Going Green – A Miscellany

14 10 2020

Last year I started trying a load of de-plasticing options, (see my other “Going Green” blog entries), some good, some bad, but I hadn’t tried many new options for a while. So given the disposable income I had from not commuting and from sitting around my parents house for annual leave instead of going away, and re-motivated by the plastic free July campaign, this summer I decided to spend some of that money on a few more swaps to try. It’s been long enough now to give you some feedback, see how I got on below!

Category: Laundry detergent

Brand: Smol
Item: Non-bio capsule subscription.
Price: £4.50 per 24 pack
Thoughts: I was apprehensive because there was only detergent available, no fabric conditioner. I contacted them and they said it shouldn’t be needed, and they were right, I haven’t noticed any difference in the condition of my clothes at all! (though, contradicting what they said to me, they’ve now launched a fabric conditioner option!)
They’re cheaper, they come in the normal post as regularly as you choose, they’re better for the environment, they come in a cardboard sleeve instead of a massive plastic tub – there seems to be very little to lose! They even solved the one issue I had with the liquitabs I was using before (the tubs from the supermarket, I got whatever was on offer – Bold/Ariel/Tesco own brand). I found that before, after washing at 30°C, one item of clothing would have a small patch of sticky residue where the capsule hadn’t fully dissolved, but with these I don’t have that problem! Absolute winner.
If you’re interested, you can get a free trial of 9 liquitabs, just paying £1 to cover postage. (It’s my refer link, so for full disclosure, I do get a discount if you sign up.)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Fully converted, my subscription is set up and will continue!
My referral link

Category: Deodorant

Brand: Wild
Item: Natural deodorant subscription.
Price: Initial subscription purchase: case and cartridge, £12. Refills £15 for a set of 3. Or one off purchase of case and 3 refills, £25.
Thoughts: I had a bit of a reaction to the bicarb in it at the start (though this was mid August heatwave when it was 30 degrees), but after a while it seems to have settled down. I’m having to be careful not to use too much as it’s a subscription service, and not particularly cheap, but it’s probably a good thing that I use less anyway! The Orange Zest one smells particularly amazing. Basic deodorant function wise it seems good though! You keep the case, and the refills come in compostable cases, so plastic wise, all is good.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Will definitely stick with it for now as long as I can make it last between subscriptions. To be honest, I’d much rather use non-natural deodorant, but all the plastic-free options seem to be natural deodorants. I have written to the companies that make the old deodorants I used to see what their stances were on providing a plastic free option, but their replies weren’t particularly helpful, so for now, Wild is a good plastic free option!
My referral link

Category: Deodorant

Brand: Nuud
Item: Natural deodorant.
Price: £12.95 for 15ml starter pack “6-7 weeks”. £24.95 for 2x20ml pack “19-20 weeks”. They also offer a subscription service.
Thoughts: The big marketing point for Nuud is that you only need to use it every 3-4 days, it’s shower proof and everything. It worked fine for me, but my problem was remembering when I last put it on, to know when I was going to need to next use it! And this was even just while I was working out how often I needed it, not even once I’d got into a regular routine.
I bought this because of the bicarb-free selling point when I had the reaction to Wild, and indeed I didn’t get a reaction from it. But what does bother me, is that while the tube is made of sugar cane and so is biodegradable, the cap on every tube is still plastic.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: It feels like even at the beginning I couldn’t keep track when it’s not daily, then it’s probably not going to work for me, so while I’ll probably end up using up the tube, I probably won’t re-buy.

Category: Toothbrush

Brand: Glorious Alternatives
Item: Hard-bristle bamboo toothbrushes.
Price: £4.99 for a pack of 4.
Thoughts: I had tried a bamboo toothbrush before, but found the bristles way too soft. I did some googling and found some people recommending these for people who prefer a firm toothbrush. They were better than the other brush I had tried, but still far too soft for me. Though the good thing about this company is that for every pack sold, they donate a toothbrush to a child in need.
Rating: ⭐⭐
Decision: Too soft for me, but as they all come in individual cardboard boxes (which seems a tad excessive), I can donate the other three to the foodbank.

Category: Cleaning products

Brand: Ocean Saver
Item: Cleaning EcoDrops.
Price: £1.50 per refill
Thoughts: When I first bought these, I bought all the initial plastic bottles to go with them (and then reuse forever) so it felt a bit weird, but from now on all that I need to order is the little capsules that come in cardboard boxes, which you then drop into the spray bottle with warm water, give it a shake, and you’re good to go – for ages, since the bottles are 750ml.
I ordered the kitchen degreaser, the bathroom cleaner, the glass cleaner, the floor cleaner, and the anti bac spray. Am pretty happy with them – occasionally have to get the half finished bottle of flash bleach out of the cupboard for the hob, but not much, and I think I might be able to go without that if I got a metal wire ball scourer thing – and if I followed the instructions and actually left the spray for a couple of minutes before wiping, it might just be fine! My windows are a bit smeary, but I think that’s just my lack of skill in window-cleaning, rather than anything against the cleaner!
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Very happy to stick with it.

