More sustainable swaps

Let me start by warning you that this is going to be a long one. So this post is pretty much a follow on from my previous post Replacing Everyday Disposables because in the last couple of months I’ve made an effort to swap out more everyday essentials for sustainable alternatives. It’s almost been a whole month since my last post because I wanted to make sure I’d had enough time to give all the products I’ve bought a try, and decide whether I like them or not. I’ll start by admitting that sustainable, natural products are expensive. This is often because the companies producing them are small and they don’t choose to use the cheapest ingredients or materials, instead they sustainably source them from ethical producers. However, in my efforts to move towards a more sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle, I’m buying less stuff. My definition of stuff mostly includes endless new clothes, since that used to be where most of my money went, but also all the unnecessary things I used to think I needed. Money that would have otherwise been spent on all that stuff is now free to be used to make sustainable swaps.

Before I dive into what I thought of each product, I want to rave about the company I chose to buy from. I discovered Peace With The Wild on Instagram and everything I talk about here was bought through them. They have a lovely selection of sustainable, natural alternatives, most of which are plastic-free, and they run an amazing Instagram account (I’ll link that here) with a really helpful IGTV about their products. Obviously there are lots of eco-friendly online shops such as Plastic Freedom (which I think has an even larger selection, so that’s where I’ll be shopping next), The Wise House, and The Plastic Free Shop, amongst many others, so if you’re interested in buying eco-friendly products there are lots of options.

Each product I list will have a link to it on Peace With The Wild in the image description, just in case you fancy purchasing any.

Georganics Natural Toothpowder

Before purchasing this I had actually already switched to a natural, SLS-free toothpaste but it still came in a plastic tube. Georganics also does an actual toothpaste, not just a powder. I opted for the powder because I wanted to get used to it so I could take it in my hand luggage when I travel. Since I’m not a massive fan of mint, I chose the spearmint flavour over the peppermint – although it also comes in pure, tea tree, red mandarin and activated charcoal (slightly too experimental in terms of flavour for me just yet). I’ll be honest, at first it was truly vile to the point where I struggled to brush my teeth without retching. But I persevered and after a month and a half I can say I actually quite like it. The spearmint taste is very subtle which meant that, at first, all I could taste was the sodium bicarbonate. Once your mouth gets used to it, the spearmint does come through and I do prefer it to the overpowering mint taste of regular toothpastes.

Not only is it natural and vegan, it’s also plastic-free. The packaging is fully recyclable or reusable (maybe you’re into making your own candles). When I originally planned this post the lid had a plastic lid liner, however Georganics have recently replaced it with an alternative made from recycled cardboard which is great to hear. There’s no doubt that I’ll be repurchasing, although I might give the peppermint flavour a try next time.

Georganics Mouthwash Tablets

Before these tablets I didn’t use mouthwash so these never really replaced anything, they were more of an addition to my oral hygiene routine. My hatred for mouthwash was a consequence of my hatred for strong mint flavours, but after testing the toothpowder I was pretty certain the tablets wouldn’t be as strong as other mouthwashes I’ve tried. Once again the mint taste is subtle, which I’m thankful for in a mouthwash, and I really love these. I bought a jar of 180 tablets, but for less than double the price there’s a jar of 720 which I’ll buy to replace this jar. Just like the toothpowder, these tablets are great for travelling and I’m going to make sure I keep this small jar once it’s empty so I can decant some from the larger jar when I travel.

As well as spearmint, these tablets come in the flavour wild thyme (not my cup of tea). The packaging is once again recyclable or reusable and the tablets themselves are natural, SLS-free and vegan just like the toothpowder. I’m genuinely so glad I bought these because they’re so refreshing and they’ve proved to me not all mouthwash is bad.

Georganics Charcoal Floss

After getting told off by my dentist for not flossing, I added this to my basket – another addition rather than a replacement. I rushed buying this so I chose the charcoal floss over the natural silk cardamon floss, leaving me with a floss that does contain polyester (only 20% but the cardamon floss is polyester-free). Ignoring this, I think every other thing about this vegan floss is great. The cute, little glass dispenser is really handy and you can purchase refills rather than ending up with several dispensers which is a great way to reduce waste.

I have absolutely no idea whether this is expensive or not since I’m not an experienced floss buyer, but you get 30 metres in a roll which seems like a lot to me. Peace With The Wild also stocks a dental floss by Bambaw, made from a bio-plastic derived from cornstarch which is biodegradable. This is also vegan and comes with a dispenser and refills are available, but it includes 50 metres instead.

Kutis Natural Deodrant

Whilst I loved Nuud and will probably return to it at some point, I wanted to try a natural deodorant that has a scent. Kutis makes natural, plastic-free deodorant sticks which are kind to the skin and tackle that sweaty smell better than anything I’ve ever tried before. I opted for the grapefruit & rose and, because the scents are natural, I didn’t really like it at first. After getting used to it, I now really love what it smells like, much more than any aerosol deodorant. The stick is also available in the scents: orange & patchouli, rosemary & lemon, lavender & bergamot, lemongrass & tea tree and citrus.

The card packaging does mess the stick up a little, but it isn’t something that bothers me as it’s still easy to use; I’d much rather use something plastic-free and slightly inconvenient than choose the convenient, plastic way. Another downside is that the sticks aren’t vegan as they contain beeswax – yet some of the ingredients are organic. If you’re looking for a vegan option, Kutis have a vegan version available in grapefruit & mandarin, lavender & geranium or unscented. Peace With The Wild also have a variety of other natural deodorants by different brands in stick, cream, paste or bar form so you can choose whatever suits you best.

