I have decided that I am going to try to move over to a Safety Razor for shaving rather than my disposable head Venus razor. Another blog writer… Greeen Sheeep… described how her 12 year old daughter used one with no issues. Surely if a 12 year old can use one… I can too! I am a little concerned about using it on the underarm where I had my surgery. This side is very ‘cratery’ and difficult to shave since the surgery. Not happy about that but I may eventually discuss that in another blog. This is another step into going greener. A Safety Razor simply needs a new metallic blade rather than a complex metallic, plastic, aloe gel head packaged in tons of plastic.
How are my green baby steps going?
My Lush shampoo bar is only a little over half used. So my 10$ investment has lasted me 4 months so far. I will not be going back to that shampoo bar as it still has perfumes, dyes and sodium laurel sulfate in it. I have found a new source for a more natural shampoo bar at Chagrin Valley Soap and want to try that. I like the shampoo bars very much and have no desire to go back to shampoo in a bottle.
I am bringing in almost no plastic bags into the house. I always remember to use my reusable bags for groceries but I sometimes forget for other items. Eduardo keeps us in plastic bags for kitty litter because he isn’t changing for no environment. I think this is reducing my use of plastic bags by about 50 or 60 bags a month.
I have ditched liquid lotion and will likely not go back. This will get rid of that plastic bottle and also expose me to less chemicals. I bought a glass jar of coconut oil for 10$ and I have started to use that. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but will melt on your skin. I scoop out about 1/2 a teaspoon and use my hands to rub it into my skin. I only use this at night because it seems to take a bit for it to soak in and I don’t want to get in on my clothes. In the morning, if necessary, I use some super-duper Body Balm from Chagrin Valley Soap that comes in a tin. It absorbs quickly so I can get dressed immediately. It is about 8$ and I expect it to last me 2 months using it 4 or 5 times a week for my arms, hands and below knees. It is also chemical free using only natural oils, Vitamin E and soy wax. These lotions actually work far better than the ones I used to buy from the pharmacy or grocery store. Another bonus!! I also use their lip balm. Chemical free but it does come in a plastic container.
I have also moved over to a natural soap. I really like the smell of it. It reminds me of my grandmother’s soap. It has none of the chemicals that off-the-shelf soap has. It is made from olive oil, calendula and a couple of other things. I got this from Chagrin Valley Soap. I don’t know if I am going to continue using it or not. I am thinking more of the price than anything. I love the soap but a small bar is about 2.60$ I have certainly seen soaps that are much more expensive so it is not outrageous. I have found some Almond scented natural soap at Whole Foods that has completely natural ingredients and no plastic for 1.80$. I am going to try that and see how I like it.
Before Christmas, I decided to recycle our paper and cardboard. I have a sawed off box from Costco next to our garbage can in the living room which the paper gets dropped into. I have another cardboard box outside the kitchen for cardboard. When the containers get full, I dump them at the recyling center on my way home. This is super convenient as I drive by the drop-off place every day. I think this has reduced our garbage that goes to the landfill by 50%.
Clothes shopping has been entirely by thrift store. This is still generally cheaper than shopping at a mall but not by much these days. Those deep discounts at the mall make for attractive clothing prices. Eduardo bought some really super nice casual track pant like pants for 10$ at Abercrombie and Fitch in January.
We have been keeping the heat down in the house but the electric bill is still exploding. The furnace doesn’t go on that much so I have to assume its the lights or plug-ins that are the issue. Ok… maybe I need to clean the filter to the furnace.
These steps have really been easy and I think they have been reducing our use of plastic, reducing use of chemicals and reducing the amount of garbage we send to the landfill. Could we do more? Oh I am sure we could. Mostly, I wanted to point out that going green is not all about sacrifice and pain. The alternative products are potentially just as good or better than the products that you already use and don’t take that much effort to find them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to remember reuseable bags rather than take plastic bags. Switching these things has been easy for me despite my busy schedule. I could probably do more if I had more time. One day… I hope to have that more time.