Have you ever stopped to consider how many single-use plastic items sit in your bathroom alone? One day I realized that all my hygiene products were packaged in plastic. I kept thinking about other products I used and how they were all packaged in plastic. Some products were offered in glass containers, but often times they are more expensive. I wondered why that was and I researched about every aspect of this zero-waste evolution. I figured hygiene was the easiest place to start reducing my waste and so I did. Below are some relatively simple shifts I have made to reduce my waste in the bathroom. These are easy enough switches; consider applying some of them to your bathroom!
Shampoo and Conditioner:
I made the switch from plastic bottled shampoo and conditioner to bar shampoo and conditioner, and my hair hasn’t thanked me more since. I was skeptical at first. Bar shampoo, will it suds up? Will it clean my hair? Does it work? I’ve only tried two different brands, one worked for me, and one did not. That’s not to say they won’t work for you, everyone’s hair is different. It’s all trial and error to figure out the best products for you that don’t leave an imprint on the environment. I’m definitely the type of person to find what works for my hair and continue to use that product. This being said I love the Ethique Brand. I use their conditioner bar as well. The brand uses compostable packaging and ships waste-free too. Since the company is based out of Australia their shipping is expensive. Although, their products can be found on Amazon, which will save you some money.
Another brand I’ve tried for shampoo is from Zero Market, based out of Colorado. Although I did not have luck with their shampoo, you might have a different experience. Many of their other products have worked wonderfully for me.
Zero Market offers a great deodorant; they have a variety of scents too. It comes in a glass jar with a metal top; perfect for recycling or reusing when you’ve finished it. One thing to note is it does not stop sweating. Deodorant masks smell, antiperspirant stops sweating. Read more about the differences between the two here. Another alternative to buying deodorant is it to make it yourself. It is super easy to make, and there are so many different recipes you can find by searching homemade deodorant.
No surprise here, I also use bar face wash. Mine is from Ethique. It’s a great product for removing make-up. As someone who struggles with acne, a trick I’ve picked up on is using tea-tree oil. I use my face wash and then put a little tea-tree oil on my hand and massage it on my face using Ethique’s product. It works great, and keeps my skin relatively acne-free.
Lush has so many soaps and you can find vegan options at this store. You can skip packaging and just get the block of soap. Their paper can be recycled, but if you get oil or grease on it, your recycling center might not recycle it. Plus, if you’re just picking up one thing, why waste the packaging? Otherwise, I’ve visited various cities and found homemade soap stores and have gotten package-free soaps from them. See if your town has any handmade soap/shampoo/body care shops that packages plastic free J
Something I recycle in my bathroom is old phone cases. Since I use so many bar products, I use my old phone cases as soap/shampoo/conditioner/face wash holders. It works great because I have a different phone now and they were not being put to use, but now serve a purpose.
I have yet to switch to a non-disposable razor, something I am working towards doing. There are a lot of different kinds, and many things to consider while looking for the perfect razor. I suggest doing your research and knowing what you are looking for. As for now, I am using disposable razor heads instead of full new razors every time I need to shave.
Make the switch to a bamboo toothbrush. I use Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes; they come in 100% compostable packaging. The only part that is not compostable is the bristles, but there are videos on how to remove those and they can be recycled if your recycling facility accepts them. Because it is springtime, I’ve heard people use the handle from the toothbrush to label the vegetables in their garden.
There are some switches and adjustments I have made to reduce the waste I create in the bathroom. Others I am still researching and working toward. Go at your own pace. Try to make one switch, if you can. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work. Look for a different brand and use what you like. I know my bathroom routine changed when I started switching my products, it was just an adjustment but it is possible and absolutely worth it.