I have found that toiletries is an area that I still struggle with, especially when it comes to toothbrushes and toilet paper. However, there are many simple solutions to things such as toothpaste, soap and even bathroom cleaners. Basically, if you have a good supply of baking soda, vinegar and Dr. Bronners, you’re set.
Cleaners; I clean my bathroom frequently so that I don’t have to use strong chemicals to get built up gunk out of the toilet or bathtub. I use Dr. Bronners and baking soda. Usually, I will merely mix the two together and scrub away!
Deodorant; I generally put some baking soda (bulk from the co-op) in my hand, add a few drops of water to make a paste and apply it under my arm. Sometimes, when the occasion calls for something fancy, I use a spray, herbal deodorant that comes in an aluminum can from Burt’s Bees that smells divine.
Feminine Products; I must admit, I am in love with my Diva Cup. It is a hundred times more comfortable than tampons, and more convenient. One must be comfortable with yourself to go with the option though. I also will use cloth pads, which can be rinsed when soiled, then put into the laundry.
Make-up; It is indeed a blue moon if I ever am to wear make-up. However, Lush has several great options that, while not always completely waste free, are certainly more environmentally conscious than most.
Perfume; I use an essential oil for a perfume that comes in a glass bottle. Patchouli oil is a personal favorite.
Razors; I still need to find a good straight razor.
Shampoo; I use a combination of Dr. Bronners and baking soda to wash my hair. In the shower, I put some baking soda in my hand, get it wet so if forms into a paste, rub into the roots and rinse well. Every couple of washes or so, I’ll use Dr. Bronners to keep my hair soft. I also find Dr. Bronners at the co-op in bulk.
Soap; I found some bars of soap at a farmers’ market during the summer and bought a few in different delicious smells. They are made from goats milk and keep my skin so soft that I rarely have to use lotion. You’d be surprised at the soaps that you can find at farmers’ markets, and you’re supporting local artisans at the same time!
Toilet paper; When in the comfort of my own home, I rarely use toilet paper, but wash instead. The toilet paper I do buy is Seventh Generation toilet paper, which is made from 100% recycled paper that is 80% post-consumer. They also use a chlorine-free manufacturing processes and are promoted by Greenpeace.
Toothbrush; I have yet to use up my toothbrush that I have had since before the great experiment began, but the Environmental Toothbrush is going to be next on my list of toothbrushes to buy. You can recycle the cardboard they come in and compost them once they are done.
Toothpaste; During the first part of my adventures, I simply used up the leftover toothpaste that I already had. Then, I switched to baking soda, which I can buy in bulk at the local co-op. It was effective, but isn’t what I’d exactly call a pleasant experience. A friend told me about a company called Lush that has many different kinds of cosmetics that are wonderfully environmentally conscious. They make a product called toothy tabs that you can use instead of toothpaste. They come in a box that can be recycled. Even if you have to have Lush ship you something, they will package your product in old newspaper instead of plastic or styrofoam.