Have you ever wondered how sustainable your evening soak is?
I love a bath. Honestly, I’d spend every evening this winter in my bathtub topping up the hot water with my toes turning the taps, face peeking out from clouds of foamy bubbles if my kids would tolerate it (they won't). I do manage to schedule a proper pamper bath every so often though, with water hot enough to boil pasta in, a candle or two and all my favourite bath time products.
I’ll be honest with you, even when I’m making an effort my bath is not totally surrounded by candles and filled with petals, but it still feels pretty luxurious in the grand scheme of things. Even more so since I’ve been making an effort to ensure my occasional soak is not impacting the planet too much. I don’t know about you but I just can’t relax if I feel it’s advanced my carbon footprint to do so.
So, here I am again to share with you my top tips for sustainable self-care. This time, it's how to make your bath time eco-friendly:
Homemade Face Masks
Generally, I don’t recommend a face mask in the bath because the steam is already doing a beautiful job of cleaning out your pores but I appreciate it’s as much about the ritual as it is the treatment itself.
If you’re a fan of a face mask in the bath, avoid the packaging by making your own. This can be especially fun to do on a night in or with the kids or friends and you can make enough to last you for weeks! Here’s my coffee and sugar face scrub recipe.
I keep my homemade face masks in glass jars so I can dip my hand in like a Winnie The Pooh delving into the honey jar. Plus, they look beautiful in the bathroom.
Refillable Hair Products
Again, the packaging is a big problem when it comes to beauty products but there is a solution that may even save you money too. Refillable stores will allow you to top up your shampoo, conditioner and body wash straight into your jars or other containers so that you don’t need to purchase another plastic bottle every time you run out. Not only does this save on packaging but you can find beautiful glass containers that look far more attractive beside the bathtub. Additionally, the refillable items in refill stores tend to be all-natural and therefore contain fewer chemicals and the microbeads that are destined to wash down through your plughole and into the ocean. You can even get refills delivered to your door via Miniml and other eco-delivery services.
You may also find that refilling is less expensive than buying new bottles of hair care and body products. Furthermore, refill shops are fantastic local businesses that are working to reduce waste and make a more sustainable lifestyle possible for consumers. Yet, a lot of these stores are struggling. Therefore, making this a new habit, though it can take some getting used to, supports your local ethical businesses as well as the planet.
Solid Shampoo Bars & Soaps
Your other option for reducing packaging is to buy solid shampoo bars and soap. These self-cleaning bars can be found at many eco stores and bigger brands such as Lush. To be honest, those with curly or very long hair may find bar washing more challenging, however, a lot of people swear by them so they’re certainly worth a try. Another benefit is that they’re travel-friendly.
I do recommend though that you check the ingredients, as always, and ensure your shampoo bars and soaps are environmentally friendly in terms of their ingredients. It’s also worth checking the brand’s ethical reputation if possible to ensure that they are sourcing ingredients in a way that does not strip the earth of natural resources so that we can smell like wildflowers for a couple of hours.
Eco-Friendly Bath Candles
There is nothing more relaxing than a bath, except a bath by candlelight. There’s just something soul-soothingly splendid about a long soak amongst flickering scented candles. Except when you consider that you might be burning fossil fuels literally right under your nose. Yes, most candles are made of paraffin wax and lighting them releases all sorts of toxins into the atmosphere.
Not so tranquil now, is it?
Never fear though - there are alternatives. Soy candles are a good alternative and beeswax candles or plant-based candles are even better. Unfortunately, they do tend to be more expensive but it is almost Christmas isn’t it?
Fill The Tub Sensibly
Ok, so we’ve all misjudged the bath running time right? All nipped off to make a quick call, finish off the kid’s packed lunch or empty the washing machine and we’ve run back to the bath to find we’ve created an infinity pool in the bathroom. It’s quite inviting but not exactly practical and usually, it’s 100% scolding hot water. So we either wait half an hour for the water to cool or the level to drop or we sacrifice the top layer of skin on our least favourite arm and make a painful dive in to release the plug. It’s not just inconvenient though is it? It’s a waste.
Given both the environmental impact of heating water and the cost of energy at the moment (eeeekkk!), we could probably be a bit more economical and not fill our baths up quite so high. It also uses less energy to get the water temperature right as you draw the bath, rather than going all in on the boiling water and then cooling it with ice-cold water. Just taking a bit more care - and I’m not lecturing because I’m talking more to myself than you here - we could reduce the energy we’re using to create our half-hour soak.
Olive And Joyce
Don’t forget that when you use up all your Olive and Joyce moisturisers or face oils I will be super happy to have your pots back! Return them to me and I will reuse them so we can keep them circulating and refill them with scrumptious new all-natural skincare creams.
Final Top Tip
For a spa experience at home, simply add two pumps of your Olive & Joyce oil cleanser (the one you use on your face) to your bath. Not only will the oil soften and moisturise your skin but it will fill your bathroom with a relaxing aroma. Now that's a luxurious eco-friendly bath!