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Getting Rid of the Garbage




Check out what I recently pulled out from underneath my bathroom sink!

I haven’t actually used any of this stuff in months, but it was still there, lurking. I was actually surprised at the large quantity…I thought I had been weeding out more than I really was!

That is a lot of money right there, folks – an entire, heavy laundry basket full.

And a lot of packaging. :p

Fortunately, most of it is recyclable (and I will probably donate the pads and tampons), and I can now say with full confidence:

Never. Again.

It has been well over 2 months now since I’ve gone No Poo – a step I took very skeptically as an experiment. Since then, a lot has changed!

For funsies, I thought I would go through my old ‘beauty regimen’ (not that it was much of a regimen – I’ve never been much of what you would call a girly-girl) compared to my new one.

Here’s what it used to look like:

  • Hairmid-range to expensive shampoo & conditioner – I switched brands a lot and often bought things that were supposed to be good for color. I probably averaged between $5 and $15 per bottle (each for shampoo and conditioner). I was also using 2 different kinds of Aveda hair gel, which were probably around $30 a piece (I know – awful!). And I colored it. A lot – probably every 2 or 3 months. I usually used L’oreal Feria, which has metals in it even hairdressers I talked to were afraid of. Fun.
  • FaceEither Oil of Olay or Aveda face wash, ranging between $15-$35. Oil of Olay or Aveda face lotion, ranging between $30-$40. Make-up – I have never worn a lot of makeup, though I did used to apply foundation every day (L’oreal – probably around $20 for a small bottle). I also did use more probably 2-4 times/week (mainly eyeshadow and mascara).
  • BodyOil of Olay Body Wash – I think it was around $8 bottle.
  • Toothpaste - Aquafresh – $2 a tube in a sale.
  • DeodorantDegree – probably around $4
  • Shaving creamwhatever appealed to me – usually something scented. Probably around $3-$4.
  • Pads & TamponsI’m guessing I spent between $20-$30/month on these – not counting what I would spend on Midol!

Other products used on a not-so-regular basis – the occasional nail polish and scented body lotion. I also used to keep Bath & Body Works hand soap at every sink.

Now, here’s what it looks like today:

  • HairI wash with baking soda and condition with apple cider vinegar. I’ll probably switch to organic apple cider vinegar when I run out (which will probably take forever). I think I spent around $10 on a HUGE box of baking soda that will last for months, if not longer. The ACV was probably around $5. I was using a homemade detangler/gel for awhile, but then I found I didn’t really need it – the natural oils left in my hair are enough to keep it curly without feeling at all greasy. I no longer dye it, though I may at some point look into dying with henna…just cause I like having red hair. :)
  • Face - I have started washing my face with coconut oil. No moisturizer needed. I am no longer wearing any makeup, though I may purchase some in the future (after researching to find brands that are totally non-toxic). I paid $16.99 for a large jar of extra virgin coconut oil that will last a LONG time if I only use it for face wash (I have another jar in the kitchen that gets used for other things).
  • BodyAt the moment, it’s Druide bar soap (which is what I have been using on the Bean). I’ll probably just get another non-toxic bar soap when it runs out – it certainly lasts much longer than the liquid stuff! Also less packaging and no spongy required. I think it would have been around $5.
  • ToothpasteI bought a tube of Tom’s of Maine (around $5) but I’m going to start making my own when it runs out.
  • DeodorantEasiest thing in the world to make your own – and it works better than any deodorant I have ever tried! All you have to do is mix baking soda, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and coconut oil – it takes about 5 minutes, lasts a long time, and works awesome. :) I don’t know the exact cost, but I’m guessing cheaper than the store.
  • Shaving CreamAnother thing I’ll be making! Check out this recipe here.
  • As for pads and tamponsI’ve switched to reusable cloth pads, the Diva Cup, and Sea Sponge tampons. No more disposables for me!

Finally, no more nail polish (though there are safer alternatives out there), no more body lotion (I actually haven’t even needed it, but if I did I would just use coconut oil!), and hand soap is now plain, unscented olive oil bar soap.

Now, the reason I’m going through all this is not just to say I’ve saved money (which I have) – but to emphasize once again how much better all this stuff is!

I have never been happier with my hair and skin – they are healthy, soft, and nice looking. My hands are no longer dry and cracked (something that used to be perpetual). My periods are way more easy to deal with. I have a lot more space in my bathroom!