Bain & Savon Natural Liquid Conditioner

After trying my first conditioner bar I didn’t feel like I got along with it very well, so I opted for a more traditional formulation. I struggle with an itchy scalp and since Bain & Savon offer conditioners for different hair types, I chose the one best suited for my hair. My hair has really improved since using shampoo bars so I don’t use this every time I wash my hair. I use it once a week and leave it on my hair for about 10 minutes before washing off. The conditioner has a lovely citrus smell and it leaves my hair feeling so soft and happy.

It’s expensive but a little goes a long way – I start with a pea size and add more to my hair as I need it. Being vegan, natural, handmade and almost plastic-free (apart from the plastic lid liner) makes it a great alternative to conditioner bars.

Primal Suds Natural Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is essential when you have a fringe – which I do. This dry shampoo by Primal Suds comes as loose powder packaged in a paper bag so it needs to be transferred into an airtight container (I used a jar I bought to house one of my succulents, I ended up killing it so the jar was just laying around unused). Since it comes loose it’s a lot messier and it was a bit of a learning curve when it came to knowing how much to use.

No word of a lie, I think this stuff is magic. Standard aerosol dry shampoos don’t even compare. A little goes such a long way and it blends into my hair so easily. I have the barnet option because there are three types to help better suit your hair colour, rather than suffering the grey tinge you can be left with when using white dry shampoos. A plus to using aerosols is the smell, thankfully this stills smells pretty pleasant with a hint of a chocolate (thanks to the cocoa). Looking at the ingredients, I would imagine the version for fair hair smells tropical and the version for red hair smells like cinnamon.

Naked Necessities Double Edge Safety Razor

I only realised the terrifying decision I’d made after I’d already bought this. I didn’t even know how a safety razor was different to the plastic razors I normally use until it arrived and so I did a bit of research on how the hell to use it. The razor came as part of a kit including 5 blades and a vegan shaving soap. It’s plastic-free (obviously) with a lovely wooden handle and a nice weight to it which helps you get a clean, easy shave. I’m glad I invested in the kit because the shaving soap is a good addition and lathers really well.

Although I’m really getting along with this razor, it was a massive jump from what I was used to (my first attempt left my legs shredded and bloody). It requires a lot more care so really isn’t ideal if you’re in a rush – the extra time is definitely worth it because the shave is so clean. I was a little confused about how to change the blades at first but doing it once is enough for you to get the hang of it. Unless you’re very confident in your shaving ability, I’d make the transition using a bamboo razor which I know one of my friends is doing.

Happy Holistics Organic Body Butter

This body butter is entirely plastic-free, palm oil-free, vegan and natural. The tub can either be recycled or composted and doesn’t collapse as a result of the oils in the body butter.

A little goes such a long way and really hydrates your skin leaving it lovely and soft (it’s especially great for after shaving). The formula is quite oily, although I don’t think this is a negative at all because it soaks in quickly. There are three scents: exotic, flower power, and soothing. Exotic was the only one available when I purchased which is really strong and takes some getting used to. I think I’d probably give flower power a try next time; exotic is by no means horrible, just maybe not to everyone’s taste.

Valley Mist Natural Lip Balm

I used to be a serious Vaseline addict which did absolutely nothing to help my lips. Moving to this natural lip balm helped my lips recover completely and now my lips are never dry. Using Vaseline left me applying it every hour or so, whilst one application of this can last at least a few hours depending on whether I’m eating or drinking. The balm comes in 6 scents, 3 of which are vegan – I chose sweet mandarin which is vegan. Again, the natural smell might not appeal to all but I do think it just takes some getting used to.

I don’t know why, because I haven’t experienced this with my deodorant stick, but it was incredibly difficult to push up at first. The card tube is super sturdy, it just seemed like the stick was too fat and had solidified to the tube. I did manage to fix the lack of movement by forcing it all the way up and then pushing it back down again (this strips an outer layer from the stick allowing it to move a little easier). Despite this, it’s a fabulous, little thing and there’s loads so it’s going to last me ages.

Jute & Seagrass Small Storage Basket

After being moaned at because my toiletries were cluttering the bathroom, I decided a basket would be a good way to keep everything neat and tidy. Made from sustainable jute and seagrass, this is such a cute way to store everything I’ve bought. The basket is made by ReSpiin, a company who maintain ethical practices and ensure the well-being of those in India and Bangladesh who create their products.

The basket itself is biodegradable so I know it won’t be hanging around for a couple of hundred years once I no longer use it, unlike plastic alternatives.

I’m genuinely over the moon with all my swaps, they don’t compromise on quality just because they’re natural and plastic-free. It’s also great that everything, except the razor kit and basket, are made in the UK – this reduces the distance everything has to travel so less pollution results from transporting each product. I wholeheartedly recommend looking into making some swaps yourself, it’s much nicer using products that you know are good for both you and the planet.

Im x

5 thoughts on “More sustainable swaps

  1. The dental floss looks really cool in the glass container like that, I might have to try the Bull Dog bamboo razor. I’ve been using the Preserve razor but this is the second one I’ve bought I think and the blade keep popping off the handle. I’m not sure the newer handles are able to be recycled. I really want to try a safety razor but I’m not that good with a normal razor so that probably wouldn’t work well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the little container is great! I was pretty careless with disposable razors and always ended up cutting myself, but I find I’m a lot more careful and precise with my safety razor now.

      Liked by 1 person

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