Wednesday: Being Green While Staying Clean

Today is all about how you can help take care of our most precious resource, water. And what better way to keep it safe than by paying attention to how you treat it during bath time?

Body Soap

  • Reduce packaging. First, ix-nay on the ody wash-bay. Switch to bar soap instead. Bars of soap require less packaging and plastic than body wash, reducing your use of plastic. But make sure to check the packaging of the bars to avoid extra layers. A paper covering or small cardboard box is all you really need and they are biodegradable.
  • Reduce carbon footprint and water. Bars also contain less water than liquid body wash, so you’re reducing the carbon footprint it takes to make the soap. Look for locally made soaps to reduce the fossil fuels it takes to get the soap to markets; click here to see shops around Alabama. Plus, you would be supporting small businesses in your community. Sounds like a win-win to me!
  • Avoid chemicals. By choosing soaps with fewer ingredients and chemicals, you can reduce putting potentially harmful substances in the water, and can reduce your own exposure to them as well.


    • Chemicals. Besides the same plastic packaging we talked about with liquid body washes, many shampoos contain a long list of chemical additives. Remember that anything you use in the shower or the sink ends up in the water. Many chemicals persist in the environment, meaning they don’t break down naturally, or they break down into other harmful chemicals. We recommend reading labels carefully to avoid some of the stronger chemicals and looking for natural or organic alternative products.


  • Less is More. Another option is to reduce the number of weekly shampoo washes. Shampooing too often can dry out your hair and can actually make it more greasy. Many hairstylists and dermatologists recommend that you shampoo no more than 2 or 3 times a week. Read more about it here. Of course, there is also the “no ‘poo” — shampoo-free — approach. Despite its unfortunate name, “no ‘poo” has become a staple for beauty buffs and environmentalists alike. It helps get rid of frizz, can help tame curls, and can even help with a dry, flaky scalp. You can find easy instructions for leaving shampoo and conditioner behind here.


Two Baykeepers are taking the baking soda challenge this week–we are using baking soda in place of our regular shampoo. We’ll report back next Wednesday with our results. How are you getting environmentally friendly in your shower? Comment below about your experience with new body care products or methods or take a picture of your your fancy new bars of soap and send it for a chance to win a prize!

UPDATE (4/11)

One week with baking soda as our shampoo, and here’s what the Baykeepers have to say:

“I love the difference I already see with my hair! It is very soft and my curls aren’t so tight anymore, which is what I was hoping for. An added bonus was that my hair turned out to be less greasy! I usually have to start using shampoo by the second day but it wasn’t even greasy when I washed it on the third day.”

“My hair feels so clean and soft! I am definitely keeping the baking soda in the shower from now on.”

So what do you think? Are you up to the baking soda challenge?