Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic in Your Life AND Save Money! The Using Less Plastic Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! ūüôā

Ok, so the image above of women wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms may have not caught on (thankfully), most of us can still reduce plastic in our lives very easily!

Here are some simple ways to reduce plastic in your life (adding onto my previous Using Less Plastic Challenge Posts).  Most, if not all, of these simple steps help you save money in the long run too!

1. Switch to body oil to moisturize your body.  Most lotions come in plastic tubes or plastic bottles.  By switching to body oil packaged in a glass bottle with a metal lid, you help to make sure that the packaging is truly able to be recycled.  Just make sure that your skin is damp (just after taking a shower is a good time to moisturize skin with oil), and you do not need to use very much.  A small amount really goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.¬†¬†Switch to¬†handkerchiefs.¬† This may seem like it does not actually have to do with plastic, but it does.¬† Most disposable tissue boxes do have a plastic window around the opening where you grab a tissue from.¬† Handkerchiefs are so much more economical (only have to buy them once and they last for years) and you can just throw them in with any wash load you wish.¬† Plus they feel, and are, so much softer on your nose!¬† The above image is my collection of handkerchiefs that I have been using for several months now ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Switch to at least a couple natural homemade skincare products.  I know it is hard to switch all of your skincare products over, but even just switching over one or two helps to significantly reduce the amount of plastic consumed.  Honey is an awesome cleanser (the only one I use at this point) and fresh lime juice is a wonderful acne and acne scar treatment.

Click here to see My Skincare Routine for Clear Skin Naturally post about how I use these!  You will also save money by switching to these if you typically use a little bit more pricy cleansers and treatments.  Also, you will not have as much visual clutter in your bathroom.

4. Switch to a safety razor.¬† What is a safety razor?¬† It is like a disposable razor, but rather than throwing the razor away, or buying new cartridges and throwing the old ones away, you buy a metal razor¬†(some do have plastic handles) and you just replace the blades.¬† I have not¬†bought a safety razor¬†yet (I’m using up my disposable razors first) but many people who do use them say they give closer shaves, and that you do need to use a lighter hand when using them (ever notice how much pressure you have to use with disposable razors to shave?).

Now, you can buy a new safety razor, but they are expensive (the cheapest I’ve seen is $60 and up).¬† So, why not be extra nice to your wallet and the Earth by buying a vintage one? (You won’t be using¬†vintage blades- essentially you’ll only be reusing the handle).¬† You can buy a vintage safety razor at some antique stores, www.etsy.com, among other sites.¬† And replacement blades can be bought in bulk on Amazon and are much less expensive compared to the replacement disposable cartridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Buy some of your clothes secondhand.¬† Although while researching I do not get a definite yes or no answer, most polyester (if not all) is actually plastic.¬† Have you heard of the polyester clothing made from PET bottles?¬† That’s why that is possible.¬† So, by buying some of your clothes secondhand, you help to reduce the amount of clothing made of thermoplastics, and also help to reduce the amount of clothing discarded yearly.¬† Buying secondhand also helps your wallet!¬† If you have a little bit more money to spare, organic cotton, or hemp, clothing are also nice alternatives to man-made.¬† The image above is a beautiful blue striped sweaterdress that I found at a local thrift store for $2.50!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Make your own laundry soap with castile bar soaps!  Even if we ignore the possible health problems of conventional laundry detergents (including even ones such as Tide Free & Gentle), these along with even most eco-friendly laundry detergents are packaged in plastic.  We can simply avoid this constant buying of laundry detergent packaged in plastic by making our own!  Above is a photo of the container I am using at the moment to hold my laundry soap (It is an old castile liquid soap container.  I plan to switch to a glass container at some point) and an old laundry detergent lid that has the measurements on it.

How to: Take one bar of castile soap and grate 1/3 to 1/2 of a bar.  Bring about one gallon of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, stir the grated soap into the water, until it dissolves.  Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Then, take the pot off the stove and let the laundry soap cool for a couple of hours (or until it is completely cool).  Lastly, place into a container of your choice.

