Look Ma! No Plastic!

Hey guys!

Let’s be honest, making your own beauty products sounds awful. From the effort to making them, to the fact that you don’t even know if they’ll work – can’t be a good idea. But after using my Lush products, I have become more accepting of the more natural choices. After I went through my Febreze and facial lotion I decided to give DIY a chance.

The DIY Febreze was super easy to make and all I had to buy were the essential oils. I purchased Jasmine and it smells so good. Although, the recipe called for 8-10 drops, I can barely smell it on my fabrics. So I definitely dropped about 5 – 50 more inside. Since the base is alcohol, it does have a strong odor when spraying it, but that lasts about 5 seconds and then everything just smells clean and fresh.

The facial lotion was a little bit more difficult. I am making my own because I wanted to reduce the plastic in our home, but in order to make this lotion you need aloe vera. So I went to the store and bought the aloe vera but then thought to myself this is pointless. This bottle of aloe is plastic and the facial lotion I would have bought would be the same size, so how am I saving plastic? I couldn’t find any answers besides to find some in bulk – impossible. So I bought an aloe vera plant, and will be using it from now on.

  
[in a glass canning jar with a metal lid]
1 part coconut butter or coconut oil
2 parts aloe vera
8-10 drops of essential oil

[in a glass bottle, with aluminium top]
1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
8-10 (or 50) drops of essential oil

I used tea tree oil in my lotion, rather than an essential oil because I have acne and wanted to make sure I was still fighting that issue. The coconut oil definitely makes this lotion super oily. Yes – I know that sounds obvious, but it was much more oily than I originally assumed. I use about a pea size or smaller for my whole face, neck and hands. I was warned by a friend that the natural oils would clean out the pores on my face, so I could break out while my body adjusts. I haven’t encountered that yet – but I also only use it when my face feels like it needs some moisture. I definitely don’t use it every night. We’ll see how long that lasts with winter right around the corner.

It does smell a bit odd because the coconut oil is sweet and delicious and the tea tree oil is, well, tea tree oil. I got used to it and now kind of enjoy the smell.

Next, I am interested in potentially a stain remover. But I’m sorry, oxyclean is absolutely amazing and it gets everything out. I don’t see how a natural substitute would be just as effective. This might be a plastic guilty pleasure I am sticking with. :/

Talk soon,
Audrey

Lush Haul Empties

Hey guys!

I have officially gone through everything I bought at Lush awhile back. I am still in shock at how long the products lasted. Everything is so small! But they’ve lasted almost longer than anything jumbo sized from CVS.

Curly Wurly Shampoo: I didnt mind this one. The consistancy was weird, but I definitely got used to it. I especially learned to put it all over my head and then add a little of water and then scrub – works a lot better. It leaves little chunks of coconut in your hair that usually would brush out when dry, but there were a couple times a glob would be on top of my head and look like dandruff and that’s not cute.

SUBSTITUTE: Shampoo Bar! I believe the scent I bought is Jason and the Argan Oil. It smells so cussing good. It has rose and lemon in it and I want to eat it, but I won’t. I didnt understand how shampoo could be in bar form, but it works so much better than the Curly Wurly goop. Once your hair is thoroughly wet, you just rub this little nugget all over your head and suds up and is awesome. I bought the tin for it and keep it closed when not in use so it doesn’t get water logged. LOVE this.

Veganese Conditioner: This smells so good, but thats about it. I couldn’t tell if it was working or not, and since you’re only supposed to use a small amount I felt like it was pointless.

SUBSTITUTE: This crazy shampoo bar. I don’t remember what scent I chose, but I looked on Lush.com and apparently there’s only one. I have that. This chunk of love is so weird. The smell is overpowering. I can put other products in my hair, dry it, style it and still all I smell is this bar. Like the Veganese, I don’t know if this is doing anything to my hair. I won’t be buying this again.

T’eo Deodorant: Definitely one of the best things, ever. Not only is it plastic free, but it smells so good and works really well. No substitute for this one. I love too much to buy something else.

Retread tester conditioner: Absolutely disgustung. It smells like hot rubber and patchouli oil. So not down. Definitely not buying a full size.

R&B Deep Conditioner: This stuff is magical. Definitely my favorite item I purchased. I use it almost everyday, and look how much is left! Can’t say enough good things about this.

Toothy Tabs: I’ll admit I was nervous to use these on a regular basis. The texture is like brushing your teeth with chalk and none of the flavors they offer are the standard pepermint or minty fresh. So it’s a giant mindf*** trying to understand how using something that tastes like cloves and coffee (Atomic flavor) is helping your teeth and breath. But I’ve grown accustom to them and don’t think I’ll ever go back to normal toothpaste. After I was done with my Dirty Toothy Tabs, my boyfriend and I bought Atomic and now he’s hooked as well. I also purchased a new flavor for me, Ultrablast, because it smells like mint and I’m trying to keep it as normal as possible. I will confess the Atomic flavor is delicious though. As far as Ultrablast goes – I know, looks gross. Why would anyone combine lavendar and wasabi and mint – just NO. But it’s actually my favorite so far and leaves a fresh minty taste.

Between my last haul and now I finally went through all my face wash – Woo! F*** you, microbeads!! Never buying microbeads again. Instead, I opted to try this acne fighting solid face wash.

