So, you regularly mix up your favorite blend of DIY chemical-free deodorant. You’ve swapped out your toxic beauty products for cruelty-free versions, and you’re conscious about your use of paper products in your hygiene routine. But here are 5 personal hygiene products you may not have even realized you could green up:
1. Tooth Care
We all know that plastic is terrible for the environment, but if the thought of brushing your teeth with twigs makes your gums twitch, don’t worry. There are several environmentally conscious toothbrush brands on the market such as Preserve, which is made from recycled yogurt cups and offers a mail back program so toothbrushes can be re-recycled. Want to minimize plastic? The Environmental Toothbrush, or Brush With Bamboo both have handles made out of sustainable bamboo.
And if brushing with twigs isn’t such a terrible thought after all, you can chew Neem Sticks, which have been used in India to clean teeth for centuries.
2. Menstrual Products
Ladies, I’m gonna get personal here, but the best kept secret for feminine care is the menstrual cup, like the Diva, Lunette, Moon Cup or The Keeper. Now, before you get all squeamish about the logistics of using a cup, consider this: an estimated 7 billion tampons are used and discarded each year. That’s a lot of plastic, paper and chemically bleached cotton clogging up our sewage and waste systems and polluting the environment and wildlife. Additionally, tampons are dangerous and toxic to your body! According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, tampons are “biologically incompatible technology,“ which can react with constituent bacteria and women’s menstrual cycles “to create the ideal environment for the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria to live and flourish in some women.”
Yikes! If the environmental and health issues surrounding tampons doesn’t convince you, menstrual cups are non-toxic, reusable, amazingly comfortable, easy to use once you get the hang of it, and anyone who’s tried it raves about it! Also, depending on your cycle, menstrual cups can be safely left in longer than tampons (in other words, change it in the shower each morning. Clean, easy, done.) If pads are more your jam, you can be environment and health conscious with reusable cloth pads such as GladRags or Luna Pads. Oh, and since all of these products are reusable, you save money…like a lot of money, since the cost of a cup or set of pads that can last years is approximately the same as just a few boxes of the disposable versions!
3. Toilet Paper
While we can all be conscious of our paper usage, it’s hard to go without toilet paper. But you can minimize your environmental impact by using recycled toilet paper brands. According to Greenpeace, “Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper—just once.” Check out the National Resources Defense Council’s Environmental Ratings of Household Tissue Paper Products guide.
4. Bulk Shampoo, Soap, Body Scrubs
Rather than purchasing small bottles of soap, shampoo or even lotions, why not buy in bulk from environmentally conscious companies? You can save money and cut down on your plastic and packaging consumption. Be sure to get reusable dispensers!
5. Eco-Friendly Bath Accessories
Image source: Kris Wood/Flickr