Becoming (More) Zero-Waste…

A few months ago, I received a box of items I had bought from Tabitha Eve.

They create beautiful handmade cotton and bamboo home wares for a less wasteful lifestyle, the sort of lifestyle I’ve been wanting to pursue in more aspects of life. Natural beauty products, minimalism and recycling are my usual routine, but there is always room for (self) improvement.

I looked at all their categories and identified that I wanted to be a little more adventurous in two arenas –the bathroom and the kitchen.

For the bathroom, I got: Body buff, Konjac sponge, exfoliating loofah discs, and Personal Wipes. The body buff and loofah discs came from a burning need to exfoliate as a means of self-pampering during the pandemic, and the Konjac sponge is a Japanese beauty secret — it comes from the root of the Konjac plant, and becomes silky soft when wet, perfect for gentle face-washing! It is also a great alternative to the natural sea sponge, which is a living thing. (I’ve been told that sea sponges are dead when you use them, but I have been unable to find any sources that state whether they are killed for the sponge trade, or if harvesters go trawling marine floors looking for dead sponges to be used in the bathroom (this scenario seems highly unlikely), so the Konjac sponge is the more humane route, to my mind.

My bathroom thoughts:

The body buff is a bit bulky and stiff, and I imagine it is from being stuffed with the leftover bits of cotton and bamboo material from their organic makeup rounds. This also makes it difficult for the body buff to dry. It took a total of 5 days for it to be more than 80% dry! I have no idea how much bacteria would be festering in it, and would imagine that after you use it once, you’d have to throw it in the wash immediately if you live in a very humid place, or the weather is warm. However, the care instructions say to hang it to dry… so it is still taking a long time to dry out. I have no idea if it’s because I bought the imperfect version of it, but Tabitha Eve states that their imperfect versions are just less aesthetically perfect. So if this is how the normal body buff works, I’m not too impressed. I’d rather have something much slimmer like their Tough None sponge for the kitchen (pretty certain they use the same material for the scrubbing/buffing parts on both) that will dry out much faster.

The Konjac sponge… I was a bit leery of putting it to my face at first because it became a bit slimy once moistened, but it was the softest thing I’ve ever scrubbed my face with, and though I don’t use it every time I shower, it’s made my face feel really soft! (I previously had a lot of dry skin leftover from the wintertime). I love this to bits, and the best part is when it’s rundown and time for a new one, you can just pop this into your compostables. Isn’t that neat? Unfortunately, this baby died on me after 10 uses… I swear I wasn’t abusing it, and yet it did not stand up to facial cleansing… I hope that’s not a norm for these sponges, but let’s just say I was absolutely disappointed.

Exfoliating loofah discs: I’ve used a cone-shaped natural loofah before, which was tough and a bit unwieldy. These discs are perfect, and were much better at exfoliating than the body buff was. I use this once every week.

Personal wipes, AKA reusable/washable tissue paper… I admit it. I’ve currently flunked using them. I only used it twice… and never after doing a #1. The first time was to clean my toddler’s eyes, and the second was to blow my nose. Sigh. There is a mental block with regards to using them for the nether regions, for some reason. I’m working on it!!

For the kitchen, I got: 100% Cotton Unpaper Towels, Tough None Sponges.

My kitchen thoughts:

The unpaper towels are pretty fun to use. We had some practise using some fluffy, absorbent cotton fleece that were originally purchased and used as reusable baby wipes (from Well.ca), but as our son grew older, the need for wipes grew less, and they became our initial attempt at doing away with paper towels. These are slightly less thick/absorbent, but still do a great job of wiping down surfaces and picking up crumbs. They do shrink a bit as stated, so I wish they would come in an even larger size to take shrinkage into account, but they do the job.

The Tough None sponges are just OK to use. Like their bathroom counterparts, they’re pretty stiff, so don’t mold as nicely in all the odd and strange nooks and crannies to be found in one’s cups, bowls, pots and pans. I wish they would make them a bit more flexible. As well, the scrubbing power is not the greatest… so the hunt continues for the best eco-friendly kitchen sponge/scrub, alas.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of all the products now that they’re used and no longer “shiny and new”.

I didn’t bother including the unpaper towels, but they just look less white and a bit wrinkly in places…

All in all, I’ve loved my Tabitha Eve box! In future, I’d love to try their biodegradable Paper Parcel Tape, their New Parent Baby Gift Set (since I’m expecting!), the Luxury Linen Produce Bags and their super cute Market Bag!

Have you tried dabbling in the zero-waste lifestyle? What did you learn, and what were/are your favourite “tools of the trade”?

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