Posts tagged "shampoo"

How can I reduce the amount of toiletries I use?

showeringWe’ve had an email from Di:

Every week I have to buy more shampoo, more conditioner, more shower gel… for my family and want it to stop. It’s so expensive, all the bottles are such a waste and I hate the idea of all those chemicals. I don’t know if we’re brave enough to go no ‘poo but want to reduce our use all the same. Any ideas?

I’ve heard lots of good things about going down the no (sham)poo route but it does take some perseverance – the first few weeks are usually pretty horrible while the hair/scalp adjusts from being regularly doused in chemicals to managing itself. For some people, it quickly settles down and is better than it was before, for other people it takes ages to work itself out and sometimes never does.

There is plenty of middle ground though – try reducing the amount of times you wash your hair. I think we’ve been convinced that hair needs washing regularly by shampoo producers – I’ve spoken to older people about the issue and they think it’s madness that we wash our hair so often – they go for shampoo-and-sets once a week or even less frequently and that’s more than enough. (I suspect we also generally have a somewhat broken notion about what smells clean because we’re so used to perfumed soaps and the like.) After leaving my job to work for myself a few years ago, I halved the amount of times I wash my hair and I think there is scope to scale it back even further.

Cut down the waste produced by the toiletries by buying bigger containers of things – bulk-buy if you can and decant it into smaller, old bottles for ease of use – and consider swapping to solid shampoo & soaps instead – less bulk to be transported around. Of course, you can make your own shampoo, liquid soap and bar soap too – then you know exactly what’s it in and don’t need tons of packaging.

Any other suggestions? What have you done to cut back? What works? What doesn’t? Any particular shampoos that aid infrequent washing?

Shampoo bottle jewellery

Shampoo bottle jewelleryStatement necklaces are apparently where it’s at fashion wise at the moment and Nancy from 21centurydressmakers made herself a fab piece to wear on New Year’s Eve – made from old shampoo bottles.

I love the different colours (such pretty blue and a lovely vibrant orange!) and the oval shapes – and how the curved shapes of the original bottles add to the finished shape of the necklace.

Awesome work, Nancy! Check out the how-to on her site if you want to make your own.

How can I reuse or recycle hotel shampoo bottles?

Hotel toiletriesBack in the day, before I realised what an ecological nightmare they were, I used to yoink the mini shampoo bottles, soaps and leftover shower caps from hotel bathrooms, particularly when we stayed in fancy hotels and they came in interesting bottles and smelled of great things. I built up quite a collection and I know I’m not alone in doing so (hi mum!).

These days we take our own (full size or thereabouts) supplies with us when we go away but I’m also still working through the stack of these little bottles in the back of the bathroom cupboard.

Aside from refilling the empties for gym/spa/pool sessions when you don’t want to lug a full bottle of shampoo or shower gel, does anyone have any other suggestions for reusing these little single-use-size critters?

How can I reuse or recycle shampoo bottles?

Shampoo bottlesShampoo bottles upset me. Not on the scale of, say, world poverty or abuse of political power but a minor gah most times I wash my hair.

I already buy the biggest bottles I can but still, lots of wasted plastic. The bottles seem so rigid and potentially useful but I have no idea what those uses might be, given they’re typically narrow necked and their previous contents preclude using the bottle to hold anything that might be negatively affected by smelling like a chemical approximation of various fruits.

Any suggestions?
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