Sustainable Swaps: Bathroom Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I’m back with a few more “sustainable swaps” that I hope inspires you to make some changes in your lifestyle that are more environmentally friendly. Sometimes you get caught up in the societal norms and it’s not until you are reminded of your plastic consumption and waste that you realize how prevalent it is in your life. Then you realize that there are billions of other people that are also contributing these issues and this creates a very serious problem that takes all of us to solve.

I’m nowhere near perfect in making 100% sustainable and eco-friendly choices, but I do try my best and am learning everyday how to shop better, consume less and inform myself on the best options and lifestyles for myself and the planet. You don’t have to be perfect either, but making small swaps in your lifestyle, which can then inspire your friends/family, will make a difference on this Earth. So with all of that, now let me share with you some easy swaps I’ve made in my bathroom that I hope inspires you to make too!

1. Reusable Cotton Rounds

These can cut down on a significant amount of waste that is created from removing make-up and cleansing/toning. Plus, it saves you money because these cotton rounds are reusable and so easy to throw in a mesh bag and machine wash. This was one of the first swaps I made to my bathroom routine and I still love them. You can find these to purchase in lots of mainstream stores which is where I got mine, but I am linking some from Eco Roots here, which is a sustainable shop that I really like. These are made from organic cotton and bamboo and will ship free of any plastic!

2. Natural Loofahs

Who knew that the bright pink loofahs that are made of plastic are actually based off of natural loofahs that come from real loofah plants?! I sure didn’t know this two years ago, but then my dad grew some and blew us all away the magic of these dried plants. I have a loofah on a string loop that I keep in the shower to use like I would any plastic “loofah” and I also started using smaller pieces of these as a kitchen sponge! This is a very versatile swap that is one of my personal favorites, plus when your loofah has reached the end of it’s life, simply throw it in the compost! If you know me and are local, you can get some from one of our NSeason pop-up farm stands. If you want an online option, these are also sold on Eco Roots, here.

3. Leaf Shave Razor

This was a bigger sustainable swap that I made last year and even though it’s a little intimidating at first, I really like it now. Not only is this a pretty gold safety razor that looks good in your shower, but it will last you a lifetime and you can feel good about the metal blades that can be recycled. There are a variety of sustainable razors, but I found the most positive reviews of Leaf. On the Leaf website they shared that if every person who shaves in America went plastic-free for this task, then each year 3+ billion disposables would be kept out of landfills, 3 billion dollars would be saved, 25,000 tons of packaging waste would be eliminated and 1+ million tons of CO2 emissions would be eliminated. These are some big impacts on our planet that we can work to reduce with such a simple swap.

4. Pumice Stone Exfoliator

Instead of buying ped eggs or other plastic and heavily packaged exfoliators, try getting a pumice stone. This is a natural way to exfoliate your feet that you can even use gently on your whole body if you want to. Check your local stores, but if you want to order one, EarthHero has them and is essentially a more sustainable Amazon website.

5. Davids Natural Toothpaste

Are there even more sustainable toothpaste options, such as Bite? Yes, but I’ve tried those and have found that Davids toothpaste works best for me right now. Some reasons why this is a better choice toothpaste include having a recyclable metal tube, sustainable packaging and naturally sourced and derived ingredients with 98% being from the USA. Plus, I’m able to find this brand at my local Target!

6. Solid Shampoo, Conditioner and Soaps

Next time one of your plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner or soap runs out, think about making the switch to solid bars. I recently made the switch for my shampoo and conditioner to HiBar and have officially been converted. These come in a variety of choices for different hair types, smell great and the shape allows for easy application without slipping out of your hand! I am also excited to try out my lavender soap/loofah combo from NSeason once I finally finish using the rest of my random soaps that I already had. When making sustainable swaps, the best and easiest thing to do is to use what you have first!

Another idea for more sustainable bathroom products include Reel Paper Co. bamboo toilet paper that is available as an easy subscription. Also, look to buy products in bulk. If you’re local to KC, Soap KC has great options for shampoo, conditioner, face masks, oils, lotions and more! Lastly, support companies that are making more sustainable and ethical choices, so do your research and vote with your dollars by supporting companies that align with your values. Those are the sustainable swaps I have for now, but I hope to share more of this series as I continue to learn and make more of my own swaps. I think a kitchen post might have to be next! Thanks for being here and I hope this has inspired you to make some simple changes in your own lifestyle!!


Let’s Talk About Food Waste…

I haven’t shared much on environmental sustainability yet, but it is something that I am becoming increasingly passionate about. The threat of our climate crisis is only growing and dismissing it as unimportant, far-off or (and it’s awful I even need to say this) a hoax is ignorant and only adding to this urgent, time-sensitive issue. As a dietetics student, I am also passionate about nutrition/health and at the intersection of this and environmental sustainability, you will find the topic of food waste.

