small (okay big) chance that I am just easily pleased but I will leave that up to you to decide. So many of you have made requests for me to talk about the things coming up over the next five weeks so I really hope you enjoy it.
For most of us the good old trusty toilet is one of the first places we visit in the morning. Therefore, I think it makes sense that we start “from the bottom up” – pun intended – in today’s post. Despite what you might think there are actually lots of options when it comes to wiping our bottoms!
Recycled or Bamboo Toilet Paper
The classic and most well-known is recycled toilet paper. There are some amazing brands out there that can work out quite competitively with supermarket prices with the added benefit of being PLASTIC FREE! Why bother with recycled toilet paper? Because it saves around 30,000 litres of water and 64% of the energy used to create your standard bog roll. And did I mention it’s plastic free? These are two of the brands I have tried in the past:
Uranus Wiper (can we take a second to enjoy the name!)
These rolls are 4 ply, have 150 sheets per roll. If you buy the big pack of 45 toilet rolls (I recommend the big pack if you have settled on a product as it often – not always – ends up cheaper) it will cost you £29.99. So that means we have 6,750 sheets of toilet paper, costing 0.4p per sheet. Not too bad when you consider certain puppy related toilet rolls cost around 0.3p per sheet.
Who Gives a Crap (yet another amazing name!)
These I have to say are probably some of the most beautiful toilet rolls you will ever see. They are 3ply rolls of 370 sheets costing £36 for 48 rolls. Let’s do the maths again… that works out as 17,760 sheets at 0.2p per sheet, cheaper than the supermarket. One thing I would say is that these are Australian size sheets so are smaller than what you might be used to in the UK. They also have a great bamboo ‘premium’ range you can try too.
This might seem a little out there, but more and more people are actually switching over to using a bidet attachment on their toilets. I am actually quite keen to give this a go but haven’t worked out how to do it in rental. If you have tried this let me know in the comments, I am genuinely intrigued to hear your thoughts.
All Things Bar
This one came about when I was a carer in my second year of uni. I realised that the people I visited all had bar soaps instead of liquid and to be honest the switch was a no-brainer because they just smelt so good!
I won’t go on about this one too much but I would say if you haven’t tried it, do. The next time you run out of shower gel and you find you’re a bit short of money, why not pick up a Dove bar soap (ignoring company ethics for a second), they only cost 50p and they come in a cardboard box.
I wouldn’t advise using a big company like Dove if you can afford to, because there are loads of amazing independent soap makers out there who are reasonably priced and are committed to being waste free. If you want some recommendations, I have too many to list here so send me a message and I can point you in the right direction.
Just a quick note, be careful if you are using scented soaps in the shower as they are not always good for your downstairs regions! We always like to use a non-scented bar in the shower and a nice scented one for hand washing.
Bar Shampoo and Conditioner
With this one, I think it is really easy to fall into the trap of heading straight to your nearest Lush and spending more than you need to. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lush as a company but its just not sustainable for my wallet to shop there every time I need to wash my hair. I much prefer using brands such as Friendly Soap, Eco-Warrior or Alter/Native that have some great shampoo bars under £3 and conditioner bars for a little more than that. They are great because not only are they great for your hair and the planet, they can also last up to two times as long as the liquid alternatives.
Make sure that you are drying out your shampoo and conditioner bars using soap racks, like this one, so you don’t lose extra product from the bar dissolving unnecessarily.
Another great thing to look into, if this is your thing, is soap pouches. They are fairly inexpensive, can be thrown in the washing machine and are great for both exfoliation and lathering up the bars to their full potential.
Top Tip – Lather up the bars in your hands and then rub your hands through your hair as if it were a liquid product.
Shaving Bars and Cleansers
You have already heard me go on about how amazing safety razors are, but did you know you can actually get shaving cream in bar form too! Again, they are fairly inexpensive and can be found at most of the same brands that I mentioned above.
I am currently in the process of trying a new one from Friendly Soap (and so is my Dad!) – I will release a full review of the product in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled.
You can also get cleanser bars to wash your face which I think is really cool too! Again, this is something I am yet to try but I will update you in due course. Let me know in the comments if you have tried them and how you got on.
Is it just me that calls teeth that? I hope not! This is a bit of a contraversial one for me and I would just like to say here Do not compromise your oral health for the sake of a plastic free product. I have said before that when I hear about people trying to make their own toothpastes it scares me a little, so have a chat with your dentist next time you’re in.
Of course there is the obvious switch that people make to bamboo toothbrushes, but honestly this doesn’t work that well for me. They are great if you use a manual toothbrush but my dentist has always recommended an electric toothbrush due to the superior clean it gives. This is one of those things I am not willing to compromise on. However, I have found a really cool recycling scheme from LiveCoco, who make toothbrush heads that you can return to the company who will ensure they are responsibly recycled. They are also packaged in cardboard which means I can just compost the box, leaving it as close to waste-free as I am happy to go at this stage. This isn’t an ideal situation, but it is as good as I can come up with for now.
I have previously tried toothpastes that have been raved about online, but have later discovered they don’t have fluoride in. I, personally, am in the ‘must contain fluoride’ camp due to it’s cavity prevention properties, so have tended to steer clear of these since. I have, however, found a plastic free toothpaste that does contain fluoride- recommended by my dentist – called Parla. These are actually toothpaste tablets, which I know not everyone is fond of, but this is what I am personally most comfortable with for now.
If you are in the ‘fluoride free’ camp, one of the most widely used plastic free alternatives is Georganics, and comes in various flavours.
The only thing I would say is that toothpaste probably isn’t the area of going zero-waste where you are going to make savings. This is unfortunate, however, you can make savings by using discount codes or signing up for subscriptions (check that you can cancel any time). The Parla toothpaste, is a little more expensive than the more middle range toothpastes you may find in a supermarket, but for me the benefits outweigh the extra cost.
This is just a quick note, actually a plea, to end on. Cotton buds have been talked about a lot in recent years and a lot of people recommend using bamboo cotton bud alternatives. I personally, would never recommend this. Why? Because it is still a single use product which incorporates cotton which is extremely energy intensive to make. If you are in the market for some cotton buds, I suggest you give these silicon, reusable ones a go from LastSwab. There are lots of other brands, however, these are the most well-known ones on the market. If you do want to try them or any of their other products make sure to use the code LITTLEBYLOTTIE to get 10% off your purchase.
Turns out I once again had a lot to say and there are certainly some great swaps I have missed off this list. Let me know in the comments what your favourite swaps are or any great brands you have tried. Next week I will be taking you through some cool plastic free kitchen swaps you can make! Make sure to check in every Thursday at 6pm for a new product review and Monday at 6pm for a new blog post.