zero waste

Back to the olive oil drawing board


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Olive oil is an important staple in my life. I always have an ample supply of olives in my home, as well as olive oil, both of which I buy in bulk from the Bedford Basin Farmers’ Market, where they allow me to use my own glass containers. I have written before of my love of Savon de Marseille, which I use in bar form for personal use, as well as for household chores. I have been looking for a zero-waste or low impact body moisturizer for a while. Over the summer, I experimented with using just olive oil, which worked very well. I still bought a hand cream, however, as I can decant the cream into a travel-sized container when I am out of the house. I’ve learned from experience that oils do not travel well in handbags.

When my local zero-waste store started to carry bulk moisturizer, I thought this would be an ideal way to stop buying packaged hand cream; further, this meant that I could use one product instead of two, as I could use it as a body moisturizer as well. Unfortunately, this bulk moisturizer is simply not rich enough for my hands, and after just a few days, my cuticles started getting dry. My skin is genetically dry, and is prone also to eczema, so this cream simply didn’t do the trick.

I’m back to my original plan: I use olive oil as a body moisturizer. I use a re-purposed glass pump bottle and use two-three squirts per body part. The key is not to use too much. The oil absorbs quickly; I don’t know if this would be true for other skin types, but it certainly is the case for mine. I have gone back to using a hand cream that I can decant in a travel container. Because I use this cream only for hands, it lasts a long time. My choice is the Body Shop’s collection of vegan hand creams. I have been pushing the company to make at least one scentless alternative. The creams are rich enough for my needs, and the company uses a lot of recycled plastic for its containers.

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