Although I don’t feel you need to buy “zero waste” products (think buying a bamboo travel cutlery set when you can put a knife fork and spoon in a cloth napkin and secure it with a rubber band) as soon you start adjusting to a low-impact lifestyle, I do get excited when a product comes along that checks off all the boxes for me. I want the items in my home to work efficiently, serve a purpose, and ultimately bring me joy. Two gifts I recently received from my mother do all those things, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
#1: The Cora ball.
The Cora Ball is made from 100% recycled plastic and is designed to catch the microfibers that end up in our waterways through constant use of a washing machine. These microfibers are detrimental to sea life and pollute our precious oceans. While not perfect, this nifty ball will reduce microfibers in your wash by 1/3 or more. The amount caught is determined based on types of materials being washed, size of load, if pet hair is present, and washer settings, but through a great deal of testing, a third of the fibers has been found to be caught at the end of a cycle. I’ve only used mine a couple times since receiving it, so I cannot say its effectiveness on many different types of loads: Mine have been towels and a regular load of shirts and jeans. I suspect that after a few more washes, the fibers will be more visible and then can be thrown away. Until laundry lint is able to be recycled, the trash can will have to do. This link will explain more in-depth on microfibers and why it’s important to keep them out of our oceans as much as possible: https://spark.adobe.com/page/5Q4c8b8ORYG5l/
#2: Plaine Products Shampoo and Conditioner
I bought a travel set of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash from Plaine Products last year and fell in love with them. The aluminum bottles felt secure in my toiletry bag and there was no leakage. My hair felt light and shiny, which is odd for my fine, wavy, and damaged hair due to years of coloring it. Also, my husband and I were living in an area with extremely hard water, and I was blown away at how effective the shampoo was still able to clean my hair. Also, the smell was heavenly! Due to plenty of 1/2 full bottles of hair products under my sink, however, I did not invest in the full-size bottles upon finishing the travel ones. Financially, it was just not possible. As fate would have it, I’m 2/3 done my current shampoo and conditioner, so I was extra thankful for these bottles.
Here’s why I think Plaine Products’ mission is so unique: They’re part of a circular economy, a regenerative design intended to be better for the environment and overall health of individuals. Little waste as possible is created in this type of economy. A customer buys an initial bundle set of items and receives them in aluminum bottles: Only plastic is the pumps that can be used with each new bottle. Once it’s time for a new order, refills are ordered and empty bottles are sent back in the refill box to be reused and sent to another customer. Aluminum is an ideal material because it can be recycled a numerous number of times without losing its initial structure, while plastic breaks down a bit more each time it’s recycled. Aluminum is also much stronger than plastic, so it can withstand mail travel to a greater extent than typical plastic bottles would. The whole concept behind the business model is brilliant.
All products are cruelty free, vegan, sulfate and paraben free, and biodegradable, meaning the actual product is not harmful to ocean life once it reaches our waterways. As someone who washes her hair every other day, the biodegradable aspect is something for which I am grateful.
I understand not everyone can afford $30 for a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. If you cannot, that’s okay! Do what works best for you. I use to print BOGO coupons for Giovanni products every time I saw one online and stocked up so I wouldn’t ever need to pay full price. In fact, I’m fairly certain there’s still a coupon in my purse to be used. Now I have the chance to give these products a good chance (16 oz. will last me a long time), it will be up to me to determine if the price tag is worth it. I will certainly report back once I’ve given these a “go” for awhile!