And there you have a wonderful laundry soap!¬† I personally use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Bar Soaps.¬† They smell amazing, and their Baby Mild¬†one is nice if you are very sensitive to scents, or if you have young children.¬† My three favorites are Lavender, Peppermint, and Baby Mild.¬† They are a little less than $5 a bar of soap.¬† You can buy the Lavender and Peppermint scents at Target, or you can buy all of their scents on Dr. Bronner’s site at www.drbronner.com. So, you are paying $2.50 for laundry soap that is safe for the planet, safe for you, you are saving money, and you are reducing the amount of plastic consumed! ūüôā¬† It’s a wonderful feeling.

I’ve found that I use the same amount of this laundry soap as I did with conventional laundry detergents.¬† If you have not used castile liquid soap to wash your clothes before, I have read that it may take a wash or two for your clothes to get the residue of the previous detergents off.¬† However, I have not found this to be the case, even when I switched from conventional detergents over to a castile liquid soap I bought (it was so expensive though).¬† Also, this laundry soap works nicely even in hard water!¬† I have extremely hard water, and it cleans wonderfully in it.

So there are some simple ways to reduce plastic!  Have you tried any of the suggestions above, or have any others to add?  Any questions?  Leave them in the comment section!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: The image of the women wearing the plastic snowstorm protectors is used under the Commons license, shared by the Nationaal Archief on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationaalarchief/4193509756/  All the other images shown are my own.

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My Favorite Natural Products of 2011!

Hello!  I hope the sun is shining in your area of the world today!

So, I decided to do another video~ this time showcasing my favorite products of 2011¬†that are all natural products!¬† I try very hard to find and use products that are good for my health as well as good overall products.¬† These are all of my favs¬†and I wanted to share them with you! ¬†I love all of these products that I just keep buying more of them when I run out. ūüôā

And yes, as I mention in the video, many of these products are the only product in their category that I use!¬† I didn’t realize how true this was until I watched this video ūüôā

I’m probably¬†not going to post all of my youtube videos on my blog since some ideas I’m thinking about doing are maybe more youtubeland than my blog.¬† However, if any of you would like to see them, you can either go to my youtube channel www.youtube.com/sunnymothernature, or if you¬†would prefer me just posting¬†them¬†on this blog too, let me know!¬† ūüôā

The products I mentioned in this video are:

1) Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butters in Sweet Citrus and Vanilla & Apricot (Available at Sephora.com, QVC.com, and Josiemarancosmetics.com typically for $35 each)

2) Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (Available at websites mentioned above; 1.7 oz for $48; 0.5 oz for $14; or 4oz for $96)

3) ArganUSA Argan Oil 32 oz (Available at zamourispices.com for $100 in plastic, or $110 in glass)

4) Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in Lavender and Unscented Baby-Mild (Available at Target and drbronner.com for about $4.49 each)

5) Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizing Spray USDA certified organic (Available at drbronner.com for $3.99; it was available at Target, but I don’t believe it is anymore)

6) Josie Maran Argan Lip Gloss (These are only available at josiemarancosmetics.com for $18.  QVC and Sephora only have her Natural Volume Lip Glosses which I have not tried)

7) And lastly- Local Pure Honey!  or USDA Certified Organic Honey

I hope you enjoyed this video~ If you have any questions, or want to request a video, please leave them in the comment section below! ūüôā

Also, check out my blog at http://www.sunnymothernature.wordpress.com

(I’m still using my laptop to record, so I know the quality isn’t the best.)

FTC: I bought all of the products mentioned in this video myself, except for this round of honey which was a Christmas present from my sister and brother-in-law, and this round of the Dr. Bronner products were Christmas presents from my parents ūüôā¬† I do typically buy my products either in kits, or when there are sales, to save money though.¬† Also, I am not affiliated with any of these companies, nor was I contacted by any of them.¬† I just love all of these products and wanted to share them with you!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim