Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Bathroom

Green shampoo

My girlfriend Katie (@John and Kate’s Plate) and I were recently chatting all things shampoo and it reminded me of my greenwash shampoo experience last year.

I have always had oily hair as long as I can remember. Every time I went to the hairdresser they would comment that my hair is oily, that I am using the wrong shampoo and that I should try this *insert sales pitch*. Personally I thought that my hair has improved since changing my lifestyle but still on the oily side.

Last year I went to the hairdresser and an older lady cut my hair (usually I get a one of the young ones). She looked at my hair and could tell how long it had been since I had hair cut just by the length, so I figured she knows what is talking about. I got the usual your hair is oily response and said that I washed my hair this morning (I don’t like getting my hair shampooed at the hairdresser with all those nasty products). Hairdresser wasn’t impressed.

Any way, she insisted on a complimentary shampoo to show me what my hair would be like with the right shampoo, that my hair would be ‘free-er’; in my head I kept thinking sales pitch. She was talking about a mint shampoo and that the mint stimulates the scalp to increase circulation and help with the production of oil, which I could understand from my understanding the properties of peppermint essential oil. Not knowing what the shampoo was until it was all finished I checked the shampoo. DNA Organics mintiscalp shampoo; I was totally green-washed.

Despite the organic ingredients and essential oils it contained top nasties like PEG and EDTA. On top of this she blow dried my hair which I dislike too (because of how it makes my hair feel dry) but I really didn’t want wet hair whilst shopping.

So how do I know what nasties are lurking in my shampoo? I refer to my Twenty8 Ingredients Card I keep in my wallet (Contact me if you would you like one for your wallet!). Other great resources are Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group SKIN DEEP online database allow us to search ingredients and products and make our home a safer place. This is one of the best places I trust to find out about the products you put on to your body and is designed to help fill the safety gaps left by the unregulated cosmetics industry. You can also listen to this The Wellness Guys podcast with Twenty8’s very own Kim Morrison talking about what is in our personal care products.

Shampoo RedList

From Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

After my greenwash my hair went whispy, felt less oily like squeaky clean, and I was not convinced that I liked the change in my hair. Husband came home and noticed my hair straight away and laughed at the difference at first then wasn’t happy, so definitely a difference that isn’t just in my head. So was my hair feeling like this because of the

a) using a more appropriate shampoo that I am not used to

b) using a shampoo with nasties that have stripped the natural oils from my hair

c) drying out my hair from the heat of the blow drier


d) need to investigate further?

I chose d) investigate further, so I asked the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educators brains trust. Questions swirled around – how often do you wash your hair, how hot is the water, to do tie your hair up and have you tried ‘no-poo‘? Fellow HLE Sparkler Alix suggested:

The less you wash your hair, the better for its natural oils. Warm water, rather than hot, is much better for natural oil production. Under the water, before you shampoo it, comb your hair really slowly to help disperse the oils from your scalp to nourish the rest of the length of you hair. If you try and wash your hair once a week, shampoo twice and then only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Obviously the more products you use in your hair, or ‘generic’ shampoo/conditioner, the more it strips your naturals oils so your scalp over produces.

– Track2Health

I tend to wash every 3 days or so and not overly hot showers. I only use shampoo and conditioner (which were not the greatest low-tox options at the time) and am not one for haircare styling products. I loved this tip from Alix of combing my hair before shampooing to disperse the oils, which worked for the next hair cut I had as no comments were made on how oily my hair was.  I don’t think I am ready for no-poo yet.

Many of the HLE Brains Trust recommended trying Everescents, so I made the switch. With the Everescents Organic Rose shampoo my hair has never looked so good, I have never used a shampoo that smells so divine, I get ringlets without even trying and many people make lovely comments about my hair. I love the philosophy behind Everescents:

  • Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels!).
  • Plant based ingredients.
  • Transparent about the ingredients they choose and avoid
  • Contains pure Certified Organic ingredients.
  • Contains no Palm oil.
  • No animal testing.
  • 100% Renewable Energy.
  • Supports Camp Quality

What shampoo do you use? Do you know what is in your shampoo? Found a no nasties shampoo that works for you?


Tinkle Tinkle Little Star!

No that is not a typo. I am starting toilet training so we are singing, reading and doing everything we can to make it encouraging. So I thought it best to share with you a change that we are making in our family, our toilet paper.

Now think very carefully… how many sheets of toilet paper do you use? Write this number down now and remember it.