It’s called Coal Face and it’s sent from heaven. I have bad acne and have been losing an active world war III with it for years. This chunk of black gold is winning the battle. It has charcoal and licorice and other happy things and works like a dream. The chunks of charcoal replace the evil microbeads which I love because I wanted some sort of scrub. Highly recommend.

I am still so in love with Lush and hope some of you venture into one of their stores soon. Let me know if you try something weird!

Talk soon,
Audrey

My First Month Counting My Trash

I DID IT! I MADE IT! One month of trash was able to fit into a mason jar. I was nervous that I wasn’t aware of how much trash I was actually making and that my jar would fill up after, hmmm – a week. For anyone who thinks this is impossible, it’s not. If I can do it, you can do it.

jar

everything

Most of my trash was plastic. Obviously. I had a couple large items like the cheese plastic bag, the plastic that the cauliflower was wrapped in and I bought some brussel sprouts that just had to come in a mesh bag. Also that super gross looking tissue at the bottom is the wax paper that came under some fries I ordered. Doesn’t smell good. [see above] Medium items were all the produce wrappers. So dumb. [see below]

produce wrappers

These made me the most mad because – WHY? Why?! Drove me nuts that carrots are wrapped twice and every produce item had a sticker on it. I started only taking fruit that the sticker had fallen off, and then just writing down the SKU number to tell the person at checkout. I am going to try and avoid these stickers and wrappers by shopping at a farmer’s market.

Small items included the plastic seals on kombucha bottles, the wrappers from nyquil and dayquil, a couple straws and random plastic wrappers on things I didn’t even realize I was buying.

NOT INCLUDED IN MY JAR:

One million tissues from when I was sick. I only have a couple cloth napkins at this point and with the amount of yuck I was producing, those towels wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Anything to do with my lady bits. Because I’m not switching over to anything zero waste at this point and also why would I collect that? Gross.
Anything I owned before my zero waste journey. I haven’t counted anything I owned before because purposely using those items to get rid of them so that one day I can be completely waste free. *I’m looking at you, old make up and face wash*

THINGS I CAN’T GIVE UP AT THE MOMENT:

Q-tips: I know everyone says they’re bad for you and you shouldn’t be using them to clean your ears in the first place – but I think visible wax in your ear is disgusting. I’m not down to walk around with that. Sorry landfills.
How I plan to make this zero waste: No idea.

Personal flossers: I would use normal floss that you wrap around your fingers and such, but that never seems to go well.
How I plan to make this zero waste: There is that machine that uses water to floss, rather than actual floss. It’s about $35.00 so it’s definitely affordable – just have to save up for it.

Oxyclean: I know some people use a mixture of dawn and peroxide or any other combination of things – but those definitely dont get out the stains well enough. (I’m looking at you, turmeric…)
How I plan to make this zero waste: If anyone knows of a really good homemade stain remover, let me know. I want to be able to get out everything. EVER-Y-THING.

THINGS I NOTICED:
I was making trash that I didn’t consider trash. For instance, when I’m in a public restroom, I’m not going to take in my linen napkin to wipe my hands. Nasty. So now I swing my hands around like a crazy person and then wipe my hands on my pants, or use the air dryer if they have them. I know a lot of people say those blowers are like a bacteria breeding ground, so I’m hoping I don’t die. Shout-out to the bulk hand sanitizer we have at work.

Trash from eating out is something I kind of ignored until this month. I didn’t count the straws I was served, or the napkins that were brought to me. That’s the restaurant’s trash – not mine, right? How about wrong. The struggle here is I’m brought the napkin and the water before I am even asked. So a lot of times it’s a losing battle. I’m going to make “no straws” one of my top priorities. But I’m already the weird jar lady and I don’t want to add the “picky bitch who says no straws in her whiskey” at the bar to my list of nicknames. :/

Most places are nice, some are – less nice. I usually only encounter problems with newer employees. I do feel like crawling inside my own skin whenever I hand the employee my jar and they say they can’t accept it, or they don’t know and then run and get a manager. I know I’m doing a good thing, but when there is a line of people behind me and they’re now having to wait for this weird hippie to see if her stupid jar is okay to be used – that’s when I want to just take the trash and cut my losses. So embarrassing. So awkward. But like I said, it’s usually only new employees that don’t know me yet.

I did try and order Starbucks for the first time since going zero waste. Although I worked at Starbucks for about 3 years, I still wasn’t on my game enough to make no waste. I started saying my order and held up my jar, but they started writing my order on the cup before I could say I brought a jar. Also, I know a lot of the time Starbucks employees use a cup because they need the lines to measure the drink. So a part of me wants to say it doesn’t have to exact, please don’t use a plastic up. But that’s also super embarrassing and I’d feel like an asshole. The struggle is real.

The impact I’m having on my coworkers seriously makes my day, everyday. One of my managers bought me a huge recycle bin and that made me so cussing happy. Even though I’m the weird jar lady, everyone has been so supportive. Zero waste at work has been a breeze with these awesome coworkers.

Thanks to everyone that has liked or commented on here or instagram. It makes me feel like I’m not doing it alone. And shoutout to my boyfriend for still wanting to be seen with the lady who brings 10 containers to Whole Foods and needs them all separately weighed. You’re cool.

Talk soon,
Audrey