Zero Waste – Personal Care
by Maëlann Bleau (June 2019)
In this edition, we will see how it is possible to reduce our environmental footprint by changing some of our habits in our personal care. Of course, these are just suggestions, there are many other ideas out there.
Dental hygiene: if you need to get a new tooth brush, try a bamboo one, they are biodegradable, keeping one more waste item out of our oceans! You can buy them in bulk stores, in certain pharmacies and in Health Food stores like Avril, or you can order one on Amazon. Quebec stores like OLA bamboo and COOP COCO carry them too. Toothpaste: Several alternatives exist to buying your toothpaste in a plastic tube: you can buy it in bulk, in a more liquid form, made by a company called Rose-Citron. You won’t need to buy a new container every time you refill your own, creating less useless waste. You can also make your own toothpaste: lestrappeus.es/dentifrice, or in a more solid form: blogcoopcoco.ca/recette-dentifrice-solide-maison/.
As for Body Wash or Shampoo, you can find them easily in bulk stores in liquid or bar form. They are just as efficient as those bought in their containers. You can also make your own at home : www.mieux-vivre-autrement.com/shampoingsolide-un-guide-complet-et-4-recettes-a-realiser-a-la-maison. html
The same goes for hydrating creams, for your face or your body, you can find them in bulk stores or in zero-waste stores, like the Eco-Vrac store in Lacolle. You can also simply use Shea butter to hydrate your skin, or vitamin E for rougher parts, like elbows.
As a make-up remover, you can simply use coconut oil preferably applied on a little re-usable cotton cloth pad. You can make your own out of face cloths, or buy them in Bulk stores like OLA Bamboo, they come in a nice little bamboo box. This will greatly reduce the tubes and containers normally thrown out after only one use. You can also buy a make-up removal cream in bulk stores which is perfectly adequate for all skin types.
Apart from daily care, you may want to occasionally use a facial-mask or exfoliate your skin to remove impurities. Even this is possible without creating waste! For a facial-mask you can make your own using one of the many recipes available online using common ingredients you have at home. Yogurt, honey and cocoa are examples of ingredients that are good for your skin. You can also buy clay in a powder form. You must choose a clay that suits your skin type. Ghassoul clay powder can be used on different skin types. All you have to do is to mix one tsp. of clay powder to one tsp. of water and you will have a super facial-mask, just as good as the ones bought off the shelf. Here is a recipe for a facial exfoliant: just mix olive oil, sugar and honey. For your body, this is an excellent recipe: https://fr.davidsuzuki.org/blogues/recette-beaute-exfoliantcafe-anti-gaspi-zero-dechet/
For shaving cream for men and women, avoid buying aerosol cans. These contain palm oil, triethanolamine, isopentane, parabens, etc. They are polluting because they contain butane or propane gas and are therefore refused at recycling sorting stations and sent to landfills. Instead you can use a shaving bar soap made by the Savonnerie des Diligences, in Austin Quebec, (www.savonneriediligences.ca). This product is efficient and durable, and it is such a pleasure to apply it with a shaving brush. It is also preferable not to use disposable razors. You can use a razor with exchangeable blades or an electric razor with rechargeable batteries, that way you also save on soap and water!
Among the many advantages of making one’s own personal care products, apart from saving money, you have control over the ingredients used, as well as helping the environment by cutting down on plastic packaging.
If you have recipes or ideas to suggest to help reduce the impact of consumerism on nature and the environment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to share your ideas with our readership. Thank you and all the best of luck with your zero waste personal care products!