We spent a long time trying out different low waste, eco-friendly bathroom toiletries until we settled on products we love. Everybody has different skin types, hair types and personal preferences, so not all of these may be right for you, but we thought we’d take some time out of our beautiful stay in Crete to share some of the products and recipes that we have chosen to replace our old wasteful bathroom routine.
See the list below, Info and Product links, for details on these.
We are slowly trying to improve our behaviors and habits to lead a more sustainable life and care for our planet better. With my (Mela’s) family being so far away in South Africa, we do not travel to see them very often. While we are aware that by taking international flights we are greatly increasing our carbon footprint, after much discussion we decided that visiting family in South Africa every 3 to 5 years was not something we were willing to give up, BUT that we could do something to offset these flights. Most flights to South Africa from the US go through Europe first. This is how we chose our honeymoon destination as it was on the way to SA.
We chose to plant trees to offset the carbon produced by these international flights. We used Carbonfund.org to calculate our CO2 emissions and donated the equivalent amount to plant trees on our behalf.
We will continue to try to improve our habits and offset those we cannot change yet. We believe going zero-waste does not mean you are perfect, but doing your best to be less wasteful and doing your part in caring for the environment.
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Honey is naturally antibacterial so it’s great for cleaning your skin, treating acne or prevention. Plus it is full of antioxidants, slowing down aging. It is very moisturizing and my skin has felt so soft since I started using it. It’s best to use raw honey as pasteurized honey has been exposed to high temperatures and may destroy some of these natural properties. It is not great for removing make up, it is better to use an oil to effectively remove make up.
Face and Body Scrub
I make my own scrub to use every few days on my face and sometimes my whole body, especially in dry climates. I use 1 cup of epsom salts to 2 cups of oil. You can switch out the epsom salt for sugar, I have not tried this, but I believe it is a less abrasive option. You could also add essential oils if you like. I have used both almond oil and jojoba oil and loved both options as they are very moisturizing.
The best thing about using a shampoo bar is that you totally eliminate the need for a container. This bar made by The Better Soap Company is full of ingredients that are good for your hair. I occasionally use an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards instead of conditioner. The BSC does also sell a Conditioner Bar.
Shaving Soap Bar
Another fantastic bar soap from The Better Soap Company. This works great, it lathers up nicely and helps prevent nicks and cuts. It has also lasted us a really really long time. I love that I don’t need to buy Shaving Cream in a container. Don uses this to shave his whole head and says it’s than any shaving cream he has ever used. The Better Soap Company doesn't keep it stocked all the time, but you can ask her to make some if it is not currently in her store.
Better Hydrating Lotion
I use this on my face and body. It can be used as a hair conditioner too. Full of all natural ingredients it is light and absorbed easily. You can select your scent, my favorite is lavender and/or vanilla. There is no plastic packaging, you can recycle or reuse the glass container. We absolutely love this lotion! I am really happy to have found this at the Better Soap Company too, as I can order all my toiletries at the same time and have them ship in in one box. She uses very low waste packaging.
I so loved the Better Hydrating Lotion that I made a special request for a reef safe Sunscreen from Sheri of The Better Soap Company and she said “yes I can do that”! We were out in the sun and sea every day for many hours in Crete and neither of us (you can see how very white both Don and I are) got sunburnt. She used non nano zinc oxide which worked great but the downside of that is it is harder to rub into your skin without it just tinting your skin white. This is to be expected though and just required taking more time and a gentle application.
This was such a no brainer and easy to make switch. They are fully compostable, work great, cheaper than most plastic brushes and come in plastic free packaging that is recyclable and compostable.
This floss is made from silk and is 100% compostable, the container is made of glass and metal. It is reusable as you can buy refills of just the floss. The refills come in a compostable bag inside a cardboard box made from recycled materials. It works great and is a simple fix for replacing dental floss made from nylon that comes in plastic containers.
Make Up Remover
I use coconut oil for cooking, so when I purchase a new jar I just scoop out a little into a smaller jar/container to use in the bathroom as eye make up remover. I cut up little rags from old clothing with soft material and use the rags instead of cotton pads. I wet the rag, add some coconut oil and then wash and reuse the rags quite a few times before they need replacing.
I have tried a few different non toxic natural deodorants that I liked but they all came in plastic containers. Then I found the Little Seed Farm. They offer an aluminum and baking soda free deodorant cream that comes in a glass container with a metal lid which is recyclable. Guess what….it works great too! Score! You can choose your scent or have it unscented. I don’t need to reapply daily, once in the morning is all I need. Don hates deodorant because he says it never works, I convinced him to give this a try and he was shocked how well it worked. I use the activated charcoal scent as it has a subtle fresh minty smell and really seems to eliminate odors. They offer an applicator too if you don’t like using your finger to apply. You can also select to have your order shipped with zero waste packaging.