Let’s Talk About Dryer Balls

When I created this blog, it was so I could help people weed through the growing number of zero-waste products that were on the market. What items are worth buying and which aren’t? For the most part, I have had great success going zero-waste. I love shampoo bars, organizing my closet help me reduce the amount of clothes I was buying and I even figured out how to reduce my waste when it came to oral care, which was by far, one of the areas I was most worried about.

There haven’t been many fails on this blog but boy-oh-boy do Dryer Balls make that list.

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Ethique Product Review

Goodness! It feels like it’s been a while since I did a product review, doesn’t it? These are one of my favorite features of my site, though, because I know everyone is in a different place geographically, financially and in their zero-waste journey. I like to provide feedback on zero waste products so that there is something for everyone.

Today review is on a few Ethique products I ordered. Ethique products have started popping up at Target, which makes it easier for everyone to try, and why I wanted to get a review up for them. For those of you who have no problem doing all of your shopping right from the comfort of your bed (oh hi, that’s me!), Ethique offers a wide range of products so you can do all your shopping in one place if you are interested. They offer shampoo and conditioner; washes, moisturizers and scrubs for both body and face; kids products; pet products and home cleaning products. They also offer bars and concentrates, which I will talk about more below.

The first thing I have to say about Ethique is they offer sample sizes for a reasonable price, which I LOVE. For anyone going zero-waste or shopping for products with cleaner ingredients, you know the struggle! Shampoos that don’t suds up, deodorants that leave you stinky, toothpaste tabs with weird tastes. Then, you are left with an expensive product that you have zero interest in. I have been there! It’s the entire reason I started this blog!! So the fact that Ethique offers mini sizes in almost all their products is hands down the best feature of their brand. It says so much about the confidence in their products and their commitment to getting the right products in their customers’ hands. I would highly encourage you to take advantage of this and try out a few of their products if you aren’t sure where to start.

For me, I purchased the pinkalicious shampoo bar (full size), the tip-to-toe shave bar (full size), butter bars (minis) in Orange Vanilla and Coconut Lime and a Deep Green face wash (mini). All the products, even the minis, are packaged with zero plastic. The products are wrapped in paper and then placed in a paper box. The products are also shipped plastic free in cardboard, with paper “bubble wrap” and no plastic tape. Everything is home compostable. The company also is conscious of their water consumption, recycling and recirculating it, allowing them to use significantly less water in the creation of their packaging.

Yes. Please.

In addition to considerate packaging though, the company aims to be Carbon Positive by the end of 2021, offsetting 120% of their net carbon emissions. You can read more about that here and what they are doing to stay on top of their carbon footprint.

As for the products, let’s start with the shampoo as I believe, that is what is most readily available at Target for those who aren’t inclined to shop on-line. The pinkalicious bar is grapefruit and vanilla scented and made for ‘normal’ hair.

This shampoo bar was sizable. It lasted me about 4 months. It is one of the best lathering shampoo bars that I’ve tried. I would say this may be the closest I’ve gotten to a traditional lather since giving up traditional shampoo. With that said, all the bars I’ve recommended on this site (hibar and Lush specifically) have all lathered really well. This one just seems to have a little extra oomph!

The smell was quite nice and it didn’t linger in my hair, which is a plus for me. If you follow this blog you know for the most part, I try to steer clear of strong scents since they give me a headache. This shampoo smelled nice while in the shower but didn’t follow me around all day. It cleaned my hair really well and I was able to wash my hair every third day. It did tend to make my scalp a little bit dry, so if you have a sensitive scalp, I would definitely recommend checking out the Heali Kiwi bar instead. I think I will be trying that next time.

Next up is the Tip-to-Toe shaving bar. Again, this bar is sizable. Again, I’m on month four and still going. I use this roughly once a week. Ok, Maybe, once every week and a half…or two. Come on- It’s winter!! This bar is actually advertised as a shampoo & shave bar so if you are looking to minimize your life, this would be a great option, especially if travelling. Honestly, I haven’t tried it as a shampoo though so I can’t speak to it’s shampoo-ing abilities.

