Friday, March 20, 2009

The Bathroom!! - & Some Evil Thoughts!! ;)

Today I bravely ventured where no man has gone before: Our Bathroom.


Honestly, I was mostly using my own bathroom, because of so many iffy chemicals & suspicious-looking little bottles present in the main bathroom!

I mean, we're just an average family. Perhaps slightly health-conscious in some regards (at least the kitchen).

But until a while ago, we were just very average with regard to bathroom chemicals.

I did start a REVOLUTION in my own bathroom (where I had the liberty to do so!) - but The Main Bathroom is a different affair!

I'm perplexed by all the different contents and containers.. Very few are clearly labelled on all parts, & while some have the recycling sign or at least 'the green dot' - many are not labelled enough!

The forage was useful: now at least Mum doesn't think any more that The Green Dot is a recycling sign!!

Often, The Green Dot is very lonely though!!

Maybe she just has one friend, the PAO symbol which indicates best to use 'period after opening' (with written number of months or years).

She would be much happier with more of her friends, like this:

It would be GREAT if especially the resin identification code were always present!!

If they can put it on Tic Tac boxes, surely they could put it everywhere!!

Just 'The Green Dot' means very little! Only that a tiny fee has been paid by the manufacturer for another organisation to collect it. It doesn't guarantee that it will get recycled!
How could it get recycled if they don't know what it is?

But, I fear that currently there is little real interest in recycling more!
The company that collects packaging in Slovenia for recycling has put this on its website: they are asking for a 'temporary' change in legislation to allow 'waste to energy' as a priority ahead of recycling!! Grr!!
Just because of current temporary low prices of recyclables...
/I do wonder what other packaging recovery organisations are saying..?/

& why are little kiddies in schools still given containers for tetrapak recycling? Greenwashing, I guess!!

Does recycling still make sense then?
Well, I think if they are asking for this change that must mean that currently they are still obligated to sort for recycling! So yes, it does make sense.
It's also a message that we, people, want to recycle and don't want to just trash things!

But MINIMIZING is more and more important..

I'm still half-exasperated and I didn't even make it through 1/4 of our bathroom!!

/I remember I was equally - or more! - exasperated in my own bathroom, a while ago.. & it's pretty low-waste now.. So hopefully the main bathroom will be doable too!!/

Mum is willing to try washing her hair with the soapnuts, we'll see how it goes..

I finally told Dad about the zero waste week for Earthday, and he's not happy. Not at all. (And this is an understatement!)
Well, nobody was when I told them! Mum's gotten used to it by now, hopefully Sis & Dad will too-?!

I am not really sure if a 'full' zero waste week will be doable for Earth Day, but at least I'll try... Difficult to do it all by oneself though.. If packaging recovery organisations are not helping!! :(

I barely managed to convince Sis of importance of recycling, & now this - of course next thing I know some clearly-labelled packaging was in the trash again.. aagh! /&I couldn't keep quiet about it, sorry!!/

I wanted to ring the packaging recovery company up & ask about what is and isn't recyclable, but with these news, I'm not sure if they would tell me the truth??!!

Still, I can at least try..

On a happier note, garbage was in the news: an article saying 'Waste is gonna be EXPENSIVE'! So Mom came rushing up: "You could write an article & tell 'em to all go zero waste! And how to do it."

Yeah right. Like I can tell my own family - if even my Dad & Sis won't really participate fully..?!! hmm..!!
They say, 'We're much better than most other families anyway'. And they are right. We are. (Still, Sis saying that is a bit funny, she's sort of the 'main polluter', at least in the kitchen.:) And she's not willing to give up her bagged toast or other stuff. Though she was slightly shocked when I told her how much of the stuff was actually okay and reusable/recyclable, in the ideal climate.)

We're still left with quite a bit of cellophane (non-recyclable) & some other things. I also probably can't make Sis go to cloth pads or diva cup in a month, so let's keep fingers crossed it won't happen at that time!!
(Or can I just not count bathroom/toilet?!)

I even had an evil thought to just hide all bins and they can keep their garbage in their room if they wish!! /Is it too evil?? Or not?? ;)/

And when I started writing an article, it got really looong. So I wasn't sure which to focus on: the 'How?' or the 'Why?' - cause for me 'Why?' is even more important. It makes you wanna discover & DO the 'How'!!
But would they even publish the whole truth?! Hm!!

In fact, I'm a little bit burnt out. I may take it easy for a day or two and start saving the world on Monday. (?)


  1. The green dot is one of my bugbears. When I first started taking an interest in recycling, I was sure this meant much more than it does. It smacks of greenwashing above all else and is meaningless to the average householder.

    One day I shall take you on a tour of the products in my bathroom; I hope you'll be impressed!

    I loved your Mum's comment about you writing a letter - go on and do it and let us know what you wrote!

  2. I would LOVE to see a tour of your bathroom!! Especially Mr Green's products! ;)
    /have no idea what to get for Dad instead of the likely throwawayable only-Green-Dot tubes of aftershave cream and the like!!/
    Am thinking of disguising it as a 'present'! ;)
    And cosmetics for Sis? Yikes!

    For the local magazine - it wouldn't be a letter, hopefully it would be an article or a series - if they liked them! I'd love to share some of the wisdom I found with others...

  3. Layla,

    Lush Home Cosmetics provide all manner of bathroom toiletries in bar form, suitable for home containers. I buy these and have reduced plastic bottles to a minimum. Can you buy Lush products?

  4. Thanks John!! :)
    & glad to see you at my blog!! :)

    There are Lush products in Slovenia, in the capital & 2nd biggest city, and some people rave about them very much, while some others seem sceptical..
    Apparently (brief online research) some Lush products may still be a bit problematic/controversial healthwise (parabens etc), and some seem to be better..