And the best part – of course – is that the Bean will grown up with all this stuff as normal! I am hoping she just won’t have a need to load up on the product – that she’ll grow up understanding that it’s just not necessary. (If she wants to wear makeup I’m going to make her research it first lol!).

I honestly can’t believe how amazingly all this stuff works – I was kind of doing it begrudgingly at first, because I thought I should…but all of it has worked better than anything I was using before. And it’s all so easy too – I really haven’t had to go out of my way or do anything weird or even search for crazy, hard to find ingredients!

(And speaking of ingredients – Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Coconut Oil are like MAGIC! Seriously – these are staples – you should go buy some if you don’t already have any ;) )

In every way imaginable, it’s been totally worth it. I have no regrets about saying goodbye to that laundry basket full of junk up there…

Have you made changes in your personal care regimen to move away from toxins? Would you be interested in doing so?

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12 Responses to “Getting Rid of the Garbage”

  • Jen says:

    I started moving to healthier years ago (though funny when I think about what i used to think was "healthy"!) and now trying to get more waste-free as well as healthy. I have had the Diva cup for years and recently started with cloth pads…LOVE them! Still using regular (organic) shampoo and conditioner, but mostly use bar soap now (calendula, as had to have radiation treatments). I've been using a ton of cream (Boiron calendula) and will always use it, but that's a medical necessity. I rarely wear make-up and try to use the safest out there. Nail polish is once in a while…still, I need to do what you did and really clean things out! I am amazed though, how little I really 'need' now that I look at what I really use vs. what I think I need.

    Oh, and thanks for the deodorant tip, will have to try….and too funny about Bath & Body works, I used to be the same way!
    Jen recently posted..this moment

  • Jen says:

    awesome! I have to find coconut oil so I can make deodorant and face soap too

  • rebecca says:

    I think I started no poo a couple weeks after you. I love it too! Glad I found your blog or I wouldn't have started! I've been using soap berries for laundry as well. I've been blown away at how well my clothes get clean.
    rebecca recently posted..blogger is back up! and so am I!

  • Allison says:

    Good for you! Isn't it gratifying (not to mention so cool)to make these changes? As soon as I finish my bought-from-the-grocery-store dandruff shampoo, I'm never going back to it. I make deodorant, toothpaste (and my boys like it, too!), and laundry detergent. It feels so satisfying to make intentional choices for ourselves and our family. Did you post before about pitching plastics? That's one area where I'm making progress (with more glass containers for food storage). I pitched our plastic iced tea pitcher, our plastic orange juice jug–thankfully, they were recyclable–and now use glass for those. I finished my 'traditional' bottle of body lotion and won't use that anymore and will finish my perfume and not replace it. It's full of phthalates, I'm sure. Thanks for this inspiring post!

  • Such a great post. I also went the same path to natural stuff: begrudgingly because I "should." Now that I'm there, I love that these things are so much better than the stuff I was "sold" on. I hope the word keeps getting out to more people, but I remember the indoctrination of consumer culture and it's hold on me and I was motivated to critically question things. The one and only thing I miss is nailpolish, but even the better alternatives are unhealthy for your body simply because they don't allow the nail & nailbed exposure to air, which is important for overall health.

  • Fantastic post – and you know you're a woman close to my heart with your new regime. I too love how more eco friendly / better for your health can combine with saving money. I did the no poo thing for about 3 years and now I'm using clay regularly, which is great. Enjoy your new regime!
    Mrs Green @littlegre recently posted..Cooking with children

  • Just wanted to pop in again…I read this last week…LOVE it! (baby doesn't let me comment all the time…lol…I know you have the same problem with Bean).

    My beauty routine is much like yours…now when I go to CVS its just to let Nathan play in the toy aisle and I STARE at all the PLASTIC bottles and WASTED toxins in the "haircare" and "skincare" sections.

    you should check out for some amazing wooden or bamboo toothbrushes!!
    Jessica | Cloth Diap recently posted..Cranky Lets take a look at that Liver…

  • Beth says:

    I tried so hard to no-poo, and I just couldn't do it. I gave it months and months, and just had an icky, greasy mess. I could barely brush it.

    As we run out of things, I'm planning on replacing them with the most natural options that I can, so I'm so happy to see your list. It gets so overwhelming, so I love that you've already done the hard work!

  • Rosemary says:

    So, so inspiring! Thank you for supplying so many great resources for homemade beauty products! I'm currently transitioning from "natural" purchased products to homemade, and this post is perfect! :D
    Rosemary recently posted..First Tastes &amp Baby Led Weaning aka NomNomNom

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