Plastic packing produces a lot of waste that ends up in landfills, and pollution that overtakes waterways and ecosystems. But how do we avoid plastic waste when it feels like everything comes in plastic bottles? Luckily, there are more sustainable alternatives to many plastic products than we even realize. Here are seven surprising things you can buy in bar form to reduce waste.
1. Dog Wash Bar
Our dogs are often the most important thing in our lives, but pooches don’t need plastic packaging. Instead, try a Dog Wash Bar. This pure & natural dog shampoo bar from 'A Wild Soap Bar' is enriched with organic aloe and oats to soothe the skin. It contains essential oils to freshen the coat & help repel insects, and calcium bentonite clay for a deep clean, leaving the coat soft, shiny, and smelling great. Great for dogs with sensitive skin too. To use, simply wet the dog's coat thoroughly, build up lather by rubbing the bar all over, avoiding eye area and inside ears. Scrub gently with fingertips until dirt and grime is loosened, and rinse thoroughly. Use bi-weekly, or as needed.
2. Stain Stick
Stains happen, especially on days you wear whites and khakis. Instead of a plastic bottle of stain remover, try a Vegan Stain Stick. This stain remover is an excellent and economical pre-treatment for stains that really works. This solid, zero-waste addition to your laundry routine can help prolong the life of your favorite fabric items, without plastic packaging. To use, just moisten the stain bar and gently rub into the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse. Once the stained area is treated, simply wash as usual with your usual detergent.
3. Dish Washing Block
Handwashing is a big part of dishes, but kick the plastic bottles to the curb with a Vegan Dishwashing Block. This zero-waste, vegan dish washing block is made by No-Tox Life in Los Angeles, California. It is a cleaning powerhouse with a rich, sudsy lather, and cuts stubborn grime and grease, without drying out your hands. You can use it for cleaning-duty all over your home! Take stains out of laundry, take labels off of jars, spot clean your carpet, or use it to wipe down counters. It's a truly multipurpose product. To use, scrape your dishes to remove excess grease and food. Wet a sponge or scrubber and rub the dish soap block to create suds. Repeat this as needed to refresh suds. Wash your items and rinse well. For pots and pans, use a scrubber or scourer. One 6 oz bar replaces roughly one 12 oz bottle of typical liquid dish soap!
Another sustainable kitchen hack is replacing your sponge. Traditional kitchen sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, and are filled with nonbiodegradable microplastics. Swap to a Washable Sponge, the perfect reusable alternative. They are plastic free and washable, just throw them in the dishwasher or laundry when it's ready for a deep clean of its own.
4. Solid Lotion in a Tin
Yep, even lotion can come in bar form! This Solid Lotion Bar comes in a tin, and is a great way to eliminate a bottle from your routine. Store it in the recyclable metal tin and repurpose the tin when the bar is gone. Warm the solid lotion bar in your hand and rub it anywhere your skin is dry or cracked. The silky butters will melt into your hands, feet, and elbows like magic.
5. Baby Wash Bar
Kiddos are wonderful, but we go through so many products when caring for a little one, which creates a lot of waste. This Baby Wash Bar from Urban Oreganics is a mildly scented calendula oatmeal 2-in-1 shampoo and wash bar. It contains no harsh chemicals and will leave your baby’s skin feeling clean and soft. The oils and butters in this wash fully moisturize, so no need to lotion up afterwards. Plus, it will keep your little one smelling fresh all day long.
6. Shaving Soap
Nix the hard to recycle shaving cream bottles, and opt for Organic Shave Soap. This traditional unisex shaving soap is formulated with coconut oil, castor oil, calcium bentonite clay (Living Clay®), aloe and extra glycerin to generate a rich lubricated lather plus antiseptic black willow bark and an invigorating eucalyptus essential oil blend. It protects and softens for a close and comfortable shave, leaving your skin smooth and moisturized. Use the 3" round bar with a shaving brush & mug, or lather it directly onto moistened skin. For best results, soften the surface of the soap with a teaspoon of hot water for 10 minutes prior to your lathering regimen.
7. Shampoo and Conditioner
Next time you take a shower, just take a quick look around to see how many plastic bottles and products are in your bathroom. Instead of plastic bottles, try Shampoo and Conditioner Bars. These shampoo and conditioner bars are non-toxic, plastic free and they smell and feel amazing. No need to ship plastic bottles of (mostly) water when you can get concentrated hair care packaged in a 100% compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable cardboard box that is even printed with water-based ink. For convenience and the longevity of your hair bars and bar soap, we recommend Soap Saver Bags. It is made from Organic Cotton Mesh with a cotton drawstring cord. It's the perfect size for most bars of soap and will extend their life with proper use. The mesh fabric is lightly exfoliating and maximizes the suds and aromatherapy of your bar soap, or acts as great storage for a shampoo or conditioner bar. When traveling, take your hair care bars with you in a Travel Tin. Each tin comes with a soap lift at the bottom, making it easy to take the bar out for use. Plus, it won't get muddled at the bottom of the tin!
There are so many sustainable alternatives to traditional products we use every day. Next time you’re on the hunt for a new product, check to see if there is a low waste option available. No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, simple swaps like these are a great place to start. What other ways are you reducing waste? Let us know, we would love to talk!