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A Fresh Start for the New Year

Sustainable Bath Products

This January, it feels good to have a fresh start, even in small ways. One of our family resolutions is to embrace new, healthier, more eco-friendly routines, with help from Grove Collaborative

Sustainable Bath Products

Grove is committed to making products that are good for both people and the planet. They make it easy to find better-for-you swaps for everyday products, such as dish soap, deodorant and laundry detergent.

Sustainable Bath Products

Have you ever tried cleansing bars for your face, body or hair? Bars are one the best ways to cut back on packaging waste. And they last a long time — one bar cuts back on an average of three plastic bottles!

Best Sustainable Products

Above: facial soap, shampoo, conditioner and hand and body bar on this tray.

We’ve been loving their hand and body bar, in place of our old hand soap and body wash. It has pink Himalayan sea salt to gently exfoliate, which feels so great on dry, winter skin. (The moisturizing version is great, too.) For face wash, the facial soap is amazing. It’s super gentle and has hyaluronic acid, to moisturize and replenish skin. We’ve even turned to bars as our shampoo and conditioner! Like all of Grove’s products, they’re plant-based, sustainable and free of harmful chemicals.

Sustainable Bath Products

Meanwhile, the boys have become big fans of the kids’ wild strawberry toothpaste. “It tastes really good,” says Anton.

Grove Collaborative

Another thing we love about Grove is their Beyond Plastic Initiative, a five-year plan to help solve the issue of single-use plastic for home and personal care products. They’re working hard to remove plastic from everything they make and sell, and will be plastic-free by 2025. In the meantime, they are 100% plastic-neutral, meaning that for every ounce of plastic they sell, they collect and recycle an ounce of plastic pollution.

To that end, they offer a whole array of cleaning products in reusable glass bottles. When you run out, just mix the concentrate with water, and you’re good to go! (I especially like this one, paired with a reusable microfiber cloth.)

Sustainable Toothpaste

Have you tried Grove? For home and personal care products, I highly recommend them. They make our home feel so good!

Bonus: All new customers will get a free gift with purchase when you sign up for Grove using this link. Thank you so much!

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Grove Collaborative, a company we love. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Jenny says...

    Hi Cup of Jo team,

    I would love to recommend Vida bars for shampoo and conditioner, it’s an amazing small, Latina owned company trying to do great work to make the world better, safer, etc. I don’t know anyone there, just discovered the bars and have been using for awhile now and love supporting her!

  2. Kate says...

    I know this is a sponsored post, but I have been making renewed and more concerted efforts to cut back on plastic and I just discovered a new store by me that is a REFILL SHOP. You bring your own jars (or buy reusable ones from them) and fill with everything from shampoo to all purpose cleaner. They tend toward natural products (which I love). And it seems pretty economical too. If you’re looking to be more sustainable, might be worth looking into if there is one in your area. Note: I live in a mid-sized midwestern city, not like a big metropolis. Hopefully these kinds of places will become more ubiquitous!

  3. Alexis says...

    I’ve been a Grove member now for about 2 years. I love that they’re a certified B Corp and that I can shop for everything from home/cleaning products to some pet things as well. My only gripe is that they seem to really push the monthly order, and I am unable to stock up on things like dish soap. I’d rather save the shipping/packaging and get less mail.
    As for shampoo bars, I have not yet found one that really works and have been using True Botanicals for about 2 years now. Not as eco-friendly but still looking for the best solution!

  4. Victoria Vicary says...

    I love that I am seeing an effort to reduce plastics with cleaning concentrates. It’s such a painless swap to make.

  5. Kristyn says...

    I’m a little late to this post, but I recommend Blueland. You don’t need a subscription and you don’t even need to buy the starter kit. You can order the tabs (compostable packaging) and fill your own containers. Saves plastic, shipping volume and water. The products work really well. I also found something similar to replace toothpaste tubes and mouthwash bottles- tooth tabs and mouthwash tabs. I use Bite tabs, but there are many similar brands and most offer compostable refill wrappers.
    Ethique (found on Amazon) has the best shampoo bars that I’ve tried and they also make bamboo soap holders for the shower that help the bars last longer. Their products have compostable packaging too.
    I do think that Grove offers beautiful products and I love their zero-waste cleaning bottles. Thank you for this post.

