Is part of your 2021 New Years Resolutions to be more environmentally friendly with the products you buy? If yes, fantastic! This is a great goal to have for 2021.
For this goal, you may have already thought about buying from sustainable clothing brands or cutting down on the amount of meat you purchase this year. These are great ways to be more eco-friendly but have you considered the benefits of going green with your shampoo?
Move away from plastic shampoo bottles
It’s not something that everyone thinks about, but start thinking about how many bottles of shampoo you go through. This is a product that is often such a part of our lives that we don’t think about the impact it can have on the environment.
Once you know how often you wash your hair, you can work out how fast you go through your shampoo and then how many bottles you’re potentially sending to landfill. The sad fact is, even if you put it into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean it will be recycled.
So much of our plastic waste ends up travelling overseas, and the plastic that stays in the UK sometimes just can’t be recycled. The best way to reduce the impact of plastic is simply not to use it.
There has been an explosion of plastic-free hair care in the UK. Before you were looking at having to buy online or finding a local Lush, but now you’re spoilt for choice. Boots, Superdrug, and the big supermarkets all have shampoo bars for you to try. Even in a lockdown, you can still go plastic-free.
What to expect if you do switch to a solid shampoo?
Before you buy a bar make sure to use up what shampoo you have before going to purchase more, there are no benefits from buying more than you need.
When you’re ready to switch to a solid shampoo bar you’ll need to do some research before you dive in.
Shampoo bars will respond to different water hardness and give you different results depending on your hair type. It’s worth bearing in mind that they can become quite harsh on your hair if they don’t have any conditioning qualities.
It is a process to switch from liquid shampoo to a solid bar, so definitely take the time and look up specific advice for your hair type. It can be a challenge, and it will take time to adjust but if you really want to cut down on plastic waste in the bathroom this is a good option to explore.
Choose cruelty-free products where you can afford to.
As with make-up, it’s important to choose products that are ethically made without cruelty to animals. We’ve done a separate guide on why ethical make-up matters if you’re looking to start switching your products.
It’s well known that animals bred for meat contribute to climate change, but so do the animals unnecessarily kept for testing chemicals before they are introduced to us in our beauty products. While this may not be the biggest factor in choosing to switch to eco-friendly shampoo, it’s certainly an important one.
Cruelty-Free does not mean expensive or difficult to find. One of the brands that we love is the Superdrug cruelty-free range of haircare. There’s something for the majority of hair types and it’s reasonably priced. If you’re looking to spend a bit more on your haircare why not try Function Of Beauty? They’re an entirely online store that specializes in customised hair care just for you.
As with anything we recommend, this is a change you can make gradually. Do some research to find the perfect cruelty-free and (hopefully) plastic-free shampoo for your hair type that’s in your budget.
If you can’t afford to make a change to your beauty routine right now, that’s fine too. Why not spend some time getting in touch with companies and letting them know that they should be taking steps to be greener and stop using chemicals tested on animals? Using your voice to let companies know that they need to change to meet consumer demands is a big way to help if you can’t necessarily vote with your wallet and is a perfect way to make a difference.
How many of us have shower gel in the bathroom right now? Probably the vast majority of people in the UK. We get it at Christmas, it’s in the supermarkets and you will have probably bought the minis to take on holiday. The question is, how many of us have stopped to think if this is the best option for the environment?
Take a good look at it next time you’re in the bathroom. What is the bottle made of? How long does it take you to use it? Is it cruelty free? Chances are we can all make better choices for our beauty products, but here’s why you should.
How much you will save by switching to bars of soap.
We started out with bar soap, introduced shower gel with it’s new range of fragrances but now the trend is to switch back to bar soap. By switching to bar soap you’ll be saving right from the beginning at the manufacturing step. Before the gel has even reached your shopping basket it’s already done a lot of damage. It takes 9 litres of water, 200ml of oil and 110 grams of CO2 to make that product and get it to you. By switching to bar soap you can start to reduce the impact on the environment every time you shower.
Bar soap is, hopefully, wrapped in paper instead of plastic which reduces the need to continually produce more plastic.Another benefit is you can ship more bars of soap at once than bottles because they take up less space and require less protective packaging, plus bars of soap can’t spill or burst during transit. With bars of soap now available in most major supermarkets, it’s easy to make the switch back.
One less thing to try and recycle.
The Guardian recently discovered that bathroom waste was most likely to end up in landfill. This could be due to lack of clear labelling, customers not associating bathroom waste with recycling in the same way as kitchen waste or customers thinking because you can’t clean the bottles, it can’t be recycled. One thing is clear, a lot more needs to be done to improve recycling in the bathroom.
You can make your life so much easier by switching from shower gel to bars of soap. No more bottles to cart down to the recycling, inevitably leaving water throughout the house because you can never get the bottle dry. No more trying to clean out that last bit of soap from the tub. Simply recycle the bar wrapper and you’re done, so much easier!
You’ll save money.
How do you use your shower gel? A tiny amount at a time or do you put plenty on your sponge so there’s lots of bubbles? The second one is way more fun and feels like you really get clean, but that’s the fastest way to waste the gel itself.
Going through the gel that fast means you have to buy more of it, far more often. That’s not the case when using a solid form of soap. The solid bars foam up just as much as their gel counterparts but use up less product to create that result. Not only do they leave you feeling squeaky clean they do it without draining your bank balance.
You can get way more fancy.
Shower gels come in a bottle, feature a few fragrances and boring colours. Why stick with this when there are so many more different bar soaps you can treat yourself to.
You can buy bars of soap with different textures, flowers added in to them or glitter if you choose. Try a bar of soap with a raised pattern on one side to really exfoliate with no extra effort.
The only option used to be lush, which still has some great bar soaps, but now there is a whole internet to explore. If you want to lose some time, we recommend exploring Etsy where there is every type of soap you could ever want. From soap for sensitive skin, vegan, palm oil free and bulk orders you’ll never want to go back to the £1 shower gel again.