Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Greener Choices in the Bathroom

We are trying to make greener choices around the Manor. We started in the kitchen, we thought it would be the best place to start since that's where the food lives.
The next natural choice was to move on to the bathroom.
In the shower we have a corner shelving unit we bought from Target. This is our second unit, the first one we had didn't have deep enough baskets and everything kept falling out. Nothing wakes you up in the middle of the night quite like a Costco sized shampoo bottle dropping 5 feet into the tub! 

Here are some of the products we keep on those shelves:
Jason's Body scrub with corn cobb and Shower Gel in Tea Tree
We use this puff made from recycled plastic with the shower gel (it's from Target). I love the shower gel, it smells great!

I couldn't have made it through the summer without the scrub. Early in the summer I got a terrible sunburn and it really helped me scrub off the dried skin. (Not my smartest moment)
While we are on the topic of sun, when I'm not being dumb and forgetting my sunscreen at home,  we wear Aubrey Zinc Sunscreen. It sits on top of your skin instead of being absorbed into it. Some people have complained about the white color it leaves on the top of your skin, but neither Lee or I noticed it. And it really works, last summer I put some on Lee's back and accidentally missed a spot,  it was very obvious. :)

For shaving cream again we use Jasons. It's got some grit to it, like an exfoliant. Scrubs away the dead skin. It also doesn't have the horrible smell shaving creams have. We noticed that  it didn't get a super close shave, it's still pretty darn good, and in this case the benefits definitely outweigh the downfalls.

I use Berts Bees shampoo and conditioner, I love the smell of their peppermint shampoo, but I also love the volume boosting of the pomegranate scent, so I tend to switch between the two. I also have been known to use "Yes to Carrots" shampoo it smells amazing, even Lee noticed. I have long hair so I go through more then my fair share of shampoo.

We love Wicked Fresh Tom's toothpaste. It's not like most Natural toothpastes, this one still tastes like normal toothpaste, if I wanted to brush my teeth with baking soda I would, I don't need to pay $6 for a tube of baking soda paste :) I want my mouth to be minty fresh, not chalky.

We both use Tom's Deodorant (although Lee keeps his in his gym bag so I only have a picture of mine). I can't honestly say that this stuff works well. It works well enough for a lazy day around the house, alone. Or maybe a day around the house with your spouse (depending on how many years you've been married). Or if you wear it to the gym and your wife considers it girl repellent. But neither of us would wear it out. We both have a small deodorant we use for when we go out with friends. Don't get me wrong it does work a bit it's just not for stressful or strenuous situations.

I use Physicians Formula Organic Make-up. It works really well. I don't like to wear a lot of make-up, I especially hate pancake make-up. This stuff is light and has good coverage. I also use their blush and bronzer combo, and their mascara. That's about all the make-up I wear on a day to day basis, if we are going out at night I add more.

I also found a way to get my make up on the cheap. Physicians Formula is a bit on the pricier side,  the powder can cost around $20 cdn. But I found it at Winners (the Canadian TJ MAXX) It's exactly the same. I bought the powder for $4.99 the blush and bronzer for $4.99 and the Mascara for $3.99 huge savings.
They also have a lot of natural and/or organic bath products there, for wwwwaaaaayyyyy cheaper then specialty stores.

For face wash I use Boots Natural Botanicals (found at Target) it's awesome! I have always had "issues" with my skin and still need a soap that's sensitive enough for my skin but also strong enough to keep acne at bay, Boots strikes this balance. 

And last but not least, and probably my favorite, Dr.Brommers pure castile soap. Almond scented. It smells heavenly. It makes me want to wash my hands for fun.

I know this is a bit off topic for us, but then again, finding greener alternatives to things we use everyday is right up our alley.
If anyone has anything to add or any products they use I would love to hear about them. I'm always interested in what other are doing to make greener, healthier choices. I'm currently having a hard time finding a natural nail polish,  I am kind of missing cheery finger tips.


