A Full Year of Project Pan

I thought it would be interesting to reflect on a full year of tracking the empties that I used up throughout the year. So overall, I don’t know how effective it was, I still have a lot of product, but the majority of it is stuff that I use every day now, I have a more extensive skin care routine now than I did last January.

Project Pan Round-Up

Make Up Products: 4

Contact Supplies: 25 (combo of lens packets, solution bottles, and boxes)

Candles: 8

Hygiene Products: 13

Body skin care: 9

Facial skin care: 18

Lip balms: 4

Laundry detergents: 3

First Aid: 3

That was actually very interesting. Mostly hygiene (shampoo, soap, conditioner, etc.) and skin care. I am also currently back to using Tru-Earth laundry detergent strips, but I liked the Good Juju ones better. I could do with another Kenora trip to stock back up on Good Juju and Brooklyn Candle Studios.


I had a lot of sample sized products last year, and don’t get me wrong, I still love a travel sized product. I still believe that it is the best way to try out a new product without a huge financial investment or having a bunch to work through if it doesn’t work for you (but doesn’t cause a break out or a rash or something). So I really used up all of those.

Contact Solution

So I seem to go through a bottle of contact solution every 2 months, that’s a lot faster than I expected. I would like to have a decent back stock of contact solution, since it is an essential for me, at least until I figure out if I am a candidate for Lasik/get Lasik. So that will inform the amount that I buy when I do a big stock up in a couple months.

Candles/Home Scents

I love candles, they not only scent your home, but they also create such a pretty warmth and atmosphere in your home. I really need to clean out a bunch of old vessels, they are taking up nearly a full shelf in my freezer, but I will reuse the glass vessels to store stuff in my bathroom or can recycle the metal or glass containers. I am a bit surprised at how many I used up in a year, eight candles, which actually isn’t that many. I think my favourite candle of the year are the Nomad Candles from the local bookstore here in town, and the Sweet Fig from Clay Moon and Co. in Kenora, Ontario, from Brooklyn Candle Studio.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

I think I have waxed poetic quite enough about this product, and I will have another empty of this in my January 2022 empties blog post. It’s just so good.

Giving up on natural deodorants

I used natural deodorants for years, not because I think that anti-perspirants are bad, all the scientific evidence shows that there is no link between breast cancer and aluminum use in armpits, but because I was trying to reduce my personal plastic use as much as possible. However, no deodorant was capable of covering the odor I was producing and I had developed a terrible rash in my armpits that went away as soon as I switched back to using Dove deodorant and anti-perspirant it was gone in days. So I am still using Dove, I don’t think I would have switched just for odor reasons, but the rash I couldn’t live with.

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

So I am currently using a plastic bottle packaged shampoo and conditioner (Monday Hair Care, specifically), and really enjoying it. I think it might be the water here, but my hair was so greasy with shampoo bars, especially the one I had bought locally, and I was out (and had been for about a week, as someone who washes their hair every other day, that’s a long time) of shampoo and needed a replacement ASAP and wasn’t really to retry the one available locally. I felt gross all the time using it and didn’t have time for one to get delivered up here.

General Thoughts

So I think there is a general reflection to be done here, I’ve given up on zero waste toothpaste alternatives, because my teeth never felt clean with them, zero waste deodorant options because they don’t work and they give me a rash, and am not currently using a package free shampoo and conditioner, and my hair feels cleaner and softer and doesn’t need washed as often. So I don’t know where that leaves me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about how my personal impacts really don’t make a difference in the grand scheme of pollution and climate change. Why should I have to deal with unclean feeling teeth, a lack of fluoride in my toothpaste, greasy hair, rashes in my armpits when the billionaires of the world are using their private jets and creating massive amounts of waste and pollution and industry and corporations are responsible for the majority of the pollution produced in the world?

I think that’s the million dollar question for everyone who thinks about environtalism and waste reduction a lot.

I find it interesting, and a bit on the nose, that a challenge about encouraging you to use up what you own before you buy new, a sustainability challenge, provoked tons of thoughts about the decisions I have made in my sustainability, skin care, and make up journeys.

This gave me more food for thought than I expected.


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