Since July is plastic free month, I'd like to talk about some switches that my family has made to reduce our plastic consumption.
Bathroom - One of the biggest places we have made changes is in the bathroom. I make my own soap by buying bulk soap base and adding ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, honey, oatmeal, and essential oils. I have made my own shampoo bars as well but am planning to try a liquid shampoo recipe made out of peppermint tea, liquid castile soap, honey, and essential oils next. I make my own toothpaste out of baking soda and peppermint essential oil. I make my own deodorant out of beeswax, olive oil, and essential oils. I recently started making foaming hand soap that I love, made out of liquid castile soap, vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils for scent (see recipe below). I use a metal razor where you just replace the blade each month. I am still using my plastic electric toothbrush because I already had it, but whenever we need to buy new toothbrushes, I buy bamboo. Quick Tip - Politely refuse the bags that your dentist offers full of plastic items.
Other - Some other ways you can reduce your plastic use are by switching to reusable grocery bags, produce bags, water bottles, straws, and other utensils whenever possible. We buy a lot of staples from Simply Bulk on Main Street - things from flour and honey to laundry and dish soap powder. Try to buy foods packaged in cardboard, aluminum, and glass when you can't purchase bulk in your own containers. I am also planning to try to make my own sunscreen. I'll be sure to share the recipe with everyone if it is a success.
Final Comments - If you aren't into making your own products (I never was but I have been surprised by how easy everything is - trust me, I wouldn't do it if it wasn't) there are lots of similar products available for purchase from companies that are doing what they can to reduce their footprint. Things like soap and shampoo bars, laundry and soap tablets, and deodorant - all packaged in carboard. When you do use plastic items, look to reuse them again and again if at all possible and make sure to recycle them when you are done.
Recipe for Foaming Hand Soap
Foaming hand soap dispenser
Unscented liquid castile soap
Vitamin E oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Fill the hand soap dispenser about 1/3 - 1/2 with liquid castile soap. Put in about 1 Tbsp vitamin E and 1 Tbsp jojoba oil (these help with skin softening). Then add about 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil which is great for soothing skin. Fill with water and shake to combine.
Action Alert - Please join Sustainable Resilient Longmont's Zero Waste Committee for their monthly community cleanup! In partnership with Eco-Cycle for Plastic-Free July, SRL will be holding their monthly cleanup on Saturday, July 30, 10 am-12 pm, Left Hand Creek Greenway off E Ken Pratt Blvd & S Martin St. Please RSVP to the Longmont cleanup by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.