Zero waste Dry Shampoo

I love dry shampoos for early mornings. If I have to wake up at 5:00am for work I am not waking up any earlier to shower. My hair is thin and can get greasy so I need dry shampoo. My only problem is that most dry shampoos are in arousal cans, and this is my solution. This recipe can be customized for your hair colour and preference. Any powder will do for a dry shampoo but this combo looks good and smells great. I used baking soda and cornstarch for the base and coco powder for the colour. You can remove the coco powder entirely and add essential oils or cinnamon for scent. For darker or lighter hair adjust the amount of coco powder. I used an empty pill container but you can use what ever you have handy.

Of course this is not the only option. I’ve also used baking soda or baby powder on its own and it worked great. This version is better because it blends into my hair nicely, but if I don’t have time to make it I go simple.

What You Need:

  • Corn Starch/Arrowroot Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Coco Powder (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • A containerIMG_5607

Recipe:

Mix 1/2 a tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1/2 a teaspoon of coco powder together and seal in an air tight container

Instructions:

Sprinkle some powder right onto your hair or into your hand first (or use a make up brush to apply). Apply to the roots of your hair, the ends of your hair won’t need it. Let sit for a minute, and then brush your hair.

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Let me know if you like it! You might need to customize it for your hair type.

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Low waste Lazy Soap

I got a ton of soap molds for Christmas and my birthday last year and haven’t used them! IMG_5593So I decided to give it a go. I wanted my first soap making experience to be so easy a child could do it so I used a soap base. I found a natural honey soap base at my local farming supplies store by chance and bought it. For only a couple dollars of soap base, some dyes and essential oils I made fifteen soaps so I was happy. The soap base was wrapped in plastic but it is still less packaging than fifteen soaps individually wrapped would have had.

I originally made uncoloured soaps but I found that boring and melted them again to add colouring. To add some texture I added some dried lavender from my garden to some, and coffee to an other. I think dried citrus zest would work great too.

All you have to do is melt the soap base. I did so using a double boiler (a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water). I have a specific metal bowl I use for all DIY things so that I don’t have to worry about it being soapy or beeswaz covered and then using it for food.

Once you melt the base pour it into your molds and add whatever you want to it. If you don’t have a mold you can use a silicon icecube tray or make a mold using a box/baking dish and line it completely with parchment paper ( I havn’t tried that yet so if it doesn’t work I’m sorry) and then cut them into squares after.

Have you tried melt and pour soap?

Shampoo Bar Review

I’ve been using the Avocado Co-wash from Lush for a couple of weeks now, and it’s not bad. Before we get to reviewing the product, I have a little problem with the shipping. Part of reducing our waste is reducing the distance products travel to get to us. I ordered from Lush online assuming that the bar (and other products) would be coming from the factory in Toronto (which I am a two-hour drive from), but it came from British Columbia! That is a huge difference in the size of the carbon footprint made. But other than that the packaging was completely zero waste, so I guess you have to pick your battles.

I’ve been trying to make my hair care zero waste, but I just can’t get on the #nopoo movement (showers are life). My hair is thin, very straight, and gets gross fast. I love the way the shampoo bar smells, and I find the scent stays all day, but I can’t use it every day. I find the bar to be very moisturising, but for me, this leads to greasy hair.

I think someone with curly hair would love this bar, but I’m currently using it as more of a moisturising treatment. I have an organic, sulphate free, phosphate free, vegan, made in Canada… shampoo that I love but it comes in plastic. I have been using the bar and shampoo alternately, and that is keeping my hair soft and clean. Maybe I’ll try another bar next time. I love the stainless steal container I bought though!

 

myshampoobar
my bar in the stainless steal container, and the compostable wrapper it came in

 

 

 

10+ Green New Years Resolutions

Here are some easy ways you can green up the new year. Try them all or a handfull. As long as you try something you’ll be making a difference. Every little change you make adds up to something big.

1. Say No to Plastic Grocery and Shopping Bags

plastic-pollution-infographBring your own reusable bags everywhere. I always keep a small cotton bag in my purse, and a couple bigger bags in my car. I also plan ahead to bring a bunch with me when I go grocery shopping or shopping at the farmers market. Not only does this save you money (in most countries they charge 1-25 cents per bag) it’s also more fun and customizable. You can design your own, or just buy some with designs you like. I have bags covered in cactuses, or with logos from sustainable business I support, or from places I’ve traveled. Tote bags are my favourite souvenir.

1.5  Say No to Plastic Produce Bags

 

producebags-wI just got a bunch of reusable produce bags for Christmas and I am excited to start using them. You can just use small canvas/tote/cotton bags, but I like these because they are made for produce. I prefer them to be see-through and light-weight so I have no problems at the cash register.

2. Say No to Plastic Bottles

This means more than just water-bottles. I see stats and infographics on plastic water bottles all the time. I know they are the main culprit but we need to stop using all plastic bottles. My university (like many) is a water bottle free zone. You can’t buy them anywhere, but you can buy pop, juice, and sports drinks in plastic bottles. Bring a reusable plastic bottle with you everywhere. I have a lot of them. It’s best to get them in glass or metal, but BPA free plastic is also good. Use an old jar if you have to.

