The Powder Shampoo makes biodegradable foam body washes, that start off as dry powder. For daytime (lemongrass, ginger, turmeric) or night time (lavender chamomile). Use with a plastic-free shower sponge. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing or affected medical conditions.
Avoid toxic indoor plants (including lilies, sago palm and cheese plants) near pets. Indoor plants don’t ‘clean the air’ (an outdated NASA myth). Even rushing a tail against them can harm animal friends. Use alternative methods to freshen the air.
Thames Water has a guide to check for toilet leaks. If you don’t use a lot of water, ask your council to install a meter, so you don’t pay for other wasteful use.
DIY stores sell tap aerators, that give same flow but mix air with water. They are easy to fit (water-saving showerheads do the same, have a plumber fit for safety).
Bath diverters hang out of upper windows to reuse water for plants. Use biodegradable unscented bath products or you’ll kill plants (and could be unsafe for pets/wildlife if they drank the water).
shower-friendly (vegan) exfoliating soaps
Kleen exfoliating coffee soap is not just vegan and free from palm oil, but sold with attached rope. So you don’t have to worry about buying a slatted dish to stop them going soggy, because gravity drains the water.
Avoid soaps with Dead Sea mud due to sustainability issues. Choose unscented for pregnancy/nursing and affected medical conditions.
dry-brushing to exfoliate skin on the body
Dry-brushing with a sisal body brush is a great way to remove dead skin cells and encourage skin renewal, for softer skin. It can also unclog pores, even skin tone and stimulate circulation. Sisal is a plant fibre that has sword-like leaves which are often used to make natural carpets. Tap the brush after use to remove debris, wash bristles once a week with warm, soapy water, then rinse well and air dry with bristles facing downwards. Do not immerse the brush in water.
Always brush towards the heart in gentle circular movements (do not use for open/inflamed skin including eczema/psoriasis or medical conditions).
Or use a loofah sponge (made from the fibrous skeleton of the loofah plant creates gentle friction, making it perfect to shed dead skin cells and improve circulation. Just soak in water to soften, and lather with your favourite soap.
Sold in two sizes, both are unbleached with cotton string to hang up. Increase lifespan by air-drying between washes, or machine-wash and leave to air-dry. You can also soak it now and then in warm water with a few drops of peppermint oil to help deter bacterial growth. At end of life, just cut up and compost. Loofahs are sent flat, and inflate to full size, on contact with water.
a planet-friendly shower exfoliator
The Casamara Scrubber is an innovative double-sided exfoliator for your shower, featuring a double-sided design. One side has a ‘honeycomb’ pattern, and the other is more exfoliating for a deeper clean. In natural or naturally scented versions like peppermint. Use with biodegradable cleansers and you can then cut it up and compost.
The reason this item is so unusual is that it’s totally planet-friendly. Made from walnut shells, water and konjac root powder (like a Japanese potato), it’s infused with activated charcoal that is good to exfoliate congested skin, and biodegrades at end-of-life. It’s designed for easy handling and has a hanging loop to dry inbetween uses, and is so gentle it can be used on the face and nose, and even to remove cosmetics.
recycled cotton & linen knitted facecloths
These hand-knitted recycled cotton & linen facecloths are ideal to use with your favourite organic cleanser or handmade soap (choose fragrance-free versions for pregnancy/nursing and affected medical conditions). Measuring around 23cm by 23cm, these soft cloths are very strong, made by combining shredded textile waste and linen (from sustainably-grown flax, a plant that needs less water to grow than cotton). Choose from off-white, mid-grey or midnight.
It’s always best to buy organic or recycled cotton, to reduce the market for new conventionally-grown cotton, which is responsible for around a quarter of all the world’s pesticide use. This is not just bad for the planet, water and wildlife – but also for farmers, who have to wear clothing in hot temperatures, to avoid inhaling chemicals. Organic cotton is more expensive but lasts longer (as fibres are not treated with chemicals). But recycled cotton is also a good choice.
An old-fashioned facecloth that can be safely laundered (without leaching microplastics from the washing machine) is better than modern disposable cleansing cloths in plastic packaging. These often contain chemicals that rinse down sinks and into the sea to pollute the oceans, and are also too harsh for skin. Wet wipes (also used for cleansing) are a common cause of blocked toilets as people (wrongly) flush them down the loo, and this also causes garden floods and sewer fatbergs (which have to be broken down by councils , adding to your tax bill).