  1. Just a thought on the deodorant: It probably doesn't work that well because it is a deodorant (masking any smells) and not an antiperspirant (keeps you from sweating).

  2. My daughter bought some Piggy Paint brand polish made for kids. I used it all summer. It doesn't last as long but it is healthier and has no scent. Cute colors and I got lots of compliments on my pretty nails. :-)

  3. We love, love, love Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap - a.k.a. soap with a soul. It's about as close as you can get to bathing in Altoids!

  4. Oh you have the best stuff! I love a mint on my scalp for the cooling affect

  5. Here is a nail polish I just read about, I haven't tried it yet.

  6. That is a good point about the Deodorant Iris, I refuse to wear antiperspirant, so I'm only left with the one choice, or no choice (which isn't going to happen :) haha That's a good point though, we can't expect deodorant to work like antiperspirant.

    Thanks, for the nail polish idea's, I will definitely try out Piggy Paint!

    I've never thought of bathing in altoids before, kinda sounds like fun!!! :)

  7. I use Suncoat nail polish - bought it at a natural food/grocery store in my city. I think it's a Canadian company as well :)

  8. Suncoat!! I will definitely look into that, LOVE to support Canadian companies :)
    Thank you!!!!

  9. We've been using Tom's toothpaste for a while, but I picked up a tube of Tom's Whole Care the other day and I'm never going back to their regular stuff----it's fantastic!

  10. Thanks for the info April,
    What makes it so much better? Maybe I need to make a switch to Whole Care! I didn't even know they made a whole care toothpaste, also what flavor did you pick?

  11. Oh! A couple of days ago I finally found an internet company from Amsterdam that delivers to Greece Dr Bronner's products, so I ordered the Almond one. It supposedly can be used in various ways. Has anyone tried it, besides as a hand or body wash?

    Unfortunately all deodorants that do not contain aluminium should be reapplied throughout the day

  12. I tried it on Laundry . . . wouldn't do that again. It left oily stains.
    Don't brush your teeth with it no matter what the label says it tastes terrible. Only use as punishment :)
    The peppermint one is good to spray as an insecticidal soap, I used it for aphids this year and ants, it worked pretty well.
    If you're using it as body wash I wouldn't get the peppermint again! It tingles (not in a good way)
    Almond is my favorite scent. I've clean the tub with it also, it works famously.
    Always remember dilute, dilute, dilute.
    Anyone have any other ideas?

  13. No ideas for green products, but I was curious as what the white thing is with your deodorant? Thanks

  14. I find the personal care items are the hardest things to find green/organic alternatives for. We use the same makeup although so far I only have the powder, I didn't see the mascara where I bought it. I use organic Norwex day and night moisturisers. I use Norwex for all my cleaning cloths and products (green!). Both my girls are in cloth diapers and I use cloth feminine products too and a green laundry detergent for everything.
    Just wondering, what's your source for the bath products? I know I can find some stuff at health food stores but the sizes are usually so small, and so expensive.

  15. Have you ever tried crystal stones for deordorant?

    I've been using this one for a couple years and it works great.

    I'm going to give your almond soap a try.

  16. Oh, and I just thought of one more suggestion. Green Beaver - they have all kinds of grooming products and they are Canadian too.

  17. Shell- The thing beside the deodorant is a shell ball, it's basically a bunch of shells glued to a ball :) , if you check out the new bathroom towel post (under the bathroom category) you can see more of it. Thanks for the question!!

    Amy- Sounds like you're doing tons of green things!! I love adorable little cloth diapers If we are ever lucky enough to have babies I would totally do cloth diapers :) Too cute.
    We buy most of our products from Target, or, we live close to the border so it's quick to stock up, I've also ordered from websites directly like Dr.Brommers, their shipping is very reasonable.
    My Favorite place to buy green products is Winners, when they have them:) They are cheap, and most of the time they have a good selection.

