5 Simple Ways to Create a Zero-Waste Bathroom

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:

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1. Wooden Hair Brushes

wooden hair brush

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

bamboo tooth brush

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.

Shampoo bars have become very popular. You can often find them in your local store. You can also buy them online such as this one or this one.

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!

homemade shampoo

4. Toothpowder

effective tooth powder

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

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

cellulose sponge

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

empty glass bottle

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.

Here are more posts you might enjoy:

Make your own toothpowder

Make liquid shampoo from shampoo bar

My 11 favorite natural cleaning essential

Make your own household cleaners

All you need to clean your wood floors

What are your favorite zero-waste swaps in your bathroom? Let me know in the comments below!

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  3. I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome web log!

  4. I loved this post, thank you! I never thought about these things. I tend to overcomplicate sometimes, so this helped a lot. And the bonus tip on cotton: GENIUS! Never even heard of cellulose sponges; I love learning new things. Really great post, Anja!

  5. What a great post! I would never have thought to use cellulose sponges and a wooden hairbrush. Thanks for all the tips!

  6. Using products with coconut oil may not be as zero waste as you might think: a lot of tropical forests have been destroyed in order to plant coconut palms, to the detriment of the environment and to wildlife, such as orangutans. Unless you know that coconut oil has been grown in an environmentally responsible way, avoid it. Also, bamboo, while a renewable product, is likely produced far away overseas, which brings up the problem of costs to the environment in shipping, and the question of whether people employed in making bamboo products are treated and compensated fairly.

    On another topic, I love finding the recipe for stinging nettle spaetzle! I have lots of stinging nettle in my yard and am eager to try it.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! While I always strive to do better, I know that sometimes I have to make choices but I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Enjoy your nettles 😊

  7. Thank you for the inspiration. I love how this shampoo bar treats my hair
    Reef Repair Shampoo and body bar
    3.2 out of 5 stars 25 Reviews
    Reef Safe Shampoo Bar, Coconut & Lime Flavor, Natural & Cleansing, Organic, Family Safe, Ocean Friendly Hair & Body Bar from Reef Repair 1.8 oz

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