Your Zero-Waste Bathroom

When it comes to downsizing the amount of waste you produce, one of the easiest places to make a few simple swaps and cut out plastic is in the bathroom. The best part is that you can also slowly make these changes, replacing items one by one as you use them up.

Aiming for a zero-waste bathroom has several benefits. First of all, it simplifies your routine, makes you question the products you use, and leaves you with sexy, minimalistic shelves. Second, it generally leaves you with an array of all-natural products, free of any irritants and unnecessary ingredients. And third, you’ll find that you really don’t need to produce any waste at all, since this is one area in the house where you can pretty much cut out all waste easily.

So, without further ado — start using this, stop using that:

Toothbrush

Swap out your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush, which — at the end of its life — can be composted. According to ThoughtCo, a full 50 billion pounds of plastic toothbrushes are sent to landfill in the United States alone every year. That’s disgusting, and something we shouldn’t feel comfortable contributing to.

Instead of adding to that trash, consider buying bamboo toothbrushes. A few great brands are WooBamboo, Brush with Bamboo, and Brush Naked. You can easily order them on Amazon in bulk, too, ensuring that you never buy a last-minute plastic toothbrush at the grocery store again.

Toothpaste

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Hello guys! I’ve found and tried this zero waste toothpaste without coconut oil receipt by @thewildminimalist today and it’s gorgeous! You can find the receipt below 👇🏻 INGREDIENTS 4 tbsp baking soda 2 tbsp aloe vera gel 1 tbsp bentonite clay 1 tsp water 1 tsp peppermint oil 10 drops stevia extract INSTRUCTIONS 1. Mix dry ingredients together: baking soda and bentonite clay 2. Mix wet ingredients together: Aloe, water, peppermint oil and stevia 3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk with a fork 4. Store in a sealable glass jar * Important: do not store in metal container, it deactivates the bentonite clay //#zerowaste #zerowasteprague #zerowastetoothpaste #nowaste #sustainablelifestyle #bezobalu #nebaleno #praha #bezodpadu

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I’m not much of a DIYer, but making your own toothpaste is stupidly simple and takes all of five seconds to whip up. To make your own dentist-approved toothpaste, all you need is coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint oil. If you like your toothpaste sweet (most of us do), you can add a dash of stevia or xylitol (available at Bulk Barn) as well. Pop it in any container and you’re good to go.

Here’s the recipe I use. All of the ingredients, other than stevia, have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp baking soda (use more or less depending on the consistency you’d like!)
  • 1 tbsp xylitol or 1 packet stevia
  • 10 drops of essential oil (I use peppermint, but feel free to use cinnamon or any flavour you’d like)

If you’re still like “Nah, f— that DIY business,” no worries. There are plenty of companies out there that sell tooth tablets, tooth powder, and toothpaste in zero/minimal/returnable packaging, including Lush (tooth tabs and tooth powder), small zero-waste suppliers, Davids, and Goodwell. They all ship straight to your door. No excuses.

Soap

This is seriously the easiest. Stop buying body wash and go back to using bar soap. If you’re fancy and into skincare, you can even buy separate facial soap that’s less harsh than body soap, with all the goodness that comes in a bottle of fancy facial soap. Unpackaged bar soap can be lush AF too, you guys.

If you love body wash too much to go back to bar soap, though, consider the following options:

  • Buy body wash in bulk bottles. Dr Bronner’s, for instance, sells a bottle of liquid soap that can be diluted to suit your needs, which helps cut down on waste. Otherwise, simply look for the biggest bottle you can find and buy appropriately.
  • Use a subscription program like Plaine Products‘. Plaine Products ships customers new body wash and lets them send old bottles back for free to be reused indefinitely. All you have to do is put your old bottles in the box the new ones came in, then leave it outside for the postman. Boom!

Shampoo and conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner come in bar form, too! If that doesn’t sound super appealing to you, that’s totally understandable — scraping a bar of soap through your hair sounds kind of gross. But today’s best shampoo and conditioner bars are actually foamy, moisturizing, and leave your hair silky clean. A few brands that consistently get rave reviews include:

Plaine Products also offers a refillable program for shampoo and conditioner bottles, and Lush lets you bring used packaging — if you use their bottled shampoo and conditioner — back in to be recycled and reused.

If you’re brave and crafty, go for baking soda and apple cider vinegar replacements or the whole “no ‘poo” route. Godspeed.

Shaving

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Finally got my hands on one of these plastic-free bad boys, please pray for my legs. Estimates put the number of thrown-away plastic razors at 2 billion per year. They're not recyclable, so we're sending all of that permanent trash to landfill or the ocean. That's insane. Safety razors, on the other hand, have only a small razor blade to be replaced — & it can easily be recycled. Much greener option. Question for current users, though: will I be able to bring this in my carry-on luggage when I travel home for Christmas? #green #greentravel #safetyrazor #plasticpollutes #plasticpollution #zerowaste #zerodechet #wasteless #wastefree #ecofriendly #environment #simpleswaps #stockingstuffer #giftidea #environmental #vegan #giveashit #sustainability #sustainableswaps #gogreen #plasticfree

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I finally got my hands on a Clark & James safety razor recently, and shaving with it has been nothing like the horror-movie-esque bloodbath I was expecting. It actually delivers a super close shave on my legs, and once this blade gets old, I can easily replace it with another and recycle the old one. All plastic-free and eco-friendly. Safety razors for the win.

Dry shampoo

I live for dry shampoo, but after using up my recent container of it, I switched to using cocoa powder, which is an easy solution if you have dark hair. Some people add ingredients like bentonite clay, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch to the mix to add extra volume as well, and I’ll likely be trying a similar recipe once I get my hands on the ingredients.

For light hair, simply use less (or no) cocoa powder, or consider using baby powder.

Deodorant

Soooo many options exist when it comes to zero-waste deodorant. You can make your own deodorant paste (a la Lauren Singer) or use a deodorant crystal (not my favourite), or you can check out zero-waste deodorant options from the following companies. They come in regular deodorant sticks, pastes, sprays, and more:

Menstrual products

According to Slate, your period doesn’t give a f— about the environment, and the average woman will throw out 250 to 300 pounds of pads and applicators throughout her lifetime. That’s something you can change pretty easily by switching to a reusable menstrual cup. So far, I haven’t met a single woman who’s tried them who hasn’t liked them, and many Diva Cup and Luna Cup users seem like those enthusiastic customers who will start pushing them on all of their friends.

You can also try out reusable pads (with or without a menstrual cup to go with it) or menstrual underwear (THINX’s popularity seems to have exploded in the last year or so).

Toilet paper

This is easy: bulk-order toilet paper free of plastic packaging (and harvested from sustainable sources) from a company like Who Gives A Crap or Seventh Generation. If you subscribe, you’ll save money and never run out.

I think that covers pretty much everything bathroom-related (without straying into the realm of skincare and makeup, which is a whole other beast unto itself). Phew. Congratulations if you made it to the bottom of this post. Go make yourself or buy yourself a cool zero-waste bathroom product as a reward. You deserve it.

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