Holy crow. It’s the last day of September. I don’t even know where the summer went.
I’ve had a lot of changes going on over here and as I settle into (another) new normal, I’m starting to slowly get into a routine again.
Very slowly. Like, turtle pace slowly.
Since I head into the city twice a week now, meal prepping is becoming crucial. I leave so early and arrive home so late that what I’ve realized is, ‘If I don’t have something ready, I’m definitely not making anything!’ Who wants to cook at 8 o’clock at night??
Switching to a clean, sustainably packaged face routine has been a struggle in my 30s. I’ve talked a little about this on my IG but I swear, the moment I turned 30, I went from having oily, acne prone skin to dry, combination skin over night (at least that’s what it felt like!). My prior face wash which I loved and had been using for years, Lush’s Aqua Marina, was now way too drying. I tried a few Lush cleansers after but never really loved them like I did Aqua Marina.
With that in mind, I decided to try Meow Meow Tweets Tea Tree Charcoal face bar rather reluctantly. My first introduction with Meow Meow Tweet was their Rosemary and Avocado shampoo bar and I didn’t like it at all. The smell was too strong for me (the only other option from them was lavender and coconut bar and there’s no way I could walk around with lavender in my hair all day. That’s a 24 hour headache is what that is). Though my hair looked clean, it left my scalp and hair feeling dirty somehow. Honestly, if I hadn’t been placing an order already on Package Free and just run out of face wash that day, I probably wouldn’t have tried this cleansing bar.
Thankfully, this product worked MUCH better than the shampoo bar. The tea tree and the charcoal balance my skin really well, keeping any random acne spots at bay without leaving my face feeling dry. It lathers nicely in my hands and it doesn’t smell too strong.
The product packaging was super sustainable since it arrived naked! No box here. As for shipping, it shipped from Package Free Shop, which ships with no plastic in recyclable cardboard. Even the packing tape is plastic free so super sustainable!
As for the company, Meow Meow Tweet was founded in Brooklyn in 2009 by Tara Pelletier (she/they) and Jeff Kurosaki (they/them). The team started by making soap and have now expanded to deodorants, face care including oils, cleansers and toners, shampoos and conditioner, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc. All their products list out the ingredients and almost every ingredient is natural and clean. Every product also details what to do with the packaging after you are done, including sending the pumps from their bottles back to them so they can recycle them with terracycle. They do offer bulk in some items. For those items, Meow Meow Tweet takes back the entire bulk containers, sanitizes and reuses it. So, if you try a smaller size and realize you love it, you can keep your regular container, order a bulk products and refill your container a few times before sending the empty bulk container back. When purchased in bulk, the product tends to be 15% less per oz. I haven’t tried this system yet but I love how thoughtful this company is with their packaging and looking to keep as much as they can out of landfills.
I think the biggest seller for me on the Tea Tree Charcoal Face wash is that it lasts forever. I received this bar in July and it’s still going strong! I started using it twice a day and am down to just the morning with it. In the evening, I use the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm as it’s more moisturizing for the winter months. The comments on the website range from 6 months for those that use it religiously twice a day, to about a year for those that use it once a day. I’m at 7 months and, if I’m honest, probably have another 2 or 3 months left. That’s $12 for 9 months of a product! Any product that doesn’t make me have to replace it every month is a win in my book.
Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought toward budgeting and eco-friendly products and going zero-waste. I’ve recently switched my skincare over to Beautycounter, a company that advocates for cleaner beauty standards by banning 1800 potentially harmful ingredients from their products and fighting for updated legislation. They are also working on switching over their packaging to become more sustainable, offering refills for products starting this year and switching many of their packaging over from plastic to glass. Their products completely saved my skin from dryness which I had been suffering with for over a year straight. But, they are also pricier. Which is how I started looking at my spending. Can moving toward a low-waste life style be earth-friendly AND budget-friendly?
I was pretty excited with this week’s grocery haul. Finding dairy-free yogurt in non-plastic containers at a conventional grocery store like Big Y is a huge win! I was also able to find all my produce plastic-free which was another huge win. I was pretty impressed!
I few weeks back, I shared with you the Bite mouthwash tabs which I really love. I use them everyday and they are such a great addition to my evening routine.
But, I was holding back on sharing the toothpaste bits with you. I know that’s kind of weird but I guess I see mouthwash as sort of a bonus point to your oral care routine. Your dentist never asks “So, how often do you use mouthwash?” They always ask about how often you brush your teeth and floss.
