Day 6: Plastic Free July 2014

Yesterday I tried out my plastic-free shampoo and conditioners for the first time. I ordered these from Lush online and was somewhat taken aback by the packaging that they arrived in.

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On first glance, I thought the white things were polystyrene balls, but the box stated that they were fully compostable, and that the cardboard could be recycled. This made me feel better. Plastic Free July however, has got me thinking about ordering online, and the associated negative issue that it is hard to avoid plastic packaging.

Anyway…back to the hair products. I had somewhat stubbornly refused to try out my shampoo and conditioner bars before July, because I was convinced they would be a poor alternative to my usual brands, and I didn’t want to have to ‘suffer’ them before I had to.

Actually, as it turned out, I didn’t notice a difference. I felt that the Lush bars were quite expensive (you can check out prices on the website), but I hardly made a dent in them, so perhaps they will last me for a long time, and turn out to be good value for money.

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The conditioner is in a compostable wrap

Rubbing the shampoo bar on my hair felt like a strange thing to do, but it lathered up nicely and cleaned my hair perfectly well. I didn’t really know what to do with the conditioning bar, so I broke a corner off and squeezed it into a pulp, which I massaged through my hair. I don’t feel that I managed to distribute it as well as I would with liquid conditioner, but it seemed to work.

I have hair that is very dry so I really need hair products that are up to the job. I am optimistic that my new bars will get me through the month without turning my hair to straw – I’ll keep you updated!

A word of advice – do tell your family if you have shampoo that looks like soap. I found mine sitting on the sink, having already washed some little hands – at great expense!

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Last night I met a friend in Edinburgh for a meal and drinks. It was a plastic-free experience (I think!). I travelled into town on the bus, acquiring a paper ticket and managed to avoid any drinks straws or plastic cutlery, so the whole outing was stress-free.

Oh, and for those of you concerned that I am being forced into a dry July because of the plastic issue, I did manage a couple of glasses of wine. I will admit that I didn’t ask to examine the bottle for traces of plastic screw-tops or plastic-coated foil. I’m pretty sure I’d have found some!  I’m sticking to the if it’s not in my bin, it’s not my plastic* rule…no abuse of the rule is allowed though!

I’m still finding that the biggest change I’ve been making to eliminate plastics, is to make a lot more of my food from scratch. I’m constantly planning a meal or two ahead, and chopping and cooking up veg where I can, so that dishes can be thrown easily together when I need them. It’s all been really boring stuff so far, like tomato based sauces, so I’m going to have to up my game soon!

We had visitors for coffee this morning and I whipped up a batch of (almost) plastic-free fairy cakes instead of buying plastic-wrapped biscuits. Plus all of the orange squeezing is meaning that less rubbish is going into the bin from non-recyclable juice-cartons. Yay!

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As ever, thanks for all of the comments and encouragement, they’re really helping!

*thanks to @polytheenpam of Plastic Is Rubbish  and Plastic Free UK for this rule
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22 thoughts on “Day 6: Plastic Free July 2014

  1. My shampoo bars from lush lasted around ten months. That balanced the cost. I do have short hair but you don’t need much. I’m now no shampoo so don’t use it anymore.

  2. I wonder how much business Lush is doing this month! Agree with your comments about ordering online and not knowing what the packaging will be. Think it should be part of the ‘post and packaging’ information

  3. Last time I bought from Lush online, I got the polystyrene-looking balls in the box too – I accidentally spilt a bit of water on them and the whole box of balls began dissolving!
    Leanne x

  4. I started using Lush solid shampoos and conditioners after discovering them last plastic-free July. Now I’m addicted and can’t believe people actually buy bottles. I keep them in the little lush tins and they are so easy to take to the gym/pool. My first bar of shampoo actually lasted about 6 months, conditioner only about 1/2 that time. If you think about how many bottles of shampoo you would use in that time I think it makes up for the cost. I also was disappointed with the amount of packaging lush used when ordering online , I’m happy to hear the balls are compostable but really I think they are unnecessary, it’s not like my solid bar of shampoo really needs them for protection! Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2014 20:12:49 +0000 To: mmk25@hotmail.com

  5. Glad to hear all these comments about LUSH products, as I am also doing the Plastic Free July and am about to purchase a Shampoo bar from them. I didn’t realise that a conditioner bar was maybe also needed, so I will look into that also. Thanks guys.

  6. I started using Lush a year ago when my children and I started a zero waste war. We use a ton of their products except any that come in plastic containers. We use their tooth tabs, which have mixed reviews. We love their lotions, face cleansers, shampoo and conditioners.

    • I can’t tolerate the tooth tabs! I keep trying but think I’m going to have to give them up as a bad job ;-( Good to know you like the products, I’ve not got much Lush experience, perhaps that will change!

  7. Oh I have never tried shampoo bars before, I definitely need to try these! I must admit that out of all the bathroom essentials I have been swapping for greener ones, conditioner is the one thing I have struggled to find that actually works on my dry hair. I often end up having to use more conditioner to make up for it which can sometimes miss the point, but coconut oil in my hair overnight as a mask seems to help condition it. Anyway, in terms of avoiding packaging, these sound awesome!

  8. I remember a few years ago, someone from work getting a Lush package and rather than polystyrene, it was packed with popcorn! Actual popcorn! Of course, not being into waste I decided to try eating it. It tasted like soap. Not only that, it tasted of Lush soap – extra stinky! I probably should have realised that : /

  9. I just ranted about the packaging problem when ordering online in my blog as well (unfortunately in German ;)). That’s one of the things I have learnt from Plastic-Free July so far: We should order less online and buy more in our local stores. It’s just so convenient… I’ve started using Lush soaps as well but was told recently how bad they are for the environment and that there are a lot of hair soaps around that are completely free of chemicals – I’m not willing to give up on the stuff I bought yet because it does make my hair a lot smoother than any shampoo has done before…

    • It’s really hard to balance different priorities! I was recently shopping and saw some things I wanted to buy but I couldn’t at that time (small child with me, too much to carry etc!) so just though I’d buy them online. I realised when I got home that I didn’t want to generate all of that packaging so I’ve yet to purchase… Also, I’m with you in that there are some products that I’m not quite ready to give up on as I haven’t found satisfactory alternatives.

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