Monday, 6 August 2018

1808.06 SUDS LAW

As a cyclist I take a lot of showers. I'm lucky to have the use of shower facilities at work for when I commute by bike (which is practically every time). There's no bin in the shower room at work so I've been stacking spent shower gel bottles on the bench. What's concerning is the amount of bottles I seem to get through, this has got me thinking...

Now I'm keen to cut down on waste. I do despair at the amount and format packaging takes and I try to be aware (although the effort to be a full eco-warrior seems exhausting) so I thought I'd 'clean up' my act in the bathroom.

1. Shower Gel
So what is shower gel? It's liquid soap isn't it? I remember taking showers before shower gel, I still got clean. Easy answer - the humble bar of soap. I can buy budget shower gel for about 70p and it lasts about 3 weeks (remember this is at work). Of course the packaging was a plastic bottle which would need to be disposed of, so I bought - on a whim - a 4 pack of soap which cost £1.30 and was wrapped in a film (so not perfect). So far bar 1 is on week 4 and still going. This is an ongoing experiment and I'm pleased that waste is down on this and it's looking economically positive. The soap is doing the same job, lasting longer and has minimum waste, I'm sure I could improve if I find soap with better packaging in the future.

2. Beard Balm
This is a new product for me born from a necessity. I've used beard oil for a while, it's good for conditioning and gives the old thigh tickler a bit of gloss. A new set of appearance standards means that if I want to keep the beard I have to tie it up. I did my homework and settled on the fact that I needed beard balm to smooth and control the grizzly monstrosity. I looked around and found a tub of balm in Boots that was on offer for £3.45 (usual price £5.45). The packaging is a small tin (so very recyclable) and seems to last, so far for ages.

3. Razors
Now I don't shave at work but shaving is a massive part of my grooming regime and it occurred to me that razors are a source of massive waste. Old fashioned safety razor are probably the least wasteful but (a) it's still difficult to recycle due to safety concerns and (b) I'd dabbled with these and never got on with them. I looked at various products on the market, shop offerings and some of these new mail order clubs and couldn't find any which sold on their recycling potential - I also had difficulty finding a product which didn't have some sort of disclaimer against shaving your head. I then came across an American product being offered by a Dutch company, they offer a recycling service (for which there is a small extra charge) and they market at all types of shaving - including heads. It's early days in my testing but so far so good, I've hoping they have a minimum longevity of about 2 weeks per cartridge for it to be economically equivalent to my previous supermarket offering.

4. Deodorant
This is my next challenge. I turned my back on sprays a while ago and moved onto roll ons. The packaging aspect does worry me and the complex design means they aren't usually recyclable. So I need to find something but so far I'm not being successful.

So many of the products aimed at reducing packaging cost so much more, I'm on a budget so I try to do my bit without costing me more money. I know I could do more and we all can do a bit to help reduce waste.

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