As we continue on our “simple summer” theme here at Literally Simple, it wouldn’t be complete unless we acknowledge “Plastic Free July.” I’m nowhere near close to a zero waste lifestyle, but as someone who practices minimalism, it’s almost inevitable to become more conscious of the amount of plastic I consume. One easy way I have consumed less plastic is in my own bathroom. By buying less cosmetics and choosing bar soaps in the shower, you can effectively reduce plastic from your bathroom.
Believe me, I used to have a different body wash for whatever day of the week it was. Plus, a plastic loofah in every color! The plastic loofah is a relatively new marketing phenomenon, and there really is no reason to have one or buy one. It’s actually pretty gross to think it hangs in your shower for sometimes up to a year! There are better ways to exfoliate, both for the environment and your own health.
If living in a perfect world, I’d have a sauna at least once a week, and exfoliate with a sauna brush. This leaves my skin soft for the whole week. However, sometimes I don’t have access to a sauna on a weekly basis. You can read more about the amazing benefits of the sauna here. Instead, I just exfoliate with a wash cloth, then wash with some quality bar soaps, and follow up with coconut oil out of the shower to lock in hydrating moisture. I even used coconut oil throughout my 1st pregnancy to avoid stretch marks. This alleviates the need to buy any lotions, and reduces the plastic containers I have to purchase from the store.
If you’re really feeling courageous, you can also try a shampoo bar. This is shampoo in the form of a bar soap. By choosing a shampoo bar you have eliminated another plastic container used to store shampoo in your shower. Plus, aesthetically it just looks better. Who doesn’t want a clean, clear shower with few products and less plastics?
I found that all bar soaps are not created equal. Some left my skin dry, and others were just as likely to contain ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I have since chosen Rough Cut Soap’s products. They smell amazing, are made sustainable, and all natural right here in the PNW. I also don’t have to buy shaving cream when I use these soaps. I just use the lather from the soap and I’ve eliminated another useless product from my shower! Just finish up with coconut oil and you won’t be disappointed.
It’s time to see the plastic loofah for what it is – a marketing ploy. You can actually buy a real plant Loofah in some all natural stores, or you can grow it yourself. I haven’t found any locally yet, so I instead just use a basic washcloth. Like I said earlier, if you have a high quality bar soap the lather is luxurious enough! And of course, if I have access to a sauna, I use a sauna brush to exfoliate and sweat out toxins.
My loofah collection was embarrassing, but so was my lotion collection. I had a lotion in every different scent, not to mention full of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I now only use coconut oil as a lotion and as a hair conditioner. Did you know you can use coconut oil to hydrate the ends of your hair? Apply to the ends of your hair after the shower. Be careful not to apply to the roots of your hair, only the ends. You don’t want your hair to look greasy. This works especially well when my hair is longer, and during the summer months.
I’m currently experimenting with a shampoo bar. Stay tuned! If you eliminate liquid shampoo in your shower, you have eliminated another plastic container.
I use Neutrogena facial bar soaps. It leaves my skin, soft and smooth, and I exfoliate with a wash cloth gently before washing. You might also like to follow Literally Simple’s morning and evening skin care routine. It will save you time and eliminate excess products. When you choose a facial bar soap, you eliminate the plastic container.
Disclaimer: Neutrogena wraps its facial bar soap in plastic. Perhaps I should write a letter informing them that this is unnecessary. Nah, I’ll just tag them on Instagram.
It can be simple, healthy, and environmentally conscious to reduce plastic use in your shower. Don’t you want to step into a clean and simple shower with minimal products? It makes clean up a breeze, leaves your skin smooth and soft, and effectively reduces plastic from your bathroom.
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How have you reduced your plastic consumption this July?
B.A. in Secondary Education, English, and Physical Education
M.A. Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction and Reading Specialist
Maria Halcumb lives in Vancouver, WA with her family of three. She loves to spend days outside, reading, writing, and inspiring others to be well, want less, and gain quality. You can learn more about her at https://literallysimple.com/. This blog post was originally published by Maria from Literallysimple.com.
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