One of the easiest places to begin when embarking on a low-waste journey is to tackle the waste in the bathroom. (Check out my previous post on swaps to make in your kitchen) As consumers are demanding more package-free and low-waste products, there are more options than ever before! Here are some easy swaps you can make in your bathroom to make it a little greener:
Instead of liquid soaps, try bar soaps
One of the first swaps I made was to eliminate the use of liquid soap. Sure, bar soaps may not be as aesthetically pleasing as its bottled counterpart (and concerns of possible bacteria contamination have also been widely refuted by many, including the CDC). But bar soaps often come with little to no packaging and lasts much longer than liquid soap. Talk about a win-win for the environment and your wallet!
TIP! Don’t know what to do with the last remaining bits of your bar soap? Stick them onto your new bar of soap and continue to suds away. Or, collect all your soap bits and put them in a soap saver to extend the life of your bar even more!
Instead of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles, try shampoo and conditioner bars
My hair gets oily and it gets oily quick (oh the joys of having bangs!) I wash my hair at least twice a week meaning I go through shampoo quicker than most. Similar to bar soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars are a fantastic option. If shampoo and conditioner bars are not for you, try purchasing them in larger bottles which can be reused and refilled as needed.
TIP! Use baby powder or dry shampoo powder extend the time between washes. Works wonders to absorb that dirty hair smell too!
Instead of disposable cotton rounds and makeup wipes, try reusable makeup rounds (or a simple cotton face cloth)
I am not sure when we were sold on the fact that we need to throw out cotton rounds every time we remove our makeup or clean our face. Think about all the cotton, the plastic packaging, and the pollution emitted to deliver a pack of makeup rounds to you! But good news, there are now reusable makeup rounds that can be reused and washed. Or better yet, go back to basics with a stack of cotton face cloths instead.
Instead of disposable cotton swabs, try an ear pick
Wood or stainless steel ear picks are a great alternative to their disposable counterpart. They do take some practice to use (a close friend or partner would come in handy here!) but ear picks are a great alternative to disposable cotton swabs, many of which unfortunately still utilize plastic. Just make sure you go slowly at first and keep the tip in the outer ear canal!
Instead of disposable razors, try safety razors
Did you know that roughly 2 BILLION disposable razors get thrown out every year in the US? Instead of reaching for a plastic razor, safety razors are a great environmentally friendly alternative. Plus, replacement razor blades are much cheaper than disposable razors and cartridges.
TIP! For those who want to splurge, I would highly recommend laser hair removal. It does take patience and quite a few visits to the dermatologist’s office, however it is a one and done solution and I have not had to purchase razors since!
Instead of traditional dental floss or floss picks, try silk floss
Traditional dental floss is great for your oral health but not so much for the environment. Traditional floss is essentially a long ream of nylon thread often coated in synthetic waxes. It is often packaged in a non-recyclable plastic container with even more plastic packaging on the outside. Silk floss (or the vegan version made from corn fibers) are packaged in reusable glass containers and are biodegradable and compostable!
TIP! My dental hygienist friend says that a water flosser is a great investment as well!
Instead of a plastic toilet brush, try a wood toilet brush
Plastic toilet brushes are cheap. A dime a dozen. I’ve even seen disposable toilet bowl brush heads (yuck!). Take a minute to think about the amount of resources needed to manufacture an item meant to be thrown away at the slightest sign of filth and fray. A great alternative is using a wood toilet brush made with plant fibers. bare market sells a version using Tamico fibers, a natural, hard plant fiber from the Yucca and Agave plants. Check it out here.
There are countless ways you can make changes in your bathroom to make it a little more environmentally friendly. Every little bit helps! But at the end of the day, there is nothing greener than using what you already have. But if it just so happens that you are in need of a new shampoo or new floss, give these swaps a try and let me know your thoughts