  18. K-dot- Thanks so much!!!
    I've heard of crystal deodorant I just never really thought it would work, When this deodorant runs out I'll try it, I'm going to follow your link and see how much it costs! Thanks!!
    I've never heard of Green Beaver, I'll look it up!!! I'm always looking for new alternatives thanks so much!!!

  19. I have recently greened up my bathroom (ok the bathroom is still in reno mode, but the stuff we use now is a lot better than before)
    I admit I use antiperspirant. I can't not use it. I usually apply it four or five times in the morning before work after I have sweat through it each time. No really. Its gross, I know. I think there's a name for it, but I just call it wet clothes all day long and the anti-p is the only thing that makes any impact.
    Anyways, we don't buy bodywashes anymore. Instead: soap that comes in a box. Its just as good, smells just as nice, same amoung of "skin residue" if you go for those tv commercials, moisturizes. WHy its green: no plastic. I'd take less plastic any day over a minute amount of potentially harmful chemical in an under-tested product market like skin care.
    We don't buy shampoo anymore. I don't do no-poo. I don't think I could. But I found these greate things called shampoo bars. No plastic. SUpport artisans who create green eco soaps - for hair! Good ingredient list on them; it only took about five washes to get the resudues from shampoo out. I don't even use conditioners anymore.
    No more body lotions either.
    Toothpaste.... I am finding it hard to get out of the plastic containers that toothpaste come in. Baking soda tastes aweful. I tried homemade toothpaste, but after one day, it had no "flavour" left and was turning yellow.
    Basically, my big thing about bathroom products is the packaging. DOesn't matter whats inside of a package; if it comes in a plastic container; I just can't select it. Recyled or recyclable just isnt the same as creating no waste to begin with. TO me .. *that* makes the biggest green impact ever.
    ok sorry for the long rant... got a big out out of control.

  20. Twyla- WOW that was a lot of great information. I've tried to take in to consideration the impact of our plastics, but honestly not as much as you.
    I admire your dedication! You've definitely gave me more to think about, not just green inside but green outside too :)
    We bought a pet soap that comes in bar form for Max, he's got sensitive skin and needs really natural soaps.
    I've found that when you hair isn't being "attacked" by chemicals everyday it's much more cooperative, I'm so glad I don't need conditioner anymore either :)
    Thanks so much for all the great inspiration! You've totally inspired me to consider plastics more! thanks

  21. I could talk about green stuff all day and love to learn of new products.
    Thanks to you I have bought Dr Bronners and would now be lost without it. I use a squirt on a wet loofah to shower and diluted in water with some essential oil in a spray bottle for cleaning.
    Have tried the lavender fragrance with baking soda for washing white bath towels and it does a great job but I don't think I'd use it on our clothes. I use a shop bought eco liquid instead.
    For cleaning glass and dusting I use Norwex cloths.
    My skincare range is 'Moo Goo'. All natural and made in Australia. Check out the website Ashli, it's gorgeous.

    For skin sun protection I wear zinc cream- no nasties.

    Have yet to try this myself but there is a chemical free nail polish called Butter London

    Great post today on an interesting topic!

  22. When you start to look at the cr*p in cosmetics and personal care items, it's staggering! We've been going greener with our choices too.

    This is my new favorite website for finding out what is in cosmetic products and their risks:

    I've also started using Kiss My Face Olive Oil and Chamomile soap, which works great and leaves my skin feeling great.

  23. I've heard of the Norwex cloths before, I'm definitely going to do some research on that too!!
    And as soon as I'm done writing this I'm on my way to the Moo-Goo website thanks for the link Anne-Marie and Butter london, I had such a hard time finding natural nail polish and now I know Three brands to try. Blogging is awesome! haha

    Jamie! Thanks so much for the link, I'm going to have to send out a message on twitter about that site. How handy to have it all on one website. I've been dying to try Kiss My Face products I heard they are amazing but I can't find them anywhere, where do you find yours???