I have a plastic bottle that rolls up and takes up no space that I use for travelling, a small metal one I bring in my purse, and many more. I change them depending on where I’m going (will it fit in the cup holder of my car?) and how long I’ll be gone (all day = a bigger bottle). I even have one with a place to put fruit/herbs/cucumber for infusing the water. Just get whatever kind you like and use it instead.

3. Say No to Any Disposable Cup

That means coffee cups, frappachinno cups, pop cups, you name it get rid of it. I always have a reusable coffee cup in my car, as well as a cute mason jar cup with a straw for iced/cold drinks.

4. Bye Bye Straws

We use thousands and thousands of straws, and they’re almost all made out of plastic. It’s such a silly thing to use such a horrible material for. Why on earth should we be digging up dinosaurs and turning them into a plastic straw? They would be upset. Either ask for no straw when you go out, or be super cool and bring your own reusable one. I hate asking for no straw. Sometimes they don’t care, but sometimes you get weird looks. It’s the price we pay for the planet.

When I make my own drinks I use reusable BPA plastic free straws, and I have stainless steel ones coming in the mail. They are easy to clean. I just rinse them out as soon as I’m done (especially with smoothies) and throw them in the dishwasher. Once my new straws and cleaning brush come in the mail it will be even better.

5. Go to the Farmers Market

Find whatever one is closet to you (I’m positive there is one, they’ve been poping up like crazy) and go to it. Even if you have to wake up early on a Saturday or day off. I work at the farmers market so I can tell you not all booths are organic, sustainable or healthy (I sell deep fried Russian food in paper bags or styrofoam, clearly I’m not in charge of the packaging), but there are lots that are. Even if they aren’t the best environmentally no one will stop you from using your own containers or bags (I use a reusable container nearly every Saturday and reusable bags constantly, since my customers are the best).

You’ll find seasonal produce, fresh produce and you can actually see the person who grows your food. You can ask them questions. It’s great. They might even have recipe ideas for you. You can find produce, cooked food, baked goods, meat, cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, candles, soaps, knitted stuff from sweet old ladies, honey, seamstresses, and it goes on.

Not to mention “go to a farmers market” is on every article listing cool date ideas.

6. Change One Part of Your Routine

This could mean changing your bed time routine so you use an organic toothpaste, getting sulfate free shampoo, using locally made soap, or using zero-waste lipstick. What ever it is, pick one small thing you do everyday and change it for the greener.

7. Buy Something Sustainable and Ethical this Year

One way to convince yourself to become a greener person is with a reward. I know the minimalist zero-wasters wont be a big fan of this one, but it will work. We like new things, and we like getting ourselves treats. Pick one thing like organic fair trade coffee instead of cheap chemical crap, or sustainable and ethically made shoes. If you turn going green into a gift to yourself you might stick to your resolutions this year.

8. Shop Mindfully

I know I just told you to buy something, but you really should be buying less. It’s hard. Try and buy only things you need or really really want. When you do buy something buy the version that is the best for the planet and the people making it. Also buy something that will last.

Follow this handy chart I found:

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9. Eat Less Meat and No Factory Farmed Meat

Eating meat is a tricky subject, but we all know the less of it we eat the healthier we are. If you want to become a vegan or vegetarian, if not just eat less meat. If you do eat meat, make it ethical. Spend more on good quality meat. If it doesn’t cost a lot than you know its from a factory farm that does not treat its animals well. An animal died so you could eat it, so we should at least take care of them well before that. The farmers market or a local butcher can be a good place to start.

This also goes for eggs. You can tell just by looking at an egg yolk if the chicken was treated well. The deeper and orangier the colour the better treatment the chicken had. A happy free-range chicken actually produces an egg with more nutrients! That’s just crazy. So make sure your eggs come from happy chickens, and your meat comes from happy animals.

10. Replace One Item with a Sustainable Version

This means things like switching from a disposable razor to a safety razor, switching from normal printer paper to sustainably sourced paper (certified wood, bamboo or sugar cane). There are a lot of options here so find a need in your life and swap it.

11. Bonus One: Plant Something

Growing something means more CO2 being turned into lovely breathable air, and it’s just fun. Make it a veggtable garden so you really know where your food comes from, a flower bed to make things prettier, an herb garden to spice up your meals, or a houseplant to make some clean inside air. Whatever it is, growing a plant can make you feel closer to nature, which is good for encouraging you to go greener. They’re also just pretty.

Let me know if you’ve tried any or all of these resolutions.

Lush Face Wash Review

Kalamazoo Beard and Facial Wash

I decided to switch, as much as I can, to zero-waste and/or environmentally friendly bath and beauty products. I wanted a face wash that smelled good, was zero-waste, made locally, and was moisturizing. I found this Kalamazoo beard and facial wash from Lush. I know I don’t have a beard, but the featured ingredient is pineapple. I love pineapple. I read some reviews from the bearded and non-bearded alike, and decided to order it.