    • Csilla says...

      Thanks for the tip on Blueland! Perfect timing… we just ran out of our counter spray!
      We are also working toward a more plastic free life. I have also used Bite tabs and really liked them, but at the time they did not have a fluoride option (now they have nHap… which I need to look into!). Also use the Beekman 1802 shampoo bar… works great and lasts FOREVER!

  6. grove collaborative says...

    Thanks for partnering with Grove and spreading the love for sustainability in 2021. 💚

  7. grove collaborative says...

    Yay! Thanks for choosing Grove for your home and spreading the love. 💚

  8. Danya says...

    After loading my cart with great looking products, at checkout it said “only shipping to the 48 contiguous states” … Alaska and Hawaii often lose out on good products. Too bad – I might have been a loyal customer!

    • grove collaborative says...

      Hi Danya, we ship only to the Contiguous US. That means we cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, other US territories, or APO/FPO addresses. We are also unable to ship to Canada (yet!) or overseas. We hope to add these locations in the future.

    • Alison says...

      I had the same problem. Looking forward to when they ship to Canada!!

  9. Mullica says...

    I saw that Grove launched a bunch of bar products and got really excited since I know a lot of people shop there. I’m happy for anyone willing to make the switch. Right now I use products from the brand Ethique. They make solid face scrub and even no packaging deodorant. Ethique also recently launched a line of concentrates for those who miss liquid products. You add water yourself and it’s ready to use. I would check those out as well. I’m also very curious to try the brand Dew Mighty that makes a solid face serum!

  10. Ticiane Marassi says...

    This is so good! I did watch a Netflix documentary about plastic and then I’ve decided to try bar shampoo and others. However it’s not easy to find and it’s expensive in Brazil.

    • nadine says...

      Hi Ticiane! I have a friend who makes bar shampoo in Florianopolis in Brazil, not sure if they ship but you can have a look at their instagram: https://www.instagram.com/txaiartesanal/
      I switched to shampoo bars last year and I’m very happy. My hair are much softer and healthier and I’m impressed by how long the bar is lasting, it’s been almost a year now.

    • Ticiane Marassi says...

      Thank you so much for this Nadine. I live in Florianópolis too!!! What a great tips we get here.

  11. Midge says...

    I tried Grove after the last time you posted it and I am so, so happy with their products. LOVE. I’m using them for cleaning products and am trying one of their conditioner bars after finding my perfect shampoo bar at Rite Aid, of all places. Thank you for the recommendation!

  12. Inga says...

    We’ve been slowly transitioning to using only bar soap, conditioner and now even solid dish soap during the quarantine, prompted in part by the shortages of the bottled natural soaps we were used. The bars last forever and I’m so so thrilled about all the plastic packaging we’ve saved the planet from, not to mention all the $$ saved in the past year alone (bar soap is CHEAP, who knew!). One recent pleasant discovery has been Meliora (https://meliorameansbetter.com/), which sells an excellent solid dish soap and solid refills for cleaning sprays among other planet-friendly products.

  13. Meg says...

    Would also love some bar shampoo reviews/tips. I have tried a few and find them challenging- I feel like any water saved in the product is definitely more than made up for with the extra time in the shower trying to get a good lather.

    • Second this! It is SO hard to find a low waste bar that meets all my requirements and works well. I am trying to avoid sulfites but the bars I’ve tried that are sulfate free rarely foam well.

    • Mel says...

      I’ve used hi-bar and liked it. For both Shampoo and conditioner, get’s a great lather and makes my otherwise limp hair quite full

    • Emma says...

      One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of sudsing/lather is not actually the part of the soap doing the cleansing–you don’t need lather to clean, although we’ve kind of gotten trained to equate suds with cleaning power. When I use bar soap to shampoo, I get suds worked up in my hands and then run that through my hair while not directly under the water, let it sink in, then rinse out.

      Also though, I think with most things–if you buy a bottle of shampoo every year and are happy with it but want to reduce your waste, just find some other area to change–most of us are not ever going to get to truly zero waste (especially considering how bad most American recycling programs are), so there is a lot of room for improvement. For instance you could try switching to dry dishwashing or laundry powder packaged in cardboard–not perfect, but less shipping weight and plastic than liquid detergents.