Toilet paper,  a necessity of modern life.  But have you ever stopped to think about how it is made? How the paper is sourced? The environmental impact of toilet paper? Like most people I had not given this a thought. Is there an environmental alternative? Do you envisage environmental toilet paper to look and feel like newspaper?

This post from Down to Earth Mother got me thinking about this conundrum. I came across Down to Earth Mother from reading Green Lifestyle Magazines  Feb/March 2013 issue about raising green kids (great article to read). From here I follow Jo as she blogs about making greener choices.

Over the past 12 months I had the idea of switching to a greener toilet paper. The reasons it appealed to me were:

  • Better for the environment by saving the trees, reducing the land fill, using less oil, water and electricity
  • Better for my family, as we wouldn’t be wiping our behinds with chemicals like nasty chlorine, fake fragrances and bleach
  • No plastic packaging
  • Made from recycled materials like office waste paper or sustainable forest plantations like bamboo and sugar cane
  • A supermarket free alternative as I could order environmental toilet paper on-line

So how to make the switch? What options are out there?

  • Who Gives a Crap – 100% recycled paper, no chlorine, inks, dyes or weird perfumes, packaged in paper, double length (400 sheets), 3 ply toilet paper with on-line subscription and free shipping. Down to Earth Mother gave a great review. A few of the blogs I follow and Facebook groups I am part of have also spoken highly of this product, particularly as it donates to 50% of profits to charity.
  • GreenCane – 70% bamboo and sugar cane, non-chlorine bleached, plastic free packaged, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Down to Earth also reviewed this product.  GreenCane also have kitchen paper towels.
  • Caboo –  New to the game in late 2014. 100% bamboo and sugar cane, no recycled paper, chlorine bleach free, panda bear friendly, free of inks, dies and perfumes, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Caboo also have tissues in a range of sizes, kitchen paper towels and paper napkins.
  • Supermarket Green options. Standard 200 sheets long generally.
  • Cloth – we are a cloth family for nappies and muma cloth but not sure we could go this far.

However, I had reservations.

  • I want to try before I commit to buying a bulk amount. The idea of 48 scratchy unpleasant toilet rolls is not appealing in the slightest.
  • With the recycled options, where is the waste paper products coming from? If it was printed paper, what about the potentially toxic dyes? I didn’t want to switch from one chemical to another, like BPA, in my toilet rolls, I wanted it to be low-tox.
  • The upfront cost of ordering a 48 pack of toilet rolls on-line and potential subscription, would involve tweaking our tight budget compared to a say $8 pack from a supermarket as part of our regular shop.
  • Where I was going to store 48 rolls with my cupboards already at the point of overflowing?
Toilet Paper

Our current selection of toilet paper – Caboo, GreenCane and Aldi.

So I put it off making the switch. I choose a better supermarket alternative from Aldi, checking the forestation certification and buying a bigger pack to reduce the amount of plastic packaging. In November 2014 we ventured out to the Eco Xpo, and were pleasantly surprised to find a couple of the environmental alternatives GreenCane and Caboo, so I got my chance to try by buying a few of the toilet rolls.

But what about the cost (based on my calculations)?

  •  Who Gives A Crap 400 sheets 24 pack = $0.31 per 100; 400 sheets 48 pack = $0.25 per 100.
  • GreenCane 300 sheets 48 pack = $0.29 per 100.
  • Caboo 300 sheets 12 pack = $0.28 per 100. (based on what I paid at Eco Xpo).
  • Aldi Confidence 3 ply 190 sheets 24 pack = $0.20 per 100; Confidence 2 ply 12 pack = $0.12 per 100. (based on Aldi online shopping list).
  • Green Supermarket Options e.g. Naturale 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.24 per 100; Safe Planet Ark Long Roll 12 pack = $0.23 per 100. (based on Coles online).
  • Standard Supermarket Options e.g. Kleenex 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.46 per 100; Quilton 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.30 per 100. (based on Coles online).

If you got lost in my number crunching above, the sum of it all is there is only a few cents difference per 100 sheets depending on the roll you choose, with the eco options being slightly more expensive than average unless you buy in bulk.

I am loving Caboo, the toilet paper is soft, strong as it doesn’t tear off in pieces, the price is reasonable and the roll is longer than standard so less frequent toilet roll changes is a bonus. The tissues are also soft and I didn’t get a red sore nose using the tissues recently when I was sick. Now to find a local retailer …

Caboo tissues

Caboo Tissues

Now, to your answer to how many sheets of toilet paper you use, say that number of good things about yourself. Enjoy your day!



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