Stopping Shopping Pt 3 – Fear & Loathing in the Bathroom!

One way of stopping shopping is to go through your house room by room so let’s face the fear & loathing in the bathroom…. as you do!

Plastic and petroleum-based products!

These are the bugbears of all things shopping.  They are consumerism in a nutshell.  So the idea for self-sustainability and care for the planet is to eradicate all of them out of the bathroom, where they lurk in droves.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Looking at my (now brilliant-orange-henna’d) hair – I reach for 2 plastic containers, 1 shampoo and 1 conditioner.  YUK.  Plastic does NOT break down and ends up in the ocean or landfill as garbage.  There are huge islands of plastic floating out at sea – no media coverage of course.  Birds are eating plastic caps and dying of starvation and internal gut problems.

There are many DIY hair cleaning recipes around that involve vinegar etc and bicarb of soda.  And they work – hair is slippery squeaky clean.  Conditioner is a matter of raiding the fridge!  For myself, I am presently using a shampoo soap bar and a conditioner soap bar that I discovered at Lush an Aussie company that is also promoting compassionate treatment of Asylum Seekers, so a win-win purchase there (but still “shopping” and still “product”).  When they are depleted I will return to the soda and vinegar cupboard and the fridge for my hair care.  

It’s actually a very useful BRIDGE away from plastic containers and a very ingrained habitual way of considering what hair care products should look, smell and feel like.  That’s an important psychological bridge right there – how we have been trained to think a product should perform. 


Re soap itself – I want to make my own eventually but for now I bought some natural soap again from Lush (no affiliation) but I have also located a DIY soap-making kit – cold compress – which I will buy (still “shopping”) because it will overcome any fear I have about making soap and it will teach me how to do it in the first place.  After that, the world’s my oyster, sort of.  It’s $50 plus postage and will get rid of my soap-making inhibitions and ignorance.  I’ll keep you all posted on that one!


Now there’s a big one for how we think a product must behave.  I’ve tried the really diy recipe of salt, soda, peppermint oil et al, and still have it in a container in the bathroom cupboard.  It didn’t froth!  This is a big obstacle to overcome mentally, believe it or not.  So again, Lush to the rescue with their Toothy Tabs.  They froth and foam!  But again, it’s still shopping.  And again, it’s a very strong mental bridge to stepping away from manufactured paste in a plastic tube.  Trying a new format for an old product is challenging – it’s so much psychologically easier to pop a new tube in the basket whilst shopping.  So I bought 5 packets of toothy tabs to get me truly out of the tube habit.  And it’s working!


Again, a plastic tool that will not degrade and will end up in landfill or the ocean.  So in walks The Environmental ToothbrushI bought a box of 12 to last me a year or however long they last to get me off plastic.  And apart from the initial reaction to putting smooth wood/bamboo in your mouth, they work a treat and I’m getting accustomed to it – both psychologically and ethically.

Underarm Deodorant

I ditched my default Redwin’s (non-aluminium content – aluminium?) and for the last month have been wearing a combination of arrowroot powder, coconut oil and peppermint oil in my armpits.  I love it and the smell is very appealing.  In the hot weather it will melt so keep it in a cupboard or linen closet.  Either way, it’s a very satisfactory alternative.  I won’t go back, not even to Redwin’s unless I absolutely have to.

Toilet paper

Holy Crap, Batman!  Yes, Who Gives a Crap to the rescue here.  I bought a box/carton at $48 and it should last me, as one person, for a whole year.  Have yet to test that theory!  😀  Again, it’s a feel-good site that does good work for the planet.  So it’s a winner to and for me.

So there we are – yes, I’ve been shopping still, but for ethical products.  The important thing is to overcome prejudice against the DIY aspect of our personal hygeine regime – we fear that we’ll smell or get criticised for being different or whatever we fear.  So these products I’ve used and listed get my full recommendation as powerful psychological bridges to overcoming barriers to change.

And again, I’m not sitting in judgement on anyone who finds the DIY shift unsuitable for them – this is my personal journey away from shopping and consumerism and into the glories of self-sustainability.  I’m just sharing the journey with you.

And I’m not affiliated with any of the products mentioned above.

Buen Camino,


About Nancy Liddle

In 2014 I walked from Seville to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, some 800 ks I walked, aged 56. I learnt that no matter what age we are, our bodies are strong work-horses. Ageing doesn't have to be the nightmare that our culture feeds us. We can be strong and vital and energetic! And meditation exercises our minds. Clearly these discoveries have impacted my life deeply.

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