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Keeping Travel Toiletries Green

22 Apr

Traveling comes with its own set of eco-challenges. Hotel toiletries usually come in small disposable packaging and their ingredients may not be the greenest. There’s more waste from the packaging, unfinished products left behind, and your skin may be absorbing harmful ingredients.

What to do? Bring your own! I travel with the above set of toiletries. My own natural shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, body wash, and coconut oil for moisturizing. I got my travel containers from Muji.

Tip: having a pump dispenser makes using the liquid body wash so much easier! I bring 2 tubes of body wash, one for the sink and one for the shower.

Bathroom Tissue from Recycled Paper

23 Nov

I am baffled that in this day and age, when I shop for toilet paper, all the products in the grocery aisle still proudly scream 100% virgin pulp. So I was delighted to see this at an SM grocery store. Made from 100% recycled paper! We should have more of this. I’ll stock up next time.

Living Green in Manila

7 Jan

I’ve been musing, trying, tweaking my life here and there to be greener. I know many of us would like to do so as well so here is an attempt at a directory to help green your lifestyle. This is meant to be a living document. I’m starting primarily with products/services I have personally used. I’ll edit this page as I get new info, and as I get the time to actually edit this post, hehe.

My gold standard is: local, fair-trade, and organic. Sometimes I find products that work for me and my family that meet all three criteria, sometimes I don’t. You decide what works for you. Don’t sweat it if you can’t find your ideal. Choose the best option available. As more of us clamor for and support these products, I’m sure there will be more supply.

Stores that sell across categories

  • ECHOstore – carries local food products, toiletries, and other products like bags.
  • Healthy Options – carries toiletries, cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, food products. Most items are imported.
  • Human Nature – local brand carrying their own products as well as other consigned local brands.  Available through their stores, groceries like Rustan’s and SM, direct sellers, online stores, and delivery service from their branches. I get most of our toiletries and household products from Human Nature by delivery.
    • Toiletries – they have most things you need from head to toe – shampoo (I like their clarifying shampoo best), conditioner, soap, toothpaste, lotion, etc.
    • Cosmetics – good range of cosmetics. I like their powder foundation, blush, and tinted lip balm.
    • Household products – they have dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, etc.
    • Pet care products – yes, they have pet care products!
    • Food products – not really a grocery but they carry things like Theo & Philo chocolate, Bayani Brew, golden salted eggs, peanut butter, coffee
    • Tip: if you’ll be a repeat customer, sign-up for membership/dealership! Discounts start at 15% and goes up with your monthly purchases.
    • Recycling – you can bring your empty Human Nature bottles back to their stores fore recycling!


  • All Seasons Nature Farms – for chickens, eggs, vegetables
  • Emporium Antipolo – fruits, vegetables, honey, some food products like salad dressings; contact them for delivery options
  • Robinsons groceries – I just noticed recently that they have organic eggs! (may not be available in all branches)

Cosmetics and Toiletries

  • Body Shop – not local and some question how green they really are, but they are available in the major department stores.
  • Burt’s Bees – not local. There are Burt’s Bees stores, plus the products are available in stores like Beauty Bar.

Household Products

  • Messy Bessy – household products. Available at Rustan’s and SM.


  • Solaric – for solar panel installations. They install solar panels as well as train others on how to do it to spread the use of solar. Meralco’s Peak/Off-Peak scheme can add more bang-for-the buck paired with solar.


Disposing responsibly is part of living green. Can someone else use what you don’t want anymore?

  • Books
  • Electronics/Appliances
    • SM Hypermarket Pasig – you can sell them old electronics every first Friday/Saturday of the month. Check the SM nearest you if they have something similar.
    • Don Bosco (crowdsourced lead) – they accept old appliances for their technical/vocational students to take apart and learn from. Call to confirm.
    • Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (crowdsourced lead)
    • Tzu Chi Foundation (crowdsourced lead)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Caritas Manila Segunda Mana – go through their site to see what they accept. They have a spot at the basement of Sta. Lucia East that accepts and sells old clothes. You can also contact them to arrange for pick-up.
  • Other Tips
    • Crowdsource on your Facebook page, your community’s Facebook page, etc. You can ask where you could donate it to, advertise it for selling, or just say, who wants it? Done.
    • Hold a garage sale.
    • Sell it online, e.g. in

Disclaimer: I cannot verify claims of greeness. I have not tried all of these vendors/products. My objective is to provide information on available options. Research and/or test products to find what works for you.

Happy greening!


Anti-Dandruff Beauty in Bran

15 Jan

Most of my toiletries and cosmetics are already locally produced, eco-friendly, and manufactured with fair trade principles. I had finished my tiny bottle of a leading anti-dandruff shampoo – I like using one weekly for preventive purposes – and decided it was worth a little effort scouting for an alternative that would fit the above criteria.

My go-to brand for toiletries is Human Nature because it’s convenient enough to restock – a minimum of PHP700 gives me free delivery in my area plus there’s a membership discount. Unfortunately, as of this writing, they do not carry any anti-dandruff shampoo. I went to Body Shop, which is my go-to store when I can’t find anything local. They had a ginger anti-dandruff shampoo but after getting used to Human Nature prices, I couldn’t bring myself to shell out PHP800 for it.

I told myself I’d check out Echostore first and only get this ginger thing as a last resort. I don’t frequent the malls with Echostore so it was a little more effort. I wasn’t hopeful since it has been a few years since I’ve seriously scoured their toiletries. Was I pleasantly surprised to see so many more brands in stock! With a salesperson’s help, I found what I was looking for in the form of Oryspa Rice Bran Gugo and Aloe Vera Shampoo. Oryspa uses rice bran and rice bran oil in its products, and so I learned that rice bran oil has anti-fungal properties, which helps it prevent dandruff. The 250 ml bottle was ~PHP300. Good enough for me! I grabbed an Oryspa conditioner too. 🙂


It was the first time I encountered the brand, but it turns out Oryspa already has branches in several Philippine malls and one in Singapore.

Make Time for a Hair Mask

3 Aug

Being a mommy and a manager oftentimes take priority over my being kikay. I go for kikay express, e.g. putting on make-up in the car. I’m lucky hubby drives me to work.

As part of my kikay express approach, I have been using Human Nature’s hair mask weekly for over a year now, but really have been misusing it. I’ve been using it more like a conditioner because I didn’t want to spend the time to use it according to instructions, i.e. let it STAY FOR 30 MINUTES before rinsing it off.

Well today I decided to follow instructions. Lo and behold, my hair came out SUPER, DUPER SOFT!

So ladies, pamper yourself every now and then. Take 30 minutes for yourself! You’ll feel good that you did it.

Trivia: I listened to one of Human Nature’s founders, Camille Meloto, speak at Gawad Kalinga’s Social Innovation Camp last weekend. She’s kikay too! She loves cosmetics and so does a lot of R&D so that Human Nature can produce high-quality cosmetics too!

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