Category: Cleaning products

Brand: Eco-Living
Item: Compostable sponge cloths.
Price: £5.50 for 4, or £6.99 for 6.
Thoughts: First thing to say, not only are these compostable, but they’re also washing machine safe, so should last for ages! I was using standard supermarket sponges with the slight scourer on one side before this, and my worktops always felt like there was residue left on them, and now they finally feel properly clean! Whether it’s the cleaner or these I’m not sure, but makes sense as the texture is different that it’d make a difference! They come in a load of colours so you can easily keep track of what you use on kitchen surfaces vs bathroom vs windows etc.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: I love that these are plastic free, washable, and do the job better than my last ones! I’ve just ordered a second set, so that I can use them when the others are in the wash 🙂

Category: Toilet Roll

Brand: The Good Roll
Item: The Cheerful Choice – Maxi Roll
Price: €19.95 for 24 rolls (less without the wraps or if you subscribe, can also order a 48 or 96 box at better value). I also had to pay a few pence for the international transaction with my bank.
Thoughts: I ordered mine with the wraps the first time around, for the novelty value, but pretty sure I would leave them next time and take the discount! I went with The Good Roll for a couple of reasons. Mainly, their biggest competitor, WGAC ship from Australia (in bulk, and then distribute through the UK) whereas The Good Roll manufacture in the Netherlands, from Dutch waste, so the travel miles, while it does come over the Channel, are much reduced. The roll is decent quality, and being longer, obviously lasts longer. They do offer a bamboo version for those who want the luxury option, but this obviously travels further. Additionally, 50% of their net profits are invested in building safe toilets in East Africa.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: If there was a UK based firm doing this, that’d be amazing, but I haven’t found one yet so will stick with these guys for now.

That’s all for now, but I’ve got a few other bits I’ve ordered since and not ready to review yet, so I’ll be back with them another time!

Going Green – Toiletries part 2

5 11 2019

Really loving the discussions that have followed these posts! After part 1 someone told me about Bare + Fair who run a stall in Woking each Saturday, so a while ago I popped down to get a few more things to try out!
As well as things like those below, they also do refills of shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, cleaning products, all sorts of things! Just take down any container and they’ll fill it and charge you by weight – brilliant!

Category: Conditioner bar

Brand: Funky Soap
Item: For Normal Hair
Price: £8
Thoughts: If I rub it between my hands it really doesn’t feel like there’s anything to put in my hair, so I’m rubbing it straight on – even then it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much, but my hair seems to be ok after! Makes me wonder about trying a wash without conditioner one day if I’m brave, it’d help me know if this bar is doing anything! It’s going down VERY slowly though so if it is good, it’s good value! And smells yummy.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Will go through this bar which could take a long time – would buy again, but might also experiment without conditioner… or maybe try the refills? I do miss liquid conditioner.

Category: Toothpaste

Brand: Save Some Green
Item: Tooth Tabs
Price: £3.50 (for a tin of 62)
Thoughts: I really haven’t enjoyed these, and keep stopping using them and going back to normal toothpaste, so still have a load left! They look like mints, you put one in your mouth and chew it til it crumbles and mixes with your saliva to become a bit like a paste and then brush your teeth with it. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, I would carry on if I didn’t know I still had normal toothpaste in the cupboard from before I tried going greener. Maybe when I run out of tubes of toothpaste I’ll give it another go.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Will work through the toothpaste I have and then try again.

Category: Face wash

Brand: Friendly Soap
Item: Cocoa Butter Cleansing Bar
Price: £2.99
Thoughts: This is nice enough, my skin seems fine with it, froths up nicely, and is lasting well but not quite sure it’s worth the price when other soaps are so much cheaper.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Given how much Dove soap I can get for less money, I’m going to shift to that when this runs out.

Category: Deodorant

Brand: Fit Pit
Item: For Women
Price: £4 (sample size)
Thoughts: The texture is kind of mousse like – you just scoop a tiny bit out and rub it in! Unfortunately it gave me a bit of a mild rash, but other than that it seemed to be effective! I think they might do a sensitive version which I’d willingly try.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Stopped due to the rash but next time I go to Bare and Fair I’ll get the sensitive one.

Category: Toilet Paper

Brand: Who gives a C***
Item: Recycled 3-ply double length roll
Price: 76p (for one roll)
Thoughts: I have two main gripes with this product – one more significant than the other. The small one is that if you order from the company, they come in a big box with the company name written massively on the side, I’d have to get it delivered to work and I’m not sure a Christian workplace is the least embarrassing place for that to happen!
The bigger issue for me though is that they really promote themselves as environmentally friendly etc, but in not being available in supermarkets so you can’t get it as part of your weekly shop, (probably an issue with the name?!), they’ll courier it to you (they claim to be helpful in that you don’t have to bring it home from the supermarket – weird) – which they promote as convenient, but at the end of the day is just putting another vehicle on the road.
The toilet roll itself is really tightly wrapped which means you are getting a lot more per roll, so I guess that’s good, and it’s perfectly fine to use, but I think the courier issue still bothers me too much.
Rating: ⭐⭐
Decision: Might pick up a few rolls from Bare + Fair on the few occasions I’m in Woking (parking is fast becoming extortionate), but I wouldn’t get it delivered and therefore won’t use it regularly. I’ll go back to my recycled stuff for now.

Have you tried any of the above and have different opinions? Any recommendations on alternatives? Would love to hear from you!