My complaint about my last shave bar was that it didn’t lather well and so I couldn’t always tell where I shaved, despite my best efforts. Since this bar doubles as a shampoo, it’s definitely has better sudsing power. I find it works best when you run it under water and get the lather going in your hands first. The scent is a minty citrus, which is really refreshing and again, doesn’t linger. I use this with my Leaf razor and it gets a close shave and is moisturizing. I am definitely planning on purchasing this again.

Next up is the Deep Green facial mini. This was my least favorite product out of the batch I tried. In fact, it’s been a struggle to get through my little sample size. This product is advertised as for oily to normal skin with no drying. I have combination skin with dry patches and areas that are acne prone so finding a good cleanser is a struggle. I felt like this left my skin feeling tight but also resulted in breakouts. I found I never used it more than a few days before switching to my tea tree and charcoal bar to help clear up my zits that popped up. I just don’t think this was the right product for my skin.

Lastly, I tried two different butter bars- orange and vanilla and coconut lime. I knew my skin dries out in the winter so wanted to have these on hand. I love the size of these minis for travelling! They take up less space and you don’t have to worry about carrying liquids. They do get soft in warmer temperatures. You’ll notice that after a hot shower, your bar will be a bit softer. Keep this in mind if you live in a warmer climate or are having these shipped in the summer months. I don’t think they will melt but the website says you can pop it in the fridge for a few hours if you are shipping this in the summer and it arrives soft.

Despite them being hydrating, they did leave my skin feeling a little greasy. So I opt to use them in the evening. I love using a sugar scrub in the shower and following it with one of these butter bars. I’ll put soft, cozy leggings on, crawl into bed and wake with super soft, hydrated legs. The bars were a little hard to use but it was more because of the small heart shape of the minis. I suspect the full size bars will be far easier. The scents linger a little better with these but again, not nearly as bad as traditional products with ‘fragrance’. This is good for me but I know some people do like using moisturizer as a sort of perfume. I think I liked the coconut lime scent the best but both were right up my alley. I can’t say how long they last as I have the smaller sizes and I only use it about once a week or have saved them for travel.

If bars seem too intimidating, Ethique recently launched a line of concentrates. The concentrates launched right after I made my purchase so I haven’t had a chance to try them but they look really cool. They are small, solid bars which you mix with boiling water to create a liquid. So if you want to ditch plastic shampoo bottles but don’t love shampoo bars, you can purchase the shampoo concentrate and make your own liquid shampoo. I think that is so clever and accessible! All their household cleaning products are sold as concentrates and I’m itching to get my hands on them once I work my way through my current products.

Overall, I was really excited about Ethique, as a company, and enjoyed the majority of the products I tried. I will be restocking the butter bars and trying the Heali Kiwi bar and some of the household cleaning products in the future. I’ll update the review when I do!

If you try any of these products, let me know what you think!

**as always, these products were purchased by me and this post is not sponsored or an ad in anyway. I’m just sharing my experience! 🙂 **

Lets Talk About Low Waste and Budgeting

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?

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Bite Toothpaste Bits

Let’s talk oral care, shall we??

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.

The 62 Bit bottle works great for traveling. Shown with the Bite toothbrush, the Bite travel container with mouthwash, and the Last Swab earswab.

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.

Day Owl Review

When I was planning for my recent Disney trip, I knew a new backpack was a must. I had a cheap Target backpack kicking around from my 2015 trip but it was very well loved and had gotten dingy with multiple bike rides and had more than a few holes showing. Of course, I’m not quite ready to throw it out yet but it’s definitely been downgraded.

In my search, I stumbled across Day Owl backpacks.

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Low Waste Disney World

Let’s start by saying that I never intended to take so much time away from the blog as I have. I was really enjoying the posts I was doing in October and had a few more planned for while I was away. But, vacation happened. And then, election happened. And here we are mid-November and I’m just getting back into the swing of things.

If you follow my instagram, you saw at the end of October that I ended up going to Disney World with a friend. This isn’t a traveling during COVID post so I’ll get into that another time. Instead, I wanted to tackle some tips and tricks for staying Low Waste at Disneyworld.

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