So, before I shared with you the toothpaste bits, I really wanted to make sure they checked out. I wanted to see my dentist first and see if they could tell I had made any switches. And guess what? They couldn’t tell and I was completely cavity free! Thank the Lord because I have had far too many cavities in my life!
Let’s get into it then! Bite is a female-owned small business created by Lindsay McCormick who was looking to reduce the plastic and harsh chemicals that come with traditional toothpaste. You might have seen her on Shark Tank, where she DIDN’T take the offers presented to her. Turns out she didn’t seem to need the offers because it seems like Bite is kind of killing it now!
You know when I review a product, I always like to start with packaging and true to their word, Bite arrived in plastic-free packaging- a recyclable cardboard box, paper tape and brown paper wrapping. The container is glass with an aluminum lid- both which are recyclable, if needed. The appeal of Bite, though, is instead of having to continuously purchase and ship glass containers, you can order refills. The refill pouches are also plastic-free, home compostable, and made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) managed forests.
To further help the environment, they do NOT offer overnight or rush shipping as that increased their carbon footprint, which I found super interesting. More about that here.
I chose to start with the small bottle of 62 bits to try them out first. If you do that, you will get a second glass jar that holds the full 248 bits when you upgrade your order. Keep the smaller bottle, it’s great for traveling!
I use the Mint bits. They are made without fluoride but Bite has recently introduced nHAp, which is a fluoride alternative that is supposed to be less toxic, reduce sensitivity and help build back enamel. As someone who had been using Sensodyne for years per a recommendation from my dentist, I can say for certainty that this does help with teeth sensitivity. I haven’t had any problems since switching to these bits, which I’ll be honest, I was worried about.
In terms of taste and texture, I like the flavor of the mint bits. I think it’s quite similar to traditional toothpaste. If you don’t like mint, they do offer a berry flavor, as well as seasonal flavors. So far, I have seen them release watermelon and champagne. You do have to order those separately as opposed to the subscription, though.
Texture-wise, this is bit different from traditional toothpaste. I use an electric toothbrush and that does mean the bits don’t foam up as much as traditional toothpaste. I know that electric toothbrushes aren’t common in the low-waste community, though. As someone who has had more than her fair share of cavities, it’s the one oral care item I haven’t been able to quit. Despite foam reduction, my teeth do still feel clean after use. If you use a traditional toothbrush like the Bite Bamboo toothbrush (which I use when I travel and I do like!), the bits do foam up better and it is similar to traditional toothpaste.
With that all said, I actually really like the Bite bits. Previous to these, the only solid toothpaste I had tried was the Lush Miles of Smiles which I hated. I can’t remember why but I didn’t even make it through my sample. I think they tasted weird, if I remember correctly, but don’t quote me on that cause it has been a while. The Bite bits are easy to use (just bite, wet your toothbrush and brush), they taste good and they really seem to practice what they preach in term of sustainability.
I like to follow the toothpaste bits with the Bite mouthwash to really leave my mouth fresh. Review of that can be found here.
As someone who has had a lifetime of unpleasant dentist office experiences, I wasn’t really sure how to approach a zero-waste oral care routine. In fact, I’m still working it out. Each night, as I begrudgingly floss with the cursed traditional dental floss (refillable, in a glass tube) instead of my floss picks, I wonder if this is the best swap out there for clean teeth.
Fortunately, mouthwash was a much easier swap than floss for me and has involved significantly less cursing. Right now I am using Bite Mouthwash Bits. Clink the link for the review:
I went to go post this review and found, to my frustration, that a number of pictures I have taken over the past year of the low waste products I’ve purchased have disappeared. Not cool! I like to try stuff out and really get a feel for them before reviewing them so I tend to have pictures hoarded on my phone for a while. Or, I thought I did! For instance, I purchased my shave kit from The Package Free Shop back in February and made sure to take pictures right when everything arrived (without plastic packaging! Always a plus!!) and when it was all shiny and new. Now, everything is significantly less shiny and new but alas, here I am taking pictures for you. *deep sigh* One day, I’ll get better at this. Until then, please forgive the less than pristine condition of my shaving kit.
It’s August and we are still in this pandemic. Yet, things are (so very slowly) getting a little closer to normal. At least, that’s how I’m feeling as I’m able to (finally!) use my reusable produce bags AND grocery bags at my grocery store. Huzzah for small wins.
When making low waste swaps, some things are harder than others. Finding a good deodorant that works with your body AND comes in sustainable packaging? Hard. Finding toilet paper that ISN’T wrapped in non-recyclable plastic? So, so easy. Get comfy because we are going to talk way more about toilet paper then I’m sure you ever thought you would!