    Haven't seen them in my hometown yet, or Granny's city.. - yup, just checked.. they're only in 2 biggest cities here..

    Can you tell exactly what you buy? /& how is it for the skin/hair? - My Dad can be quite picky!/
    (or can you post it on your website or e-mail me?) Mrs G & Mrs A both have my e-mail..

    Do you come to buy with your own containers or..? (They say on their website that they wrap them in white paper or cellophane otherwise)
    Do others buy them with containers too, or in white paper/non-recyclable cellophane?

    On their website the soaps seem quite 'zero waste', shampoos are in plastic bottles, except soap-like shampoo bars - do you get those?
    shaving creams seem in containers (hopefully recyclable)
    my Grandpa used 'just soap' but could I get Dad to use just that too?
    & I didn't see any 'aftershave' cream-? /my Dad is Libra, I think he couldn't do without!/
    Where do you get it, or do you do without?

  5. Hi! I noticed you joined my blog and I can't wait to read more of yours! We now only use the waste trucks once a month (recycle, reuse or compost everything else). Can't wait to read more!

  6. Hi Layla!
    Sorry if I couldn't read you blog nor reply to your mail these days! But here I am to tell you how does it work in my bathroom.

    At home we are in two, you know, and we haven't any bin in the bathroom. But we still aren't Zero Waste washing habits at all!!! We are doing it one step a time, trying to consume what we have bought before changing lifestyle and finding options when products end.
    So, we've done it for: shaving (only soap, but I'm searching green alternatives to disposable razors – I only found recycled ones), rechargeable liquid soap (with natural ingredients), recycled toilet paper, bathfoam, shampoo, and other detergents only by natural ingredients and recyclable containers. But we still have problems to find a toothpaste recyclable tube (I said I want to mail to the manifacturer who fortunately has the factory in my same town).
    That's all but of course everything has to be improved!

    I wondered how mystifying is the Green Dot, when I discoverd it one year ago from Mrs A! And how they could "allow 'waste to energy' as priority ahead of recycling" there!!! I can't believe it!

    This evening I'll go out for a conference in which the local waste management service will meet the citizens for explaining the new doorstep recycling system. I'll look forward to hear what's new, if on the other hand they are building the incinerator...
    And tomorrow in Campania, at Acerra a new one was inaugurated with great celebrations by the politicians... boooo :(
    What a sadness!

  7. Hot Belly Mama, great to see you here!! :)
    I LOVE your blog too!! :)

    Once a month is GREAT!! We're still not that far yet, especially with Sis & Dad resisting all they can!!
    hopefully we'll manage a way around that too!! :)

    Hi Danda! No bin in the bathroom is a good thing!! I wish I knew that before! :)

    I agree with 'one step at a time' - so easy to get overwhelmed otherwise! :)
    Toothpaste, same here!
    please post about recycled razors some time!
    sorry to hear about the incinerator.. :( Boo! indeed!!
    Hope your new local system will be good!!

  8. Hi Layla,

    I am very happy to pass on any details. It is excellent to see a budding European trend, you included.

    At Lush, containers are used for various bars: hair wash, bath salts, deodorant and soap (very feminine - culture shock). The hair wash stuff is raw, so an Ecover refillable plastic bottle type will be my next choice. I use hand soap for shave foam, like your grandpa.

    I place the bars directly in the container, without packaging - ZeroWastePackaging, as with all other container purchases.

    Do you have any of the following : home compost bin, Bokashi bin or Green Cone? The first 2 are my type and I have removed all food waste from the bin, permanently! Composting liquid/powder is useful for the compost bin.

    "Chill" is the best approach. When interacting with shop staff, even family, neighbours etc, explain your attitude in a reasonable manner. They will warm to you that way.

    Zero Waste is a longterm trend, and growing. As a group of enthusiasts, we can achieve positive change.



  9. Hi John!

    I hope this will become a European & worldwide trend too!!:)

    Thank you for the info on what you buy & use..
    If you have any pictures of your containers for buying Lush products, this would be great too..

    We have a home compost heap, well 2 (one maturing, one new)..
    We've eliminated most food waste, except the darn non-eco banana peels.. & today Sis threw kiwi waste in the mixed trash bin & I pulled it out! lol (& put into compost)

    Do you think it would be good to have a bokashi additionally, for the meat remains/bones? (we put small amounts into compost heap)

    If the Peak Oil thing happens, zero waste will (hopefully) become a mainstream trend.. It would be better to start sooner though, & be prepared..

  10. Hi Again Layla,

    I have not posted pictures yet, including my own, but I will do so soon.

    Tupperware types are best for Lush. They suit the bar size.

    Why do you not compost your banana peel?

    Meat/fish/fat/bone are done by Bokashi, with a white fungus eating the stuff. These food items are not advised for composting directly. Small amounts should not matter.

    You should continue with your trend. I found that gradual, but permanent, adjustments to routine are best. With Lush, I started and within weeks a whole lot of plastic bottles disappeared, forever.

    More Zero Waste items emerge as time progresses. I contact companies to ask for Container purchases. No success yet but it would be great news for the trend. My main target is food commodities (coconut, dried fruit, rice), for home baking.

    A huge laugh is that now plastic is so unpopular here in the UK, you do not see it so much in TV advertising. They know they are wrong and are hiding their "evil" material, haha!

    How is your forum topic going? I post, with Carole from myzerowaste, on the SkyNews discussion forum. Why not try there? It can be quite argumentative but when it comes to Zero Waste, I beat all-comers.