MWG #4: Minimal Waste Guide
MWG 4 - Minimal Waste @Home - Fe*male Bathroom edition
Welcome back to a new MWG post! We took a short easter break, but now we're back with new tips.
Last week we’ve shared some of the reasons to switch to a more sustainable, plastic-free bathroom routine and showed you a variety of general zero-waste products to successfully reduce your waste. This week’s post has some additional suggestions, especially for females, because a lot of the beauty and personal care products are either single use or packaged in a lot of plastic that can’t really be recycled: makeup remover tissues and cotton pads, Q-tips, tampons and period pads, as well as all the stuff that’s typically in plastic bottles: shampoos and shower gels, body scrubs and lotions to name a few.
Minimal waste and zero waste is a journey, and of course you shouldn’t throw out the stuff you already own and switch to zero waste or DIY all at once. The most sustainable way is to use up everything you have and to start with some of the products that, for you personally, are easy and doable to replace with less wasteful alternatives.
Washable instead of single use
Cut up an old towel or t-shirt into smaller pieces to make some DIY washable makeup remover pads or, if you like it perfect, sew them yourself. As a makeup remover, use some coconut oil – no chemicals needed! If you’re not that handy with a sewing machine you can get them at Ekoplaza or Oodles and Pinches. Douglas has some made from microfiber, which magically remove makeup with just warm water. These options are just as effective in removing your makeup and they’re very gentle to your skin, too.
The average woman uses approximately 16,000 tampons in her lifetime – imagine that waste and all the money spent! Instead, invest in a menstrual cup for that time of the month. It’s a great, worry-free, waste-free and durable alternative. There are many options, and prices vary from around 15 to 30 €, but a cup will last you for around ten! years. Make sure to do your research to find one that is the perfect fit for you. Ekoplaza sells some, as well as Kruidvat and many online shops, such as Katoen & Ko. If you prefer pads, there are washable options, too. If you know your way around a sewing machine, you can sew them yourself, otherwise, Bol.com, Katoen & Ko and nappys.nl have some available.
Coconut oil everything
If you’re someone that loves body lotions and body butters, try coconut oil instead – it really is an allrounder when it comes to minimal-waste body care. Coconut oil is super moisturizing thanks to its fatty acids and it’s easily absorbed by the skin. Simply take some coconut oil on your palms, rub your palms against each other once or twice and then use it on your face, hands, dry skin parts, or wherever you want to see the moisturizing effect.
No more chapped lips
Of course, coconut oil works its magic on dry lips, too. But it’s also surprisingly simple to whip up a batch of lip balm that’s perfectly customized to you. Here’s a simple recipe:
· 20 g coconut oil
· 30 g shea butter
· a few drops sweet almond oil
· optional: a small piece of lipstick
Combine the coconut oil and shea butter and melt in a bowl set in warm water or in the microwave. Once melted, take it out of the water and stir in the sweet almond oil. Pour into a small container while the mixture is still liquid and let sit until it’s solid. This recipe doesn’t use beeswax in order to make it vegan which means it’ll melt at around 25°C, so during summer it might be best to store it in the fridge. If you like tinted lip balm, you can add a little bit of lipstick and melt it along with the coconut oil and shea butter.
For those of you who love lip scrub, here’s a simple recipe from ingredients you’ll probably already have at home: olive oil and sugar. The olive oil contains Vitamin E and acts as a nourishing agent, whereas the sugar crystals exfoliate and remove those dead skin cells. Because the sugar will dissolve after some time, you can’t store this one, but it’s so easy, it can be whipped together when needed.
DIY dry shampoo
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to wash your hair, so it’s great to have some natural DIY dry shampoo on hand instead of buying expensive dry shampoo with loads of added chemicals. DIY dry shampoo only contains one or two simple ingredients, that might already be in your pantry.
If you’ve got blonde hair, use cornstarch or arrowroot powder. For darker hair, add some cocoa powder to the dry shampoo, that way it won’t leave your hair looking grayish. Store the powder in an airtight container, as long as you keep it dry, it’ll last a very long time - cheap and easy for when you need a little touch up on your hair. Here’s the recipe:
· 1/3 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot powder
· 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (if you’ve got dark hair)
· Optional 2-4 drops of essential oil of your choice
Use your fingers or a makeup brush to apply the dry shampoo to your hair, primarily on the roots and any areas you see grease. Try to spread the powder and massage it into your hair to make sure it absorbs the oil. Then use a comb or makeup brush to remove any excess powder. That’s it!
We hope you’ll find some of these swaps useful, let us know about your favorites in the comments or on our Instagram @uvagreenoffice. Now, enjoy the nice spring weather and have wonderful Easter holidays!
Photographers in respective order: Denny Muller, Oodles & Pinches, Loepsi.com, Patricia Moraleda, Monicore & Kamboopics