I’ve organized my reviews in categories with a score out of five, lets see how Kalamazoo does. (Local and Packaging are similar or the same as some of my other reviews for Lush products)

Local 3/5

Lush is made in Toronto (amoung other locations) so its factory is as close to local as I could get. Toronto is only a couple of hours drive from me, and the closest store to me is an hour away. I hate driving so I didn’t go in person. It was ordered online.

Packaging 4/5

kalamazooI asked for the face wash for Christmas so I can’t show you the packaging it came in. I have ordered from them before and can tell you the packaging is pretty close to zero-waste. It all comes in a cardboard box (recyclable), and has biodegradable packing peanuts. Any bars, bombs, or other loose objects are in biodegradable wraps, and containers are just in the box with everything else.

I love the containers! I had not noticed until writing this post that the containers are “not virgin” meaning they are made from recycled materials. Lush also has a program where you can bring back five containers for them to reuse and you get a free face-mask. If I bought this in person the packaging would get a 5/5.

Ingredients 4/5

You can see the full ingredients list online. They only use safe synthetics and natural ingredients. I like that I can pronounce most of the ingredients like almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and fresh pineapple. What I wish was different was if the ingredients were organic. The only organic ingredient listed is jojoba oil. I do like that they have detailed descriptions of the ingredients and why they use them. They also support ethical buying, meaning they try and buy ingredients that are best for the environment and people.

Price 5/5

kalamazoo-reviewI think the price is pretty good. When you consider how much you use each time you wash your face (pictured to the left). I assume if you have a beard you’ll use more than I do. I got the smallest size of  100g for $10.95 CAD and the large is 240g for $24.95 CAD. It sounds a bit pricy but I don’t mind paying for natural ingredients, and made in Canada wages.

I only use a small amount and lather it up all over my wet face. It only takes a bit to work.

Does it work? 4.5/5

My face feels clean every time I use it. I find it very moisturizing. If my skin is dry I let it sit on my face a minute before I rinse it off, and than it moisturizes even more. I like the way it feels and smells. Sadly it does not smell like pineapple, but it still smells good.

If you’ve tried this or other face-washes let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If I am ever fancy enough to get paid for a review I will tell you.

 

Lush Tooth Powder Review

Atomic Tooth Powder

It seems Lush is my go to for zero-waste bath and beauty. I’ve been on a mission to find zero-waste toothpaste. I wanted something that still did the job, tasted good and came in as close to zero-waste packaging as possible. This was hard. I found natural toothpastes at my local health food store but nothing zero-waste. I did my research and eventually went with the atomic tooth powder. Lush has many different options but I picked this for the flavour.

I’ve organized my reviews in categories with a score out of five, lets see how Atomic does. (Local and Packaging are similar or the same as some of my other reviews for Lush products)

Local 3/5

Lush is made in Toronto (amoung other locations) so its factory is as close to local as I could get. Toronto is only a couple of hours drive from me, and the closest store to me is an hour away. I hate driving so I didn’t go in person. It was ordered online.

Packaging 4/5

I asked for the tooth powder for Christmas so I can’t show you the packaging it came in. I have ordered from them before and can tell you the packaging is pretty close to zero-waste. It all comes in a cardboard box (recyclable), and has biodegradable packing peanuts.

I love the containers! The containers are “not virgin” meaning they are made from recycled materials. Lush also has a program where you can bring back five containers for them to reuse and you get a free face-mask. If I bought this in person the packaging would get a 5/5.

Ingredients 4.5/5

atomicThe full list of ingredients can be found on Lush’s website. As far as my research has told me the ingredients aren’t too important when it comes to toothpaste/powder/tabs. What I mean is, that it’s the actual brushing action that cleans your teeth and the toothpaste/powder/tabs are just helping. With these ingredients I am very happy. It does have the same basic ingredients as home-made toothpaste, but much more. They have detailed descriptions of the ingredients and why they use them (you just click on each ingredient on the list and are sent to a new page).

Out of the 18 ingredients six are organic and fair-trade. I think this is great, and beats every conventional toothpaste. Lush also support ethical buying, meaning they try and buy ingredients that are best for the environment and people.

Price 4.5/5

atomic-reviewI think the price is very fair considering the amount of organic and fair trade ingredients, in addition to the product being made by hand in Canada. The price is 35g for $9.95 CAD. This sounds crazy expensive for a toothpaste replacement, but trust me it’s good. Pictured to the left is how much I use each time I brush my teeth.

You wet your brush and tap it into the powder. It looks like you barely use any but trust me it’s enough. That’s what makes it much more cost effective than the toothy tabs they sell.

Does it work? 3.5/5

atomic-review2I feel like it’s working? My teeth feel clean after words. I think I need to use it a lot more and see a dentist before we really make a choice on this. It gets nice and foamy when you use it and the taste is easy to get used to. I think I might try a minty flavour next time. At first the flavour is gross but the gross lasts for a second and changes to cardamom. I do like the flavour but it is weird changing from mint.

Overall I think this is a good product. I havn’t yet decided if I’ll stick with it forever.

 

If I am ever fancy enough to get paid for a review I will tell you.