      For most of us, just consuming less–buying fewer new items, using things longer, repairing them when possible, etc.–would be much more beneficial than making 1:1 replacements of every product or item we might desire with something “green.” Also, something else to keep in mind is that many things do not require special equipment or formulas–for example, you *can* clean an entire house mostly with vinegar, baking soda, and old shirts and socks cut up for rags (or stained towels or whatever). Not sexy and you don’t get that little burst of excitement that comes from purchasing things, but it works and it’s cheap and pretty environmentally friendly.

    • Rachel Elizabeth says...

      I spent months trying to figure out shampoo bars! I personally happen to like Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve shampoo bars. But, regardless of the company/brand, I have found for my (long, thin) hair I need to use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse afterwards to get all of the soap residue out of my hair. (Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has some great ACV rinses blended with good oils for your hair.) I’ve also found that I get a better lather and a better clean if I wash my hair separately from washing my body. I usually leave my clothes on to wash my hair and just lean my head over the edge of the tub (or in sink) so that I’m turning the shower head off while I lather. I know that this all sounds like an awful lot of work. But, now, I only wash my hair a few times a week, I have a smooth routine established, I have the cleanest, healthiest hair I’ve ever had, and the whole process is much more eco-friendly — I use way less water, I don’t use any plastic, and all of the ingredients are safe for my skin (and general health).

    • Kel says...

      I second Chagrin Valley bar shampoo and conditioner with the Summer scent ACV rinse!

    • Kate says...

      Glad to see mention of Chagrin Valley here! They’re local to where I live! Also, pretty sure COJ did a shampoo bar roundup a while back. Yep, found it: https://cupofjo.com/2020/02/best-shampoo-bars/
      It actually sparked me to try the ethique bars, which I loved, but now I’m trying to cut out amazon, so looking for alternatives again.

  14. J says...

    I LOVE Grove! Love their cleaner concentrates + glass bottles, glass soap dispensers + refills (recently they made aluminum bottles so they are even less plastic!), their fun little gifts for VIPs, and their mission. I have also gotten and loved the Terra nail polish, Yes to Coconuts hand cream, and Burt’s Bees overnight intensive lip balm. I second the comment about the app— so easy to use and gives you several reminders before your order ships so you remember to edit/skip. Definitely recommend this company!!

  15. Em says...

    Love hearing this review of bar shampoo! On my list to try in 2021!

  16. Shira says...

    I have a subscription to Mighty Fix, which sends one “ecologically friendly” item every month. I’ve gotten some things I really love and continue to buy on my own and use (stainless steel lunch containers, silicone ziplock bags) and some I will pass on (toothpaste tablets? Not for me). But I love the awareness it’s bringing, even for products I haven’t loved.

  17. Krista says...

    I tried a few bar shampoos and they weighed down my thick hair-and I found I couldn’t go as long between washing. Now I’m reticent to try new ones. Do you think the CoJ team could try a few out on the different hair types in the team?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Great idea!

    • RS says...

      I thought that Caroline tested some a year or two ago. I could be mistaken though.

    • Eloise says...

      Did Caroline do something similar within the past few years – or am I making that up?

    • Sarah says...

      I’d really appreciate this!

    • Sophia F. says...

      I’d love this too! I’m interested in trying bars but I have worked VERY hard on my healthy, defined curly hair after years of straightening, and as any curly person knows you become very particular about products… and go through a ton of conditioner/plastic bottles. Would love to find something environmentally friendly that was also curl friendly!

    • Susan says...

      Thank you, I second this! I have very curly hair and would love to start using bar shampoo and conditioner. Love this post, too, btw. Would love to see more ideas on sustainability and getting rid of plastic : )

    • Courtney H says...

      I had this same problem but found the Trader Joe’s shampoo bar and loved it! Bonus, it’s only $3.

    • Katie says...

      Are there bars for dandruff? That is what keeps me away. I’ve tried tea tree oil to no avail. If you do another post throw in a dandruff-y head in there too, please!

    • Nena says...

      I would recommend Vida Bars – (thevidabars.com) – they’re made by a Latina with curly hair, so she knows a thing or two about textured hair.

    • Mullica says...

      Did you try one from the brand Ethique or Say Noap? I’ve heard great things about both for thick hair. I have fine hair and I love the one I use from Ethique.

