I know, I know… it’s been a while! I was in a funk for quite some time. I was working at a job that felt pointless, and it was hard to muster creative energy. Since I quit my job, though, things have been getting better! My spirits are brighter, and the creative fire has been reignited. And I’m looking forward to finishing out the year back to my normal twice-monthly posting schedule, and starting 2019 out strongly.
When I look back at the summer, I see a lot of positive growth. I challenged myself to participate in Plastic Free July, which has lead to a mini-revolution in the way I engage with the world. It’s taught me a lot of things, and improved my life in subtle but significant ways. Maybe the biggest way it has improved my experience in life is that it’s changed the way I travel.
I. hate. flying. I hate the timing of getting to the airport at just the right time, the process of going through horrible security screenings (take off your shoes–forgot socks? too bad!) But this summer, looking forward to this fall, I had a wedding coming up in Seattle for my dear friend Heidi. Seattle was too far to drive; I had to fly. I was dreading it. But then I realized… this time, it would be different.
You see, most of the plastic free swaps I have made eliminated the largest single deterrent to a pleasant carry-on baggage screening experience: liquids, gels, and aerosols.
I was never much of an aerosol person, but let me tell you, traveling completely without liquids, gels, and aerosols is won-der-ful! Your bag can and will go through the scanner with no beeping and awkward, “Oh, yeah… I forgot I had a water bottle in the side pocket… oops,” conversations with TSA.
My priorities when I shop for cosmetics now are…
- Plastic free
- Vegan/cruelty free/no animal testing of brand
- Sustainable & ethical production processes
And, for my Seattle trip in September, juuuuuuust to make things extra fun, I also had a final necessary requirement.
- Fragrance free (check out Heidi’s site, Fragrance Free Guide to book a consultation with her!)
So, without further ado, here are some simple, plastic and liquid-gel-aerosol swaps you can make to help yourself win at holiday travel this year!
Swap Shampoo, Conditioner & Shaving Cream for Solid Bar Alternatives
I was skeptical of shampoo bars to begin with. I’d tried washing my hair with just bar soap before, with disastrous results. My scalp burned and itched, I had constant, bad dandruff, and my hair was dull and shine-less. A shampoo bar, I reasoned, would be just like that.
I have tried three shampoo bars so far. The first one was purchased simply because it was cheap, and because I could buy it locally. It cost me $2.50. It was advertised as a shampoo and conditioner bar, which I was highly skeptical of. Nonetheless, I was anxious to try it. My first shower with it, I thought things were going well at first. It lathered and foamed up very well. It felt silky soft, luxuriously so. But then I started rinsing it out. And that’s where things went bad.
My hair started coming off, wrapping its way around all my fingers. I plastered the shower wall with hair. After rinsing, my hair felt completely stripped of any and all oils. So I conditioned, twice. I thought that maybe the bar would take some getting used to. I used almost the entire bar (I think it lasted me about two months, washing twice weekly) but then didn’t end up finishing it. I threw it away, disappointed.
However, before I had gotten completely disillusioned with the idea, I bought a second bar–different brand, etc. I bought this fragrance-free product on Amazon and fell in love. I still needed to condition my hair, but my hair felt lighter and dryer without feeling stripped like it had with the insanely cheap bar. I don’t think it lasted for up to 80 shampoos, but I also used it as a shave bar. I was skeptical that it would work (I’ve always used shaving cream on my legs) but by golly, this worked better than the shaving cream I’d sworn by for years!
Since fragrance free was only a temporary need, I’ve also been dipping into exploring other shampoo bars made by Ethique. Visit their Amazon page here if you’re ready to #giveupthebottle! They also make conditioner bars. I purchased one (photo above) but haven’t tried it yet since I still have leftover liquid conditioner in a bottle.
Swap Toothpaste for Toothy Tabs
If you haven’t visited a LUSH store yet, you are definitely NOT living your best life yet. LUSH makes unique vegan cosmetic products, and not only are they vegan/cruelty free/not tested on animals, LUSH actively fights animal testing and refuses to purchase raw materials from companies that do test on animals. They sell bath bombs, shampoo bars (haven’t tried one yet!), soap, fragrances, deodorant… if you can smell it, they sell it!
LUSH’s toothy tabs weren’t a complete plastic-free purchase; they are sold in a plastic container. However, the majority of the store is plastic free and they do not use any virgin (new) plastic; what little plastic they use is on it’s second or third or ninth life, and I admire a company that takes a stand like that.
In addition to toothy tabs, LUSH also sells mouthwash tabs and toothy powder. I am going to try to make my own mouthwash, but next time I need to travel via plane, I’ll probably pick up a supply of mouthwash tabs to try out. Check out their whole toothy line here!
A Pit Rock for Your Pit Stop
I’ll say it right up front: I don’t usually use deodorant; in fact, I haven’t used it regularly for years. But recently, within the past year or two, with my hormones going through some changes, I’ve started to need just a little something to keep me smelling fresh. Before going plastic free, I purchased a vegan deodorant (lemon & sage, ahh!) from Marshall’s and it worked really well, but with going plastic free, and having to have something fragrance free, I decided to re-try something I’d used before: a salt rock crystal.
Now of course, this is not an antiperspirant. Heck, it’s not even really a deodorant. However, the salt does kill the smelly micro-orgs lurking in the old pits, so, it sort of kind of works. Let’s put it this way: I don’t think I smelled my best, but so long as I was careful to wash my arm pits often, I managed to avoid being a social embarrassment. I look forward to making deodorant in the future, or, if I need a more travel friendly/on the go version, purchasing it in sustainable packaging.
And so, here we are… all my favorite plastic free, sustainable cosmetic products in one place!
Where are you going for the holidays? What travel essentials are you packing in to your bag? And if you are interested in fragrance free products, get in contact with Heidi to schedule a consult with her! Her site is www.fragrancefreeguide.com.
My next post will be coming at you from South Carolina on the 15th. Until then…
All my best,