Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Eco-Friendly Bathing: Dyes & Safer Alternatives

One of many places we see chemicals in our day to day lives is bath and shower products. Unfortunately, those chemicals just go down the drain, into our water, and they don't just simply get filtered out of the supply. Not too long ago, we were seeing many petitions and campaigns against microbeads, in hopes to raise awareness about their impact on water and wildlife. While it's great that this issue was addressed, thus resulting in bans being put in place across North America, there are many other concerns to be had about our products' impact, especially considering the frequency by which we shower, wash our hands, do laundry, and so on. As consumers, we want products that not only get the job done, but something that makes the experience of cleanliness enjoyable - for example, scent and colour. However, these attributes can add significantly more chemicals to a product when not executed in a sustainable fashion. I can totally understand why people purchase and use what they do, but there are some great alternatives and innovations that are better for us and the environment alike.

"Frozen" and "Guardian of the Forest" bath bombs from LUSH Cosmetics

All of this said, I love LUSH Cosmetics, however the dyes they use aren't always the best for the environment. The company overall is amazing, in that they use 100% recycled and/or biodegradable packaging, don't test on animals, use minimal ingredients, and are continuously donating to non-profits, but the fact of the matter is that they use azo dyes in their products which aren't good for the environment. These dyes, some of which are used in food production, have previously been banned in the dying of garments due to their unfavourable effects on the environment and water supply. Granted, a dye bath is a lot more concentrated than a human bath (lol), but it adds up. All of this said, I still love LUSH, and this doesn't mean all of their products are awful, it's just that there is room for improvement - as with any company. On the plus side, if you shop for LUSH online via the LUSH website (as opposed to any rando), each product listing will show natural (plant-based) ingredients in green, and chemical ingredients in black, which is really handy. Further, the company has their Lushopedia available online to look up what the ingredients are made up of, uses, etc. - another wonderful tool which presents LUSH's transparency. As you can see above, I definitely do treat myself to their bath bombs, but I do hope that in the future they will manufacture products using healthy dyestuffs, too.

What I can assure you IS safe is plants. We know they biodegrade naturally, and there are many that are harmless not only upon exposure but also when consumed. I'd call this the original biodegradable glitter, but some might just call it confetti. Regardless, plant matter can help provide a magical bath experience. Sure, it doesn't change your bath into a forest green colour (like Guardian of the Forest would, as seen above), but there is something magical about steeping in a tea of flower petals and earthy scents straight from the plants.

I saved these rainbow flower petals from a bouquet given to me by Jasper! I'm glad that I can give them life after fresh-cut flowers by conserving parts of them for my bath before they end up in my garden. They add a lovely pop of colour to the tub. I intend to put some of them into homemade bath bombs as well. I'm going to note here that while the colours in these petals are not naturally occurring, they did not bleed into the water or stain anything. 

I packaged up my lavender in a piece of scrap silk, and one of its many uses is in the bath. The water brings out the scent just like what happens with tea. Gorgeous~

Rose petals! They float around in the water like lily pads. So cuuute~

You too can collect up petals and plant matter for your bath. Like I often do, save pretty flower petals from bouquets (treat yourself, or maybe you're lucky enough to have someone to spoil you with them). I also recommend taking any from your houseplants, once the blooms start to fall. Of course, you can also take them from your garden (tulip petals would be divine, with their natural colours), or forage for them in the great outdoors, but be sure not to damage anything. Whatever has naturally fallen can be yours to enjoy, but don't hurt the plants. :)

If you're seeking colour, I'm sure there're ways to do it. While natural fabric dyes include spices, beets, and acorns, I'm not entirely sure what would be suitable for a bath. I'd be concerned about staining skin, the tub, or towels. I may look into it further though! Nothing better than a guilt-free bath experience. 

1 comment:

  1. well now I will have to look as I shop or grow things..lol I'm just not a green thumb!