Sometimes I forget that my passions have been a part of me since childhood. I thought my newfound obsession for living sustainably was something I developed after college and ebbed and flowed with my financial standings and my stress levels (it’s hard to focus on saving the world when you’re worried about making sure you have enough money for rent). It wasn’t until I was back at my parent’s house standing in the garage when I saw a plastic bin with a label on it that said “recycled waste” on it. A bin made for batteries and other hazardous materials that I would collect and then take to a place that could dispose of correctly. I had created that bin in high school at the latest, most likely even middle school.
Choosing to live sustainably is really a choice to live with intention. To ask questions and find answers. Essentially, it’s like coming out of the Matrix. No longer just using disposable plastic because it’s easy for this moment but learning about the effects it has on our planet and our communities in the long run. It’s also an incredible way to learn about history. How our grandparents did it and what the products they purchased looked like.
The greatest lesson I learned in #PlasticFreeJuly wasn’t that plastic is everywhere, it wasn’t even all the amazing companies I found products from. The greatest lesson I learned in my plastic-free endeavors was to live with grace. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Yes, grace. You see it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much plastic is in your life. It’s even easier to feel burdened by the price of replacing everything or figuring out if you save by investing in something non-plastic in the long run. It’s a heavy feeling of having to do things perfectly and change all your old habits. Here’s where grace comes in. It’s not about doing it perfectly. It’s about making small changes every day that have a lasting effect.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”Anne Marie Bonneau
So as I share with you the products I found this month and give suggestions on ways you too can live sustainably remember that like all great things, this is a journey. It isn’t about being the best at living sustainably it’s about asking questions, learning, and making decisions that work for you and your life. Maybe you need to keep your plastic chapstick because any of the sustainable ones you’ve found make your lips more chapped (true story), or maybe you can’t afford to transition from a disposable razor to a more expensive reusable one. That’s okay. Find the small changes you can make (Reusing your plastic silverware, get a reusable water bottle, invest in shampoo bars instead of bottles) and create your own journey.
Everyone’s path to sustainability will look different. That in itself is beautiful. The key is that we all start that journey.
Plastic Free Products
Okay, okay, now for the good stuff. For #PlasticFreeJuly I started with my bathroom (although other parts of the house saw some changes too). Here are the products I discovered and my honest reviews on them. (This is not an ad, I am not paid for anything I say here so know that it’s the God’s honest truth!)
Shampoo + Conditioner Bar (5 Stars!)
I was hesitant about shampoo bars. Mostly because I got a sample from the Farmers market that left my hands and hair feeling dry and waxy. I have thick heavy hair so a lot of products just weigh it down. Not these Round Shampoo and Conditioner Fixer bars from Package Free Shop. They lather like real shampoo, smell great, and don’t weigh my hair down. I won’t be going back. You can buy tins to store them with or reuse old plastic containers like me to make them last longer.
Plastic Free Floss (3 stars)
This seems like a weird thing to transition first but I’ve become an avid flosser. My dentist told me it’s the only way to prevent me from getting more cavities. (I get them a lot.) Here’s what I love about Dental Lace, it’s small, the glass container feels sturdy and old fashion, like something my grandma would use. It’s cute and you can refill it at a cheaper price. The downside is that the floss breaks easily, I go through 2-3 strands a night because of my vampire-like teeth apparently. This could begin to add up price-wise.
Plastic Free Deodorant (4.5 stars)
I don’t sweat. But I still stink. (TMI?) Most natural deodorants need to be applied daily. (No missing a day!) This Meow Meow Tweet Lavender Deodorant is different. Made without baking soda and smelling oh so good I use a reusable plastic spoon from a different product to apply to my underarms. Even in a 90-degree photoshoot outdoors I smelled fresh on my drive home! Check out all their scents or go scent-free too! I dropped it half a star because it takes getting used to and on our camping trip it did freeze in the jar.
Plastic Free Daily Tinted Moisturizer (4 stars)
I’m a makeup kind of girl. Doesn’t matter if I’m going hiking or have a hot date with the hubs, I always have some makeup on. I’ve found that moving to plastic-free makeup has been hard so I thought a Tinted Moisturizer from Raw Elements could be my fix for a foundation. While I love the moisturizer and SPF in this tin it doesn’t really replace my foundation. The tint is a bit dark for my very pale skin. For now, it works as a bronzer in the Summer, I’ll need something else when winter comes around. They do have a non-tinted option if you just want the moisturizer and SPF and then it’s a 5 star kind of product!