These are 5+ very doable, simple swaps to create a zero-waste bathroom. You’ll love how easy it is to green your personal routine!
We can all agree that plastics are bad news for our health and the environment.
Therefore, I have been on a quest to create a zero-waste bathroom.
In my view, zero-waste is more of a mindset than being perfect. I also like to take small steps to green not just in my bathroom but in all of the rooms of our home.
Let me show you some very easy swaps for your zero-waste bathroom:
1. Wooden Hair Brushes
Wooden hairbrushes are great for many reasons. It doesn’t matter if you have short, medium, or long hair or what gender you are. There are brushes made from wood and from bamboo. The latter is an eco-friendly choice. Sometimes, we just need to find a happy compromise between what is good and what looks good.
I also really like boar bristles. They are a natural bristle that is good for your hair. Many people say that regularly brushing your hair with natural bristles helps distribute the natural oils in your hair. Furthermore, regular brushing helps smooth the hair.
Since I have long hair, I have a bit of a collection of hairbrushes. And yes, I do have one with plastic bristles – gasp! Again, I am not trying to be perfect. Using my wooden hairbrush with plastic bristles is what I need to comb through wet hair.
There are so many choices and different price levels when it comes to wooden brushes. Your well-stocked local grocery store might have some.
You can also easily find them online. This is just one that I like.
2. Bamboo Toothbrushes
That’s quite some plastic going to the landfill if you’re changing your family’s toothbrushes every 3 months.
For that reason, we have been using recycled toothbrushes for years. The particular recycled toothbrush that we used can be sent back to the company for further recycling (read more about their program here).
I used to buy this toothbrush at my local Trader Joe’s but you can order it online as well.
More recently, we have switched to bamboo toothbrushes. Again, bamboo is an eco-friendly material. At the time of writing this article, there are no recyclable or natural toothbrush bristles. I do know that companies are working on that, though! In the meantime, you can separate the handle from the head. The handle can go in the compost while the head goes into the trash.
We have been liking this toothbrush but there are many more good choices both in local stores and online.
3. Shampoo bars
Most shampoo is sold in plastic bottles. Even if you send them to recycling, we don’t know if in fact they will be recycled. Also, just the production of plastic releases a lot of toxins. All in all, plastics have become a big problem (read more here).
One simple solution is using shampoo bars. You’ll not only save on a bottle of single-use plastic but you’ll also typically get more washings out of one bar.
Since we like the feel and use of liquid shampoo, I have been making it from shampoo bars. Check out my simple tutorial here.
As I have learned myself, not every shampoo bar turns easily into a liquid shampoo, though!
I remember being at my holistic dentist’s and looking at the products they sell. They carry a few “natural” toothpastes. When I looked at the ingredients, I thought, “Hmm … I think I can make this myself.”
Next, I did a bit of research and came up with a homemade toothpowder that we have been using for years.
Making your own toothpowder is very zero-waste, especially if you buy your ingredients in bulk. You will also brush your teeth without any harmful, unhealthy additives. And you will save money.
Best of all? My dentist approves of my tooth powder! You can simply make your own by checking out this tutorial.
5. Bar soap
For years, I didn’t like using bar soap. So I used body wash – that came in a plastic bottle.
However, simply buying a bar soap (ideally one that is wrapped in paper and not plastic) is one of the easiest zero-waste swaps for your personal routine.
In addition to being greener, bar soaps also save you a lot of money. We have been liking this one but there are so many good choices out there!
I still like liquid body wash better and have been working on creating a natural, zero-waste recipe. Once I have one that I feel is good enough to share with you, I’ll post a recipe. So stay tuned!
Bonus tip: Cotton
If your family is taking supplements, you may have noticed that some of them have a bunch of cotton stuffed on top of the bottle.
You could throw it out – or use it! That is exactly what we do! With that one simple tip, we have not been buying any cotton for years!
You can use it to remove your make-up or nail polish. Or anywhere else you might need cotton!
Bonus tip: Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a great makeup remover! Solid below 72˚F and liquid above that, it melts easily in your hands. You can simply apply it to your skin, gently rub it in, and then take it off.
You can take it off with cotton (that you saved from supplement bottles) or with cellulose sponges.
Bonus tip: Cellulose sponges
Once I had discovered cellulose sponges, I never went back. You see, most sponges are made from plastic! Since cellulose is a natural plant material you can compost them.
Mine have been lasting for years. I use them to remove makeup. I also like the gentle exfoliating and scrubbing of the natural fibers. They usually come in a multi-pack such as these ones.
Bonus tip: Empty bottles and jars
Even though I sometimes wish, it’s not like I make ALL of our personal care products at home. We still buy some. When I do, I prefer products that come in glass rather than plastic.
Now, glass is much easier to recycle than plastic. But in the spirit of zero-waste, I like to reuse what I can.
Therefore, I have an embarrassingly big collection of empty glass bottles and jars. But you know what? Once I have that body wash ready, I’ll fill it into a glass jar with a pump top. My tooth powder? Went into an empty glass jar that might have come from a face mask that I once bought.
You might be surprised at how many glass bottles and jars you can save, clean well, and reuse!
If you’re ready to give your kitchen an overhaul, I suggest Shannon Torrens’ post on how to create an eco-friendly kitchen.