Alright, so we did our deed with Water and we’ll all be better for it, but what’s next? We're all going to be thinking about our water usage while we wash now, so we may as well move on to the next closest object to our water usage, the suds which aid us along the way. 

Now, I can’t promise every post theme will be this poetic in its progressions (yee who fail to see the poeticness of this progression, you are forgiven but silently judged), but for this week, it will be. 

And so, I bring you, SUDS, a week of sustainable switch suggestions for your soapy self. Starting with Microbead soaps, which are the worst guys in the room.

In December, the House of Representatives passed a bill, which Obama signed intolaw, phasing out environmentally harmful beads as of July 1, 2017 (conveniently raining on Canada Day’s parade there neighbour?) with all of the damn things off the shelf by July of 2018.

It’s crazier than Christmas that this hasn’t already be done, but rather than taking you on a downward spiral on why harmful chemicals and objects are allowed into our products in the first place, I suggest we just grab our faceclothes and cheers in excitement that someone, somewhere, made a conscious decision to halt, at least that particular plastic, from raiding water streams and the animals who dwell there.

-THE PROBLEM -

Here’s the deal. You should never trust anything immortal: that includes vampires, Rob Lowe, John Stamos, and plastics of any kind. Namely microbeads. Here's how the little bastards work do their dirty work.

[PART 1] You Wash Your Face 
A single squeeze of face wash can contain over 100,000 microbeads. Yup, go check now if your exfoliator/scrub is part of the guilty party by searching the ingredients list for: “polyethylene”. Microbeads are made of plastic, and plastic is not biodegradable, so therefore, once they are brought into existence, they will never decompose. (your microbeads will out live you, how's that for today's existential crisis causer?)

[PART 2] They Get Drained
Each time we wash our face or bodies with microbead clad produces, the immortal microbeads make their way down the drain, into our sewer systems, and, as Wastewater treatment plants can’t filter them out, they end up in ourwaterways, rivers and oceans.

[PART 3] Animal Absorption
Once there, they are absorbed by the wildlife who live there (and if it doesn’t kill them first, which it often does) these microbeads are passed along the food chain until…

[PART 4] WE EAT THEM!
We (being at the top of the food chain) eat said wildlife, and thus, absorb some of these malicious microbeads made of plastic chemicals, which we ourselves polluted the waters with. They say, people who eat shellfish consume more than 11,000 pieces of microplastics every year. (yum, yum, cancer)

- THE SOLUTION - 

Luckily - and this is where things get really nutty - nature creates its own natural exfoliants: almonds, oatmeal, sea salt, sea kelp, jojoba and pumice, which many conscious companies use in their product creation, and which don’t harm the planet or its inhabitants. There is also that thing we call the face cloth. So we never needed those plastic microbeads in the first place. 

To make the search process a bit easier, I asked a few of my fellow Ethical Writer’s Coalition ladies what their exfoliating routines were, here’s my favs and theirs to get you goin':

FACE

[MY recommendation]
This gentle exfoliator uses natural, biodegradable jojoba beads in their scrub. All their products are made with over 80% Organic Ingredients, natural, or plant-derived ingredients, which are sourced sustainably. And none of their products are tested on animals. Get her HERE

[FAYE from SUSTAINING LIFE's recommendation] 
This beauty is made of all natural USDA-Certified Organic kitchen cupboard type ingredients and undoubtably will cause you no harm. Get her HERE

[LEAH from STYLEWISE's recommendation]
Use a facecloth with your routine cleanser – you can find eco friendly facecloths these days! type ECO FACE CLOTH into your browser or get one made from bamboo HERE you can also try the Biodegradable Eco Friendly KONJAC SPONGE which is hugely popular as well, HERE.

[REBECCA MCGEE of THIS I WEAR's recommendation]  
Organic Sea Kelp in this scrub gently exfoliates your skin with all natural, organic, environmentally friendly ingredients which are obtained though sustainable practices. This product won the Earth Day Beauty Awards in 2015! Get it HERE

BODY

[MY recommendation]
Buy a set of eco scrub gloves, lets you get in all the nooks and crannies and you don't need to keep buying an extra product, just use it with your normal body soap. I use this eco pair, found HERE

[CATHERINE from WALKING WITH CAKE's recommendation] 
Using an eco dry brush is an amazing idea, you'll save water and soap so pretty much a win, win. This dry brush from Hydrea London is made of cactus (Tampico) pant bristles and FSC Certified Beechwood. Find it HERE

OTHER RESOURCES

[THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT] The 5 Gyres Institute has created a free app called, Beat The Microbead which can scan a product's bar code and tell you if it contains the evil beads.

[THE "NAUGHTY" LIST] There is also a list of naughty no, no, nope brands, HERE

[GET HER GONE] If your exfoliator or scrub is a microbead monster, STOP USING IT TODAY, look up where the Hazardous Waste Disposal is in your city and bring it there to live out the rest of eternity.  

[KNOW A GREAT EXFOLIATOR?] Please comment below with a link to the (microbead free) product you Love and I'll add it to the list!

PHOTOS: my own