    • Jules says...

      I second the comment about dandruff. If you do a review, maybe find someone that is also prone to this! Mine is usually fine and the shampoo bars I have tried don’t affect my curls, but they make my scalp very sensitive and flaky! So far haven’t found any that have been worth it beyond when I travel.

  18. Lauren H says...

    Your marble vanity countertop is gorgeous!! Such pretty veining.

  19. Mariah says...

    Love to see the sustainable posts! I switched to bar soap (for hand washing and shower use) last year and haven’t looked back! It was SO shocking to see how long a bar of soap for hand washing went. It last for several months (only my husband and me). No need to buy hand soap containers or even refill a dispenser anymore! I haven’t tried Grove or a Thrive yet, but plan to!

    Side note: Joanna, your bathroom looks so serene! #goals! I’m nosy and would love to see an updated home tour.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We would love to…at least once we can have a photographer come in safely! :)

    • CandiceZ says...

      Do it yourself!!! We trust your photography skills! (Only if you want to of course, house tours could feel kind of weird lol, so no pressure. I just mean you take good pictures.)
      Ps. I also really need a good and affordable shampoo and conditioner recommendation!

  20. Meg says...

    Hi – as a bar soap enthusiast and user for years, I just want to make a quick recommendation. I haven’t used Grove’s soaps but have used just about every solid shampoo/conditioner on the market and oh, so many brands of bar soap. While the soap dish/plate is super cute, it doesn’t look like it will lift the bars off the surface and might turn your bars into soap soup! I’d recommend getting a few Soap Savers (I love these the best: https://osmiaorganics.com/collections/accessories/products/soap-saver) to elevate your bars off the surface. This is nit-picky, I know, but poorly designed/non-functional soap dishes are a huge pet peeve and would impact people’s first experience with soap.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!!!

    • B says...

      Completely agree, Meg! I much prefer a fairly solid bar vs. mush… And switched to bars as few years back. Soap soup… Love it!

    • Sarah says...

      This is super helpful, Meg! I just transitioned to bar shampoo and conditioner and have a little wooden soap dish thing for it to sit on but I have been wondering how to make it last as long as possible since it’s a little spendy. Do you think this would work in the shower?

    • Susan says...

      Omg, THANK YOU!!! I’ve been searching for something like this for months. Just ordered some. <3

    • Mullica says...

      I love my soap saver! I have separate ones that I insert into my already existing soap dishes. You can usually find them at Whole Foods. They look like oval ramen noodle packets.

      Also you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to. You can use rubber bands and create a grid on your existing soap dish if it is deep enough or the lids of jars.

    • Anne S says...

      I saw a hack recently where you can put rubber bands over a soap dish to levitate the soap! Might be a good idea if you don’t want to buy a new dish/have rubber bands around.

  21. Calla says...

    I feel so guilty about the amount of packaging I use through my body wash but have never found a soap dish that doesn’t gross me out. Does anyone have suggestions for one that actually prevents the soap from melting?

    • Lisa says...

      Calla, I have found that simply putting my bar of soap in the shower on the ledge is totally fine! One less thing to worry about and I find it so satisfying to not have those plastic bottles of body wash to try to recycle!

    • KT says...

      Try a silicone soap dish that has grooves that slant so that the water drains into the shower/tub instead of sitting in the dish. There are a bunch on Amazon. My husband loooves ours. I did not realize how much he detested soggy soap!

      There are prettier ones out there – I think Uncommon Goods has a ceramic version.

    • Kate says...

      Stick a bottlecap to one side of the soap and voila! It’ll sit off the counter! No dish needed. This hack has saved so many bars of soap!

    • Meg says...

      Yes! Soap soup is the worst.

      – I use this style (and have one sitting in a cuter/designy, but not functional soap dish on my countertop) – https://osmiaorganics.com/collections/accessories/products/soap-saver – there are several variations of this general premise. I love them so much and find them so important I even travel with them!
      – In my shower, I just use a very simple wire corner shelves like this (I don’t have this specific brand, but something like this): https://www.amazon.com/Shower-Caddy-Corner-Bathroom-Adhesive/dp/B08615Q9LP/ref=sr_1_48?dchild=1&keywords=shower+caddy&qid=1610419178&sr=8-48 Again, only the cross wires touch the soap.

