There’s two things everyone either does or should know about the Internet.
There’s a lot of information available online.
Tonnes of it is so, so wrong.
I knew swapping out conventional products for no-plastic solutions was going to be a case of trial and error. I’ve therefore looked online for solutions.
Here’s what hasn’t worked. And as a disclaimer – maybe it truly has for others, it just didn’t for me.
Castile soap or savon de Marseille replacing dishwashing liquid
Dishwashing liquid continues to be the bane of my existence. I don’t know about you, but it saddens my soul to think of that bright green or yellow liquid pouring down the drain. Not to mention how much we go through in our household, due to our lack of dishwasher. Basically around a bottle every few weeks. Shudder.
I’ve heard about others having success with castile soap or savon de Marseille, so I jumped eagerly onto that bandwagon. No such luck on our end.
Both soaps left our dishes covered with grease stains, kind of the opposite effect we were going for. My boyfriend discovered that if you clean each dish around three times, you will loose the stains, but obviously that’s a bit of a pointless time-suck. Plus, kind of defeats the purpose of swapping out dishwashing liquids for environmental concerns.
The “No Poo” hair washing solution (replace shampoo with bicarb soda, conditioner with apple cider vinegar)
I’m super narcissistic when it comes to my hair. I often take it for granted, but secretly (well, not so secretly now) fancy it as my best feature – when it’s behaving, which is admittedly rare.
I decided to give “no poo” a go, after a few months of using only conditioner and shampoo bars. I knew my hair would probably go through a bit of an icky stage, but did not properly anticipated just how bad it would be. It turned into a knotted rats nest. I was also quite concerned with how much hair was coming out, when I combed it every morning.
After three months, I gave up and went back to using shampoo and conditioner. I’ve heard of others refilling bottles of shampoo as a solution, but have been unable to track down anywhere that offers this service in London.
Coconut oil as a hair mask
Filled with despair over my knotty hair, I turned to my trusty coconut oil as a solution. I covered my head in the stuff, left it for a few minutes and tried to rinse it out.
I say tried, because the stuff just wouldn’t budge. It took around four washes, finally using hotel shampoo in desperation when I was in France to get it out. My hair felt pretty good by then, but I’d hardly say it was worth the effort.
Merkur razor blades
I do love my razor, but I have constant problems with the blades.
I recently replaced the old, dull blade with a new one, which enthusiastically sliced up my leg in THREE PLACES upon use.
I waited a couple of weeks for the wounds to heal, then gave it another go. In that time, the blade that I had used ONE TIME had dulled over again. Such an annoying and pointless thing to have happen.
Dry goods stores
These are proving to be a disappointment across London. I’ve tried two now, with zero success.
Unpackaged no longer exists and seems to have lost its entire ethos despite the merge with Planet Organic.
I did go to another in London’s West. The lady who runs it is lovely, but the prices are quite high. On top of that, it’s a mission to get out there from my place, south of the river. There’s allegedly another shop nearby, which I’m banking all my hopes on. I don’t mind paying a tiny bit more than what it would cost at the supermarket, but I draw the line for cous cous that is three times the price.
That being said, I’m not going to give up, as I really do believe every little bit of effort is worth it. Through trial and error, I’ll keep pushing for solutions. For my sake, your sake and everyone else living on this planet (that sounds more self-righteous than first intended! Oh well).