DOWN TO EARTH: Earth friendly choices challenging, but rewarding

Amber Gregg

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

Recently I made the decision to try to reduce as much waste as possible for products I use in my daily life.

Shampoo, conditioner, and body soap are all items I use frequently and all come in plastic bottles. I thought that it would be pretty straightforward; less plastic, less waste, more happiness.

There are hundreds of options for these products in liquid form, less so for conservation conscious folks who want to grab a bar and lather up minus the plastic packaging.

My first thought was to hit up the interweb for some DIY ideas. I found some recipes that looked simple enough and used fairly common ingredients but when I went to purchase the ingredients, many of them came in plastic packaging, completely defeating the original intent.

Not to be deterred, I went searching our local retailers. Success! I was able to find two businesses that sell a combination bar shampoo and conditioner for a very reasonable price. I did some reading on how best to use the product as I had heard it can take some getting used to.

Even after the first wash my hair felt dry and frizzy which reminded me of fighting with my natural curls in high school; not a happy memory and not something I wanted to repeat in my adult life.

READ MORE: Williams Lake residents invited to participate in World Cleanup Day

After further research, I decided to order online. Initially I was concerned about the environmental impact of shipping the product in a truck from the Lower Mainland to my house but I remembered that the liquid version would have travelled in the same manner; making me feel much better. Additionally, my bar soap did not require production of the plastic bottle in the first place, and would also not require resources to handle it once I had used it up.

I found a cruelty-free company that promotes ethical purchasing, naked packaging and environmental conservation. They contribute to various charities, offer recycling incentives, and the prices are not outrageous.

I ordered one of each bar at first to ensure they would work for me and to test their longevity. I started using the bars at the beginning of June and I have used about half of each. As with the liquid version, I am certain that I will not use them up at the same time. I decided to order two more of each to have on hand which should be about a year’s supply.

Making earth friendly choices in daily life can be challenging and the best choice isn’t always clear. If you are looking for alternative options for your daily products, there are many things to consider and it is worthwhile to research the options to find the right fit.

Conservation tip of the month: Next time you take a shower, hop in as soon as the water is warm, and get out a few minutes earlier than usual.

Every minute you shorten your shower by saves 15 litres of water!

Amber Gregg is the sustainable life education co-ordinator and WildSafeBC co-ordinator with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

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