Oils have firmly set their place in our household. For homemade cleaning products, aromatherapy with daily yoga, and even when doing laundry. Essential oils are here to stay, but as I burn through them quickly, I’ve developed a small collection of empty bottles. Intent not to throw them in recycling, I’ve turned to the internet to help me find ways to re-use them.
Oils in the laundry
Essential oils, particularly lemon + lavender scented, have become a staple in my laundry routine. The soapberries that we use as laundry detergent don’t have a scent. Instead, I add 4-5 drops of essential oils to the load, leaving a subtle smell on the clothes as they dry. I find this smell to be much less harsh and ‘chemically’ than regular scented washing powders.
Getting your own oils
If you want to start your own collection of oils, there are plenty of places to buy them. In the Huon Valley, south of Hobart, a store called Billy Hill Organics stock an enormous range of DoTerra products (the oils I have myself). Other places online like Australian Wholesale Oils, Biome and Flora & Fauna stock other oil brands/blends like Eco oils. A word of caution however. Be careful not to get sucked in to any MLM schemes, which seem to be hugely prevalent in the essential oil world. Brands like DoTerra are a straight up MLM, but I buy mine wholesale at Billy Hill, so luckily can avoid any weird sign up stuff. Just be careful!
Getting rid of the residue
There are a couple of ways to get those last drops of oils out of their bottles. The internet had a plethora of complicated options, the easiest being simply place all parts of the bottle (lid included) into a glass of water and rest overnight. Simple science tells us the oil will rise to the top, and you can either pour it down the sink, or pop that water into your diffuser.
Re-use before recycle
This should be a fairly standard rule of life. If there is a way to re-use something, then you get to avoid the recycling bin. Unfortunately I’m not clever enough to have come up with my own re-use ideas, so I’ve turned to the internet for some ideas. Out of all the blogs and youtube videos I watched, this is perhaps my favourite list of ideas from The Prairie Homestead. Here a few of my favourites that I’ve begun to use in my home:
By purchasing a little roller ball, spritzers or dropper, you can use the empty bottle to store your own custom blends. I make my own perfume, so by simply adding a roller top to my empty bottles, I have a place to store my homemade smell. Have a search around stores like Australian Wholesale Oils, Biome and Flora and Fauna for essential oil accessories. Eco oils sell oils with roller tops already attached.
A TINY VASE
Although not the most practical, this is the sweetest for sure! Stick a couple of short-stemmed flowers in a bottle, to add a little colour to the room. My succulents often bloom tiny flowers this time of year and need a prune, so I’ve chopped a few off to keep inside. Tiny flowers = tiny vase!
By adding a few drops of essential oil + water to an empty bottle (or using the few remaining drops in the bottle), shake together and add a spritzer on top. I re-used the spritz top from an old Lush eye cream bottle. Spray over your sheets and pillows to keep your linen smelling fresh. The scent of lavender is meant to aid in stress relief, so if you’re a restless sleeper, try this lovely soothing smell.
There are probably a hundred other ways to re-use these little glass wonders, but these are the ones I’m using in my home. Whatever you use your oils for, don’t rush to throw them in the recycling. Like I said, re-using something should be a staple in everyday life. It forces you to become creative, and find different (and helpful) uses for seemingly useless items. Don’t just apply this theory to essential oil bottles, re-use the ‘re-use’ concept in all aspects of waste.
For my blog post on soapberries, head to https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/tassiegirlzerowaste.home.blog/477
For Australian Wholesale Oils range of essential oils, head to https://www.awo.com.au/essential-oils/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_ZmotLDP5QIVRh0rCh01YwvzEAAYASAAEgKMCfD_BwE
For Biome range of essential oils, head to https://www.biome.com.au/module/ambjolisearch/jolisearch?search_query=essential+oil
For Flora & Fauna range of essential oils, head to https://www.floraandfauna.com.au/catalogsearch/result/index/?p=2&q=essential+oil
For The Prairie Homestead blog on essential oils, head to https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2015/04/reuse-essential-oil-bottles.html
For my blog post on how to make homemade perfume, head to https://tassiegirlzerowaste.home.blog/2019/05/21/perfume/
For Eco Oils range of roller top oils, head to https://ecomodernessentials.com.au/collections/essential-oil-rollerballs
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