  24. I Love Dr. Brommers soap. It cleans really well too. The almond scent is my fav. Its Amazing that a soap thats so healthy and good for you can clean your kitchen well too. Have a great day.

  25. sorry to budge in. anne-marie: how do you deal with the stink-factor of the norwex cloths? My mom got some a while back and managed to use them once before they stunk up a storm. The Norwex lady said to boil them in vinegar before re-using, but that seemed like a pain in the butt to have to boil your cloth in vinegar after you wash it just so you can use it to wipe something off once. So she's wound up returning them. A lot of people around here are finding that our water and norwex cloths don't mix well - not sure why

  26. HI!

    Very Interesting post.

    I also buy the toms' of maine toothpaste but "fluoride free"


  27. Hi Twyla
    A shame about your mum's norwex. I throw mine into the wash using my normal detergent (no softener it apparently harms the fibres) and hang outside to dry. If the cloth is not too dirty I will give it a good rinse and air.
    Maybe I'm not having problems with the smelly factor because I live in a temperate climate most of the year with lots of sun which might be sanitizing the cloths?

  28. kiss my face is at shoppers - and possibly london drugs too.

    You have to look LOW on the shelf

  29. Hi Ladies! I love reading about green cleaning! I've found the info here great, and love that Norwex has been mentioned a few times (I'm a consultant!) :)
    As for the stinky Norwex cloths: Generally, as long as you are using ONLY water with your cleaning cloths, there shouldn't be a problem with them smelling over time, HOWEVER: I did find that my body cloths (which I was using for washing my face morning/night with just water) were smelling for awhile. Then, I switched to Aloette cosmetics... and I NO LONGER have that problem (at the time, I boiled them in plain water about once every two weeks - boil them for about 15--20 minutes). Basically, I have discovered that there is a LOT of extra "junk" in mainstream cosmetics... and it was clogging up my cloth and not allowing the silver to get at the bacteria (Norwex cloths are antibacterial!) Anyway, I've been really happy with my Aloette make-up for this very reason, although if you are using other organic/pure products you shouldn't have a problem, either. Just a quick tip!
    If anyone wants more info on Norwex products - I'd be happy to help! They have totally changed the way I clean and take care of myself, my husband, and two little girls. They are awesome!
    All the best to you all,
    snvanpopta at gmail dot com

  30. Oh, forgot to add that I just found your blog, Ashli. I love it! I'm a fellow Canadian and housewife/stay-at-home-Mom :) Keep up the good work!

  31. The problem with most natural deodorants (and the crystal too) is they still contain aluminum. I have had great luck with making my own. I do about 3 Tbsp of baking soda and 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and then about 5 or 6 Tbsp...I like to add essential oils, lavender is my favorite or tea tree oil for the antimicrobial properties. I've been using it for over 6 months and love it!

  32. ooops...that was 5 or 6 Tbsp of coconut oil added to the baking soda and arrowroot powder.

  33. Good to know! I'll try that when we run out!

  34. Hi! I'm new to your blog and I know this post is old but I felt compelled to comment! I tried Tom's deodorant for the first time this summer and I am so glad that you gave an honest review of how well it works!! :) I would wear it to my desk job and get home at 5pm and get a wiff of myself and think.. this deodorant is horrible..I think I would smell better if I wasn't wearing anything! I kept using it because I knew I had paid more for it than my usual brand.. but after about a month I had to toss it. I was putting it on almost 3 times a day... Never again! :)

  35. I just found your blog and am in love. Your home is beautiful! After reading this post, I went to Target and purchased Dr. Bronner's almond liquid soap to use for hand soap...I've been trying to find a good 'green' hand soap. I was wondering if you dilute it???

    1. Yes definitely!!! I add at least 25 % water!! :)
      Hope that helps!!!!



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