    • Inga says...

      I use a soap saver on top of a draining silicone soap dish (plenty of choices for both online!). They work great and keep the bars nice and dry.

    • isavoyage says...

      Hi Calla, magnetic soap holders seem to be a great option (i am currently considering buying one).

    • T says...

      You can get soap shavers, they look pretty fun, they keep the soap dry and grate soap into your hands like it’s Parmesan cheese.

    • Heather says...

      My one Grandmother has hard plastic soap savers, similar to a Spectrum® Soap Saver (BB&B or Publix for less than $2), that she has used for probably 50 years. Plastic, but a long life span and the spikes keep the soap in place and dry. She even travels with one.

      My other Grandmother recently told me that she would store her bar soap for a year before using so that it would get hard and dry and therefore, last longer.

      Life hacks and lessons from the wise ;)

    • grove collaborative says...

      Hi Calla, you might like Grove Co.’s Bamboo Soap Saver. Feel free to send us a DM for the link. 💚

  22. Samantha says...

    Does anyone know of a similar option available in Canada? (Besides Lush)

    • Jana says...

      Unwrapped Life is a Canadian company that has great shampoo and conditioner bars. Their scents are much more subtle than Lush which I appreciate.

  23. Meg says...

    We have used Grove for almost a year now and I am SO happy with their mission, their customer service, and their products. I happy to see them in collaboration with Cup of Jo! They have a great user friendly app that makes it easy to order when you need, and pause when you don’t need. Two thumbs up 👍

  24. cutest model!

  25. Emily says...

    How do you even cope with how cute Anton is?

  26. Verena says...

    Thank you for featuring companies that are committed to eliminate plastic. I live in the UK and can’t buy from them.
    I have recently switched to washing my hair with rye flour. The weirdest thing is that it actually works. And it’s really eco friendly! As I have super sensitive skin and react even to things like cetaphil, I’m trying a combination of rye, gram, oats and turmeric for my face. So far it is really really good!

  27. Cameron says...

    So happy to hear about Grove Collaborative. I’ve been looking for a shampoo bar source and will check them out. Also wanted to reiterate Lissa Tsu’s comment about microfiber. It’s all plastic and each time you wash it lots of microscopic pieces of plastic are sent into the water. Bummer because it’s so good for dusting.

  28. YAY! My family also switched to bar soaps recently, as experimenting with zero waste living is our family’s new year resolution :) I haven’t heard of Grove before and just checked out their website – it’s wonderful that they are a B Corp! Earth Hero is another zero waste shop I’ve personally purchased from a few times and really like. They’re less focused on household and personal goods and are more of a ‘everything’ shop (kids toys, pet care etc.). In any case, yay for living consciously!

  29. AmyJ says...

    I love, love Grove products. I have been using them for over a year now. I really enjoy their spray cleaner concentrate in the glass bottles. It is a great degreaser for the kitchen. The Grove laundry packs are the best at cleaning stinky, athletic clothes.

  30. Lissa Tsu says...

    I admire the switch but fyi microfiber cloths are really plastic. Best to use old clothes cut up:)

    • Eva says...

      Thank you. Joanna, please google ‘microfibers’ and ‘wastewater’. After that you’ll barely use those fabrics anymore.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you! Really appreciate it.

  31. E says...

    If anyone with curly hair has used the grove conditioner bar, please report back!

    • Anna says...

      Seconded!

    • Alex Pearl says...

      Thirded, if that’s a word :)

    • CandiceZ says...

      Fourth!

    • Sophia F. says...

      Fifthed!

  32. Erin says...

    Thanks for posting this! I work on plastic pollution issues and the magnitude of the problem is astounding. Always good to know about exciting companies that aim to change consumer behavior and reducing our plastic waste is one of our family’s goals as well this year!

  33. Michele says...

    I love this! I switched to bar shampoo from lush this year and was looking for a conditioner, and I’m so happy to see a place selling cleaning supplies in concentrate!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      bar shampoo is so satisfying! there is such minimal waste, and it’s even small/easy in the shower.

    • Emily says...

      I love the Lush bar shampoo but the conditioner bar didn’t work for me. Would love some recommendations!