Special Hints from Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too
I know you guys. Well, most of you. Some of you are very, very quiet. Like teeny baby mice.
And, because I know you, I know that one thing that’s probably on your mind – even in small ways – is how to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your daily life. How to be a part of the solution. How to stop wasting so much, and start living a little bit more.
Today is SUPER special, because Beth Terry – author of the new book “Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too” and blogger at My Plastic-Free Life – has agreed to let us sample an excerpt from her book (nay, absolute BIBLE) on how to rid your world, little by little, of the petrochemically-enhanced plastic that pervades so many aspects of our lives these days.
You can find this incredible, invaluable book – right now – on many “New Arrivals” tables at Barnes and Noble, and on Amazon, but you can also go 100% plastic free and order it as an ebook. Click on the au naturale cover below to see all the options:
Check out more about the book by clicking on … ta-da … the book cover!
This excerpt below is just a tiny, tiny gathering of wisdom and resources for ideas on plastic-free skincare. Right after this section? All KINDS of ideas on plastic-free shaving, cosmetics, and so much more. Check out her site AND the Amazon ordering page for absolutely glowing reviews and more about what you’ll find in the book.
So, without further ado, crunchy ladies and gents, here are some quick tips on going plastic-free with your skincare – straight from “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.” (And the crowd goes wild!)
Plastic-Free Skin Care from Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too
Let me just say up front that I’m lazy. I wash my face with plain water while I’m in the shower. I get a pedicure only once a year before I attend the annual BlogHer conference for women bloggers. I put on makeup when I think someone might take a picture of me,which isn’t often. And moisturizer? I must not need it because I never use it. For years, I thought that my laziness was simply a sign that I was, you know, lazy. But now I know it’s a way to be green. After all, the fewer products we use, the fewer resources we consume. So as you read the solutions in the next few pages, keep in mind that keeping your personal care regimen as simple as possible with as few ingredients as possible is not only healthier and more eco-friendly, it saves time and money too.
Don’t Flush Plastic Down the Drain.
Many exfoliating scrubs contain tiny microbeads made from polyethylene plastic, plastic that is meant to be rinsed down the drain. Water treatment facilities are not designed to filter out such tiny particles, so they enter our waterways and the bodies of aquatic creatures. Check the ingredients list of any scrubs you are considering buying to make sure they don’t contain “polyethylene” or “microbeads.”
Make Your Own Scrubs and Facial Products.
Plain baking soda is a great exfoliant/facial cleanser. It’s probably the cheapest and simplest as well (aside from plain water). Just make a paste in your hand with a little water and scrub away.
Other ingredients for skin cleansers are sea salt, oatmeal, finely ground almonds, flax seed meal, ground lentils, brown rice flour, coffee grounds, citrus fruit peels and mashed fruits, honey, and sugar, most of which you can probably find in bulk. Search the Internet for recipes using these ingredients. Or get a copy of the book Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond (Three Rivers Press), which contains a wealth of ideas for DIY personal care products without toxic chemicals.
Make Your Own Clay Masks.
Instead of purchasing expensive clay masks in tubes and jars, see if your bulk foods store sells bentonite, kaolin, and other food-grade powdered clays in bulk. The few times a year my pores need extra attention, I mix up some bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar, which happens to come in a glass bottle. Blackheads beware!
Moisturize With Olive or Coconut Oil.
Many people swear by plain olive oil or coconut oil. You can search the Internet for natural moisturizer recipes using lots of different edible ingredients, but to me, the best option is to find a solution using the fewest ingredients possible. Then again, I’m lazy. Like I said, I don’t moisturize at all. Your mileage may vary.
Choose Lotions and Lip Balms in Plastic-Free Containers.
Organic Essence (www.organic-essence.com) packages its organic hand and body creams in com- postable cardboard containers and its lip balms in ingenious cardboard tubes that squeeze from the end so you don’t have to touch the product with your fingers. You can also find solid lotions in metal containers or even packaging-free. The company Lush sells many of its products, including lotion bars, “naked.” And many Etsy sellers create solid lotions and lip balms packaged in metal tins instead of plastic tubes. Or look for recipes for making your own lotions and creams from bulk oils and vegetable waxes.
Sooth Diaper Rash with Natural Products Packaged in Glass or Metal.
There’s no need to resort to plastic-packaged baby lotions and diaper rash creams. Waxelene (www.waxelene.com) is a natural alternative to petroleum jelly and comes in a glass jar with a metal lid. MadeOn Lotion (www.hardlotion.com) offers a rash cream that contains only three ingredients—coconut oil, zinc oxide, and beeswax—andcomes in a reusable metal tin.
Now, I know that some of these are elementary for you crunchistas, but Beth has outlined just about every single area of our lives that we can purify from plastics – from tiny baby steps to more all-encompassing, ideas.
So, THANK YOU, Beth, for sharing with us (you’re seriously a plastic-free rockstar). Thank you for pioneering and being the ultimate experimenter for all of us who are still learning!
And now, in the spirit of plastic-ditching, I have a questions for you guys:
- Do you take specific steps to get plastic out of your life? If so, what are they?
- Have you read the book yet (it’s a best-seller on Amazon, so I bet a few of you have)? How awesome is it?
P.S. Don’t forget, you can find Beth and her wisdom at her blog My Plastic-Free Life. Highly recommended.