Bathrooms are an area in your home that generally produce a lot of waste. There are so many single use items or items with single use packaging. Often products are made of all types of different materials, making them difficult to recycle. It can seem like an overwhelming task, to swap out all of your bathroom items to create a zero waste bathroom, but as always, start slow and swap one thing at a time.
I always say, small switches can lead to big changes, especially over time. And there is no use trying to take on new habits that don’t fit with your lifestyle, as you won’t keep them up. But it can be very rewarding lowering your bathroom waste, and an added bonus is that often products designed to be zero waste contain less harsh and harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances as well. It’s a WIN WIN.
Here are eight super easy ways to create a zero waste bathroom.
1. Shampoo and Conditioner
There are many zero waste options to consider nowadays. Think of all those empty, plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles you go through. Even if you can and do recycle them, plastic can’t be infinitely recycled so zero waste packing is a much better way to go.
You can refill your existing shampoo and conditioner containers with services that buy in bulk and provide refills. There are also numerous solid shampoo and conditioner bars on the market that are packaged in compostable cardboard that last a really long time and can be quite economical. And there are shampoo and conditioner bars that you can break up, add boiling water to and whisk to make a liquid solution to pour into your existing bottles. Heaps of choice and variety!
2. Hand and Body Wash
Similar to shampoo and conditioner there are refillable and of course solid options to reduce packaging waste, reducing the number of empty, plastic bottles going into your recycling bin.
The readily available body puffs are pretty popular but are made of plastic and don’t last forever (or for that long). Have you considered konjac sponges? A little harder to find but allow body wash to foam up really well and feel really luxurious and are completely biodegradable. Of course, a washable body cloth is a great option as well.
4. Dental Care
SO many new options now and they have got so much better over the years. For example, toothpaste tablets. There are now numerous brands available including some with fluoride, if that’s important to you. If they don’t float your boat, try and recycle your old empty tubes of toothpaste at a local recycling hub that collects oral care items. You can also buy some pastes in tins or refills at some bulk stores.
Many of you have probably heard of bamboo toothbrushes, and there are many available, even in big supermarkets. But if the feeling of bamboo in your mouth isn’t a thing, there are cornstarch brushes as well, that feel like plastic, however, eventually break down. Use an electric toothbrush? A little harder to reduce your waste, but I get it (I use one). There are compostable toothbrush heads on the market, and you can recycle your old mainstream ones at some local recycling hubs.
5. Menstrual Products
Yep, I’m gonna go there. A lot of waste is produced here, however, I’m not at all saying swap to an option you find uncomfortable and inconvenient. Let’s face it, we want this time of the month to go as quickly and as stress free as possible. However, there are different things you can consider. For example, there are easy to find tampons and pads made from 100% GOTS cotton and packaged in recyclable packaging.
There are also many brands offering period underwear catering for all strengths of your cycle, which I know some girls and women aren’t fans of during the day, but find it a great option overnight, particularly in comparison with pads. And there are of course now, menstrual cups. All options out there are worth a look at.
6. Skin Care
This is a bit of a trickier one. We’re all picky about what we want to use on our skin and what we find works, myself included. However, it’s always worth looking at different options available. There are many solid cleansing bars and moisturisers available, in compostable packaging. Heaps of plastic free sunscreens, including facial sunscreens, are now out there, in tins as well as in aluminium, rather than plastic tubes. You can also refill skin lotions at many services offering refills, using your existing bottles.
Again, this one can be a bit tricky as we all want our deodorant to work right. Like, toothpaste tablets, zero waste (and MUCH healthier) deodorants have come a really long way as well. Choose from pastes in tins, solid deodorant in compostable tubes and even refill options.
8. Cleaning Products
How often do you go through that shower cleaner, glass and mirror cleaner, disinfectant, and floor cleaner? I don’t know about you, but bathrooms (and kitchens) seem to be the room we try to keep the cleanest. I mean we’re uncovering ourselves in there often aren’t we, so we want it to be clean. So, with all that cleaning, all those empty plastics go in the recycling bin, and that doesn’t include all the pumps, lids and sprays attached to them.
The easiest way to reduce waste here…refill your cleaning products. Or make them yourself using a few, natural ingredients. And like mentioned earlier, the added bonus of refilled and lower waste products is that they often contain less nasties.
At first making these zero waste bathrooms swaps may seem really daunting. But it’s not about running to the finish line, it’s about slowly learning new things and what works along the way. And how good you’ll feel as you stop chucking all those empty plastics into the recycling bin, even after one swap, will be worth it.
Need any help making any of these swaps? I’ve got you covered with my delivery service of eco household and personal care products and refills.