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Breaking free from Plastic (or trying to)

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

This morning I woke up to the news of the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin -- a piece of news I had eagerly awaited. That a person who under more than nine minutes slowly choked another human being should be convicted should be a given. Sadly it hasn't been. But hopefully change is now coming.

Otherwise news is mostly extremely depressing. There's the reports about the pandemic, all the women being battered, raped and killed. The ongoing saga of Alexei Navalny. And above and beyond there's climate change.

It looks like 2021, despite a big decline in flying, will be a record year of CO2 emissions. Time is running out to do anything about the impending doom. We are all climate change deniers. Even those of us who try to do SOMETHING like quit eating meat, fly less, recycle etc.

I am fully aware that whatever I do to reduce my carbon footprint, it is not at all in line with the actual problem.

And to be perfectly honest, I have days (they occur more and more frequently) when I feel: we're totally doomed anyway, so just carry on, and when life on planet earth has turned totally dystopian / Mad Max-esque, deal with it then!

BUT, mostly I try a little. Even if it may turn out to be futile, it feels better.

After reading How To Give Up Plastic and participating in a beach clean-up in Italy last year, I begun to take even more seriously the project of reducing plastic in my home. Because not only does plastic end up in our seas, and in the bellies of fish and birds, producing plastic affects the CO2 emissions, and so does recycling it.

My boyfriend and I bring a small-ish bag of plastic to the recycling each week.

We get plastic-free vegetables delivered from a local farm. We get drinking water (here on Mallorca, the tap water is horrible and most people carry their water home in 6L plastic bottles) delivered once a month in 20L bottles that are re-used. We try to buy as much stuff as we can afford at NU in Palma de Mallorca and other plastic-free shops like it. We've stopped using paper tissues (that usually come in plastic wrapping) to blow our noses -- instead we have old school plastic handkerchiefs. We wash and reuse rags for cleaning, and get all of our cleaning supplies from NU in our own glass jars.

We don't get to go food (except for pizzas in paper boxes every now and then). For coffee and water on the go, we carry our own vessels.

It is usually recommended to start in the bathroom when attempting to go plastic-free.

And that's for sure where I've made the most progress. I've always loved creams, potions, scrubs and scents. I loved to shop for these kinds of products, and my past bathrooms used to overflow with plastic. I've now become quite minimalist about my beauty routine. Maybe you can find some inspiration in the changes I've made?

Starting with the essentials, there are many brands of toilet paper that now comes without the annoying plastic bag!

For period stuff, the moon cup is naturally the gold standard, however that doesn't work for me, so I use pads and tampons from Natracare.

Replacing the shower gel with a bar soap is a no brainer. Same with face soap (there are so many, you're bound to find a good one!). Shampoo and conditioner has been tricker for me, but I love the hair products from Your Loving Nature.

And I pamper my dry hair with a hair oil from Evolve.

Plastic-free toothpaste is now also plentiful, from tabs, to paste to powders. Right now I am using a powder from Eliah Sahil.

I use a day cream with SPF which, organically speaking, hasn't been so easy to find. I've tried Aesop's and currently using one that comes in a glass jar from Face Theory.

Shaving (when done :) is done with an old school metal razor.

I make my own deodorant (easy peasy -- check YouTube for a plethora of recipes) and I use coconut oil as a moisturizer.

For removing make-up I use reusable pads from Last Round.

But there are many other options. My mom also sent me some that she has crocheted.

I haven't bought any make-up in a long while and the stuff I have isn't plastic free, but going forward, I will surely try out some of the plastic-free make-up brands I've found, like Kjaer Weis, Fat and the Moon or Vyana Beauty.

So my bathroom is not 100% plastic-free, but I'm getting there. For sure, a lot of these products are a LOT more expensive than their plastic-packaged counter parts. But buying less helps. And it feels good to do good.

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