Discover the zero waste bathroom swaps you need to make your bathroom more eco-friendly – including zero waste toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cosmetics, period products & more.
Go take a look in your bathroom waste basket. No really! Humor me for a minute and go take a look!
Some of the things in your bathroom trash may include used cotton balls and Q-tips, an empty toothpaste tube, a disposable razor, used tampons and pads (ewwww! I know, sorry!), empty plastic deodorant containers, pumps from lotion bottles, plastic wrappers and more.
Hopefully you recycle, but think about all that stuff too: plastic shampoo bottles and face cream jars, cardboard packaging from products, plastic lids etc….
All those bathroom essentials add up to a pretty big pile of trash and recycling each month – and much of it is avoidable!
Zero Waste – Why It Matters
As I’ve mentioned in other articles about reducing waste, zero waste is more of an aspirational goal than an actual fact. Zero waste is a shift in mindset that helps us evaluate what we buy and bring into our homes in terms of its effect on the planet. The end result is a lot less trash and that’s a good thing no matter how imperfect you are in meeting your zero waste goals!
By focusing on making zero waste swaps whenever you can – whether it’s in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or on-the-go, you’ll be helping to keep plastic out of the oceans and reducing the amount of garbage in landfills and incinerators. Less demand for stuff = lower pollution and fewer greenhouse gasses – and we know this planet needs our help with this!
Zero Waste Bathroom Essentials
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So….getting back to the bathroom and all that waste. Let’s explore some of the zero waste swaps we can make to make our bathrooms more eco-friendly.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make the switch to low or zero waste bathroom essentials – from personal care and showering, to cosmetics and women’s monthly needs. Some minor product swaps and a change in habit is all it takes for you to become a zero waste bathroom rockstar!
RELATED: Best Stores to Shop for Zero Waste Products
Zero Waste Personal Care Supplies
Your daily personal care routine can be more eco-friendly by switching from disposable to reusable, and from plastic to more sustainable materials.
Toothbrush – Instead of a plastic toothbrush, switch to a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. You can even send them to the city compost if you cut off the head first – the bristles are not compostable.
Toothpaste – Instead of a non-recyclable tube of toothpaste, switch to a toothpaste powder in a reusable tin, toothpaste tablets or homemade toothpaste in a reusable jar.
Dental Floss – Instead of traditional floss in a plastic box, switch to Dental Lace, a biodegradable dental floss in a refillable glass container.
Cotton Swabs – Instead of one-time use cotton swabs, switch to Last Swab, a reusable alternative made from durable but safe plastic that is washable. Available in basic, beauty and baby versions, and comes with a reusable carrying case. (Get 10% off with coupon code earth10 at checkout.)
Razors – Instead of disposable razors, switch to a reusable razor and just switch out the blades, or a try a sharpenable, straight-edge razor. My fav is Preserve, made from recycled plastic.
Deodorant – Instead of deodorant in the traditional non-recyclable plastic packaging , switch to a deodorant cream in a glass container, a deodorant stick in paperboard packaging or a refillable deodorant. Better yet, make your own homemade deodorant!
Brushes – Instead of plastic brushes and combs, switch to an all-natural hairbrush made with beechwood and plant fiber bristles, and a handcrafted wooden comb. They are much nicer to use and easier on your hair.
Eco-Friendly Essentials for the Shower
Imagine a shower without any plastic bottles – believe it or not, it’s possible!
Soap – Instead of shower gel in a plastic bottle, switch to bar soap. Better yet, buy soap without any packaging – available at natural food stores and Whole Foods.
Shampoo – Instead of shampoo in a plastic bottle, switch to a shampoo bar or dry shampoo. Or refill your shampoo bottle at your local co-op!
Conditioner – Instead of conditioner in a plastic bottle, switch to conditioner bar or use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse, or condition your hair post shower with a tiny bit of organic coconut oil or argan oil.
This 3-in-1 bar is good for wash, shower and shave – all in one bar!
Bath Brushes & Scrubbers – Go plastic free by using natural loofahs, agave cloths, beechwood bath brushes and other natural scrubbers.
Low Waste Skin Care & Cosmetics
Skin care and makeup typically involves plenty of garbage including cotton balls, single-use wipes and product packaging. Let’s see how we can reduce that!
Body Lotion – Instead of lotion in a plastic bottle, switch to a lotion bar. Or refill your lotion bottle at your local co-op.
Face Moisturizer – Instead of moisturizer in a plastic bottle, switch to products in glass jars that can be reused. (I reuse small glass jars for my own DIY beauty products!) Current favs: Four Elements Rose Comfrey Cream and Prima The Afterglow
Lip Balm – Instead of lip balm in a plastic container (non-recyclable), switch to lip balm in a plastic-free cardboard tube or make homemade lip balm in a reusable tin.
Cosmetics – Instead of makeup in mostly plastic containers (non-recyclable), switch to makeup in cardboard, glass, metal or wood containers. Favorite brands include: RMS Beauty & Elate. Find even more sustainable makeup brands here.
Makeup Remover – Instead of disposable makeup remover cloths or cotton balls, switch to reusable makeup remover pads. My homemade makeup remover in a repurposed glass bottle is also great!
Cleansing Cloths – Instead of disposable face wipes or rounds, switch to reusable muslin cleansing cloths or LastRound reusable pads. Perfect for wiping off my homemade cleansing balm!
Reusable Products for Women’s Period Needs
Your monthly period is always gonna be a bit messy and awkward, but it doesn’t have to be so wasteful.
Menstrual Cups – Instead of traditional tampons that go in the trash and may contain harmful chemicals, switch to a reusable menstrual cup. Popular brands include: DivaCup and Lena.
Reusable Pads – Instead of traditional menstrual pads made with plastic and fragrance, switch to reusable cloth pads.
Period Panties – Instead of risking a leak in your undies, switch to reusable period panties for backup and medium to light flow days.
Zero Waste Bathroom Cleaning Products
Cleaning the bathroom can be a wasteful endeavor as well but it’s easy to switch to more eco-friendly options.
Bathroom Cleaner – Instead of using cleaning products in plastic bottles, switch to a refillable all purpose cleaning spray or other naturally derived cleaning products that are refillable or make your own homemade cleaning products.
Toilet Cleaner – Instead of using toxic toilet bowl cleaner, switch to a safer toilet bowl cleaner and supplement with my homemade fizzy toilet bombs, so you won’t have to clean so often!
Cleaning Cloths – Instead of disposable paper towels, switch to reusable paperless towels or use old t-shirts as rags for cleaning.
What are your favorite zero waste bathroom products?
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