Food waste is not a simple challenge to tackle. It goes way beyond just the food you put on your plate and don’t eat, or the produce you forget to use and then throw out. It starts at the beginning of food production and continues to occur all the way down the chain until it reaches (or likely doesn’t) the consumer. So how big of an issue is this really? Let’s look at some numbers courtesy of The World Counts…

Every year 1.3 BILLION TONS of food is lost or wasted! This is enough to feed the worlds hungry FOUR TIMES over!! There are 822 million people who are malnourished and around 9 million people worldwide die from hunger or hunger-related disease every year. Food is something that so many people, myself included, take for granted. Plus, there are people privileged enough to CHOOSE to LIMIT their caloric intake (which is a part of diet culture and NOT something I support) while there are people literally starving because they don’t have the same resources or access to food.

Not only is this food waste not reaching the mouths of those in need, but it is also negatively impacting the environment. Growing and raising food to feed the growing population of our planet requires resources such as land and water. Due to this, food production contributes to “water shortages, climate change, deforestation, pollution, loss of soil, loss of biodiversity” and more (The World Counts). This food system takes so much from the environment (without giving anything in return) that by 2050 it could collapse if effective change does not take place soon. Before this even happens, the food system is going to be negatively impacted in areas of the world that are already being hardest hit with environmental changes. In fact, this is already happening in African countries. According to The World Counts, there were 20 million people in 2017 that experienced acute food insecurity as a result of climate change. These numbers are only going to continue to rise, and though they might not impact you personally right now (that’s called privilege), they will in the future.

Now that these issues have been addressed, what can you do to help fight this issue?

  • VOTE! Voting for candidates that support environmental activism is essential for slowing the negative effects of climate change and finding solutions. Voting with your dollars is also important, you might not think this has a big impact, but people add up. Support those that are local and do a little more research before you head to the grocery store next.
  • Plan your meals, use what you already have and save leftovers to get the most out of the food that you buy. This will also end up saving you money!
  • Compost. This may seem like a scary idea to some, but with a little research you’ll find that it’s easier than you think and doesn’t require you to be a gardening pro. By composting things like peels, rinds, egg shells and more, you are preventing these items from entering land fills where they would emit methane instead of breaking down.
  • Get informed and educate yourself on these issues so that you know what is going on in the world around you and can look to find solutions that you can incorporate into your own life.

I hope you can take something important away from this post and will be a little more conscious about your choices in the future. If you made it this far, thanks for reading this and I believe that YOU can help make a change!



Sustainable Swaps: Wool Balls

Wool ball car diffusers/ decoration pictured on the left and wool dryer balls on the right.

My family recently started making our own wool balls, as we have a surplus of wool from when we used to have some sheep at our farm. It’s a simple and fun process, using only wool and possibly some dye. If you’re local to KC, follow @nseasonshawnee and @balancedbybrit on Instagram to find out when we will be selling these items at our farm stand!

Wool balls can have many different purposes that can turn into easy sustainable swaps for you to make in your life! Two ways to do this is by using larger wool balls in the dryer to replace dryer sheets and using smaller ones that are strung together as both a car diffuser and decoration. You might still be wondering why you should make this switch or how these products are used, so let me further explain…

Wool Dryer Balls

Switching from dryer sheets to wool dryer balls is a super simple and easy swap to make in your life that is a more sustainable choice. Using wool dryer balls has many benefits, such as reducing waste, limiting chemicals/ toxins and saving you money!

Dryer sheets are usually only used once, then thrown away. This adds up if you think about how often you do laundry and how many other people use dryer sheets for their laundry too. Wool dryer balls have the same benefits of reducing wrinkles, while also cutting down on drying time. They can be used for years and are made only of wool (and possibly some dye), which means you save money and don’t need to worry about toxins or chemicals!

If you like using dryer sheets to get a fresh scent, you can add essential oil drops to your wool dryer ball prior to adding it in with your clothes. This way, you can choose your favorite scent (lavender for me!) and not have to worry about all the chemicals that are getting on your clothes and then touching your skin.

Wool Ball Car Diffusers/Decoration

These are super cute and versatile additions to any car! We are making ones that can be hung on your rearview mirror or clipped onto your air vent. These can add a pop of color and some fun decoration to your car, along with diffusing the essential oil of your choice. Again, this sustainable swap is great because it is a reusable and isn’t full of all the chemicals that are in most car air fresheners.

I hope these simple sustainable swap ideas make you think about the changes you can make in your own life and how easy it can be if you are just more conscious of the products you are using. Again, we will be selling these products and other goodies at our farm stand later in the year, so stay tuned for that if you’re local to KC!

Remember, it’s not about everyone going completely zero waste, it’s about people making lifestyle changes where they can that work for them… balance!