After my previous post about cutting down on plastic I got lots of comments and messages from various sources letting me know what others have done to reduce their single-use plastic waste. Interestingly I was led away into a world of well-being and general caring for oneself. All I did was look for a bamboo toothbrush and I found these amazing toothpastes that are really good for you and only use 5 ingredients. I’m going to try some out and when I have I’ll let you know what they were like. For now I’m still trying the bamboo toothbrushes and so far I’m not convinced. I’m giving them a fair trial but I’m slightly disappointed with the ones I got to start with. I’ll do a full review another time but my first impression of one type was that it was a bamboo toothbrush wrapped in plastic packaging!
The bathroom seems a complicated place as when you look almost everything is plastic or encased in plastic. I had a trip to my local Lush and it was very educational. I love Lush. It like walking in to a rainbow, a good smelling rainbow at that!Now remember I’m British but live in France so whilst I was excited I was also a little apprehensive as I wanted to be able to talk to someone. I had my handy translation app on standby and went bravely in. The first person I saw heard me speak English to my daughter and immediately offered assistance in English. What luck!Now for anyone who’s moved aboard and struggled with the language you’ll know how tricky it can be. I’m proud to say we’re trying and although this consists of mainly making a fool of ourselves, we are at least trying. However, I was glad to be able to say what I wanted and the sales assistant was wonderfully helpful. She understood quickly that I was avoiding plastic but also explained that they encourage and, in fact reward customers for bringing back the plastic bottles to be washed and reused. Love it!
I was shown several types of bar shampoo and conditioner and was helped to match them to my hair. The sales assistant even showed me ones that would be good for the kids and held every one out for my daughter to smell so she didn’t get bored in the buggy. I chose a honey one for the shampoo which is enriching so I don’t need the conditioner too much. Also, I bought some ‘naked’ shower gel. I know what you’re thinking because it’s what I thought: “isn’t that just soap?” Well no. They don’t use a soap base for a start and it’s a concentrate so lasts longer (read more in the link above). In fact I’ve been reliably informed that the products I bought should last about 3 months easily! I got something for the kids too: rainbow fun bar. It’s soap, bubble bath, shampoo, shower gel and play dough all in one. Yes, play dough. They can mould it and play with it and it survives the bath. And it’s 7 different colours and flavours and the kids love it, secretly so do I! I’m now looking into crochet soap savers for all these purchases. More another time on that.
For now the fight continues in the kitchen. When you really look it’s bloody hard to eliminate plastic completely from your shopping. Now I buy squash (sirop it’s called here in France) in the metal bottles and fish fingers in the cardboard boxes and chicken nuggets. But I’m annoyed! No matter what I do it isn’t enough!! The chicken nuggets are in a cardboard box with a plastic box encasing them on the inside! How am I supposed to know that when I buy them?!? Also, some things come individually wrapped such as madeleines and brioche portions. I was so annoyed at finding this out. And then there’s teabags. We’ve discovered since moving here that all teabags come individually wrapped in the main supermarkets, even English breakfast tea! We’ve now found some breakfast tea unwrapped and simply in cardboard in Lidl. Well done Lidl for that. I’m becoming very conscious of what I’m buying when I get my groceries now and have even avoided Easter treats with plastic involved. It’s hard when you really go for it. Even my husband has noticed.
One thing I’m pleased about is our new sofa siphon. Now I couldn’t tell you which company as it was a random Amazon purchase. At first the water tasted disgusting and I thought I’d made a terrible mistake but I’d got the gas for the whipped cream siphon! Once I got the right gas capsules it was fine. We’ve worked out the nuances of the siphon and that it’s bubbles are better after refrigeration and once the gas has been left to do its thing for at least 10 minutes. I fact I’m really pleased and it’s one of the siphons that uses the least plastic. Plus it’s fun to use. I have a little giggle every time I use it.
I’m even trying washable sanitary wear but I’ll save all that for another time.
For now I’m off to get some sparkling water and enjoy the smell in my bathroom. It’s like walking into that rainbow all over again.
Take care, pop pickers.