Because being green can't all be about the latest organic moisturiser I thought I would walk you through some of the basic, perhaps less glamorous (but not less important!!) switches I have made in my house, I have posts coming up on cleaning products and easy green hacks but if there is anything else you particularly want to see then feel free to leave a request below. I think all of these switches have been really important to me, but also more importantly they are better for the planet too.
Dental hygiene: I don't think anyone can really argue with the importance of looking after your teeth and gums but choosing products isn't always as easy as you would think. For a little while now I have switched the whole family to an SLS free and micro-bead free toothpaste, if you are wondering what on earth I am talking about then yes they do put tiny bits of plastic in some toothpastes which is undoubtedly bad for marine life. The beauty industry does seem to be doing something about this and is removing them but I think if you can avoid them now and not the removal cut off date then all the better! As for SLS (Sodium Lauryl sulphate) it's in there to make the toothpaste foam and we all know it can be irritating, if you suffer from a lot of unexplained ulcers or a sore mouth SLS could well be the culprit. We have been using the Green People toothpaste* from Myon Pure they both come in at £3.50 per tube which is a little more expensive than what you find on the supermarket shelves but certainly not enough to break the bank. At first it does take a little getting used to use a toothpaste that doesn't foam as the texture is a little different but after using these up I am sold and wouldn't go back. My son also enjoyed the minty taste compared to some of the other fruity versions I have bought for him in the past. Instead of dental floss I use the small inter-dental brushes as these can be washed and reused often, a simple thing but makes a difference to how much I throw away. For toothbrushes we mainly use electric, the replacement heads are smaller and therefore mean less waste but if you are not a fan then these bamboo handled brushes by Woobamboo are a great idea, bio-degradeable and anti-microbial I use these when I travel and don't want to take my electric toothbrush. The only downside is the lack of European stockists, but if you look around there are other more eco-friendly options readily available.
Cotton wool: It's always my mission to try and reduce the amount of cotton wool I use, however sometimes it is convenient especially for removing heavy eye make up. Being honest I haven't yet found any reusable cotton rounds I like, I found the ones I tried absorbed too much product and were useless for toner but I will keep searching. Organic cotton rounds of years gone past were not great quality, they would fall apart and were very expensive however these from Organyc (£2.39) are beautifully soft, hold together really well and are certified organic so you know that you are avoiding a lot of the pesticides used in traditional cotton farming. They also do larger cotton pads which are perfect for babies in their first few months.
Feminine Hygiene: Really not the most glamorous of subjects but one I think it is important to look at, not only do we throw away a huge amount of sanitary towels and tampons per year but conventional products have added fragrances and synthetic chemicals that I am not convinced are necessary. For unbleached cotton tampons and sanitary products, again take a look at the selection from Organyc they are great quality and stocked worldwide, but there are other brands popping up that are worth taking a look at. After a chat with some girlfriends I have decided to take the plunge and order a menstrual cup you can find more details here at Mooncup I will update you on my experience with it at a later date but feedback from friends is that these are great once you get used to using them.
Hair removal: I have hideous memories of hair removal cream and other ventures of my teenage years, truth is since finding sugaring seven years ago I haven't really used anything else. Sugaring once you get used to it is less traumatic for the skin and far less painful than waxing. You really do need to pay attention to the technique with this but once you get the hang of it you will wonder why you ever used any other hair removal method. Another positive of sugaring is that you are using all natural ingredients that are literally good enough to eat, it really doesn't get purer than this. I use Sugar Stipease (£10) and it comes with strips and spatulas that you can reuse, a jar lasts me a long time so I find it super budget friendly too.
*Indicates a sample was generously provided, all thoughts, opinions and beauty musings my own.