Zero Waste Bathroom
It's a new year and this means the possibilities are endless to start anew. Going zero waste may seem daunting at first, all the lifestyle changes you need to make and so on. It may be easier though to adapt to the zero waste lifestyle by tackling one area of your life/home at a time. So, first we're going to cover all the bathroom essentials. Since beginning my zero waste journey, I have transitioned out all my old bathroom essentials and swapped them out for zero waste items. I have learned that I really didn't need all those products that I thought I needed and that are advertised everywhere. I mean seriously, who needs five different products that do the exact same thing?
There are cream deodorants that can be bought at the natural grocery store or online through your favorite vendor. Regular deodorant tubes are made of plastic that cannot be recycled, and they can contain chemicals that are harmful to you.
The cream deodorant may seem weird to use at first. The deodorant itself is somewhat like a soft solid. So, I made a little wooden spatula for easier application. I just scrape a little on the spatula, rub it on my fingers, then smear it under my arms. Easy as that!
My bar soap has actually replaced multiple products in my bathroom. I use bar soap for body soap, shampoo and hand soap.
Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and hand wash bottles are generally made of plastic. Some of these bottles can be recycled but others cannot. So, in order to eliminate the amount of resources needed to make these bottles, I buy unpackaged bar soap. Hopefully soon, I plan on making my own bar soap.
As shampoo, I rinse my hair, then rub the bar of soap through my hair. I try to cover all parts of my hair, then lather it through my hair before rinsing. After rinsing out the soap, I use an ACV mixture to balance the pH.
Toothbrushes are made of plastic? What?! For some reason, this really caught me off guard when I initially started zero waste. It just seemed like such an essential item and I didn't realize there were any alternatives. Every single toothbrush that was ever created is still in existence today. Can you imagine that? Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative to your typical plastic toothbrush. They still have plastic bristles, but the rest of the toothbrush is made of bamboo, which can be composted after it's life cycle.
This stainless steel tongue cleaner was made to last a lifetime (it literally came with a lifetime guarantee). There are not many items these days that are made to last that long. I got this one on Amazon from a company called Wowe. It comes as a pack of two and has all sustainable packaging.
Toothpaste tubes are made of plastic that cannot be recycled. Did you know, most squeezable plastic tubes cannot be recycled? I made this toothpaste with just a few simple ingredients. The texture took me a few days to get used to, but honestly, I feel like this toothpaste works great. I receive compliments on how white my teeth are all the time now.
For the people who don't have time to make their own toothpaste or just would rather buy it for time and/or convenience purposes, there are many places where toothpaste can be bought that is sold in glass jars. I have even seen some at the local natural grocery store or from multiple great companies online.
Most female razors, and even a number of male razors, are sold as disposable plastic razors. The razors themselves are generally packaged in thick plastic packaging and are only meant to last one or two uses then to toss in the trash.
Safety razors may seem kind of scary at first, but honestly they are really great. Investing in a single safety razor at the beginning and a carton of razor blades will actually end up saving you hundreds of dollars. I believe the whole set cost me less than $40, which may seem like a lot up front, but I won't need to buy anything for shaving for at least a year, probably even longer. Even then, it will just be blades. The razor itself is meant to last a lifetime.
I have to admit I had to look up some Youtube videos on how to use a safety razor at first, but it really is not that much different, and it's the cleanest shave I've ever had with a razor.
FACE CARE ROUTINE
Before, I had about 10 different products for my face. One that said it smoothed, one made my skin glow, one moisturized, one softened, and so on. Since switching over, I only have three items I use on my face every day.
From left to right.
I had this toner before I began the zero waste journey. It is organic rose water toner I got from a local store in Stillwater. After the toner is gone though, I plan on making my own and reusing the spray bottle.
A mixture of argan oil, vitamin e oil, and tea tree oil.
I use this moisturizer for my face and for my hair. On the hair, it tames frizz and makes my hair smooth and silky.
Honey and baking soda. Yep that's it!
I just scoop out a small dollop on my finger every morning and night and gently scrub my face all over. Then I spritz 2-3 sprays of the rose water toner and massage a couple of drops of moisturizer onto my face. My face is clearer than before, and I know exactly what is in each of the products that I'm putting on my face.
REUSABLE COTTON ROUNDS
Cotton rounds come packaged in plastic wrap and are meant for single use then to be tossed in the trash. Think about all the money you're just throwing away. Instead, invest in some reusable cotton rounds. I actually crocheted these with some cotton yarn I had on hand. Again though, if you don't want to make your own, there are many places you can buy some online, such as PackageFree or Etsy.
I use these cotton rounds to remove makeup (mainly eye makeup). I use a couple of drops of sweet almond oil on the cotton round then gently wipe off the makeup. Sweet almond oil is great for brightening your skin (which is definitely helpful around the eyes) and the comedogenic rating is a 2, which doesn't generally clog your pores.
Of course the most sustainable thing is to use the products that you already own until they are gone. Once you run out, these are great zero waste alternatives to swap over. I don't advocate for anyone transitioning to zero waste to throw away all their current products and buy new ones. Use up the remainder of the products you already own, then once you run out switch over to a more sustainable eco-friendly zero waste alternative. Remember as consumers our voices are heard by our purchases. Buying products that are more sustainable and eco friendly will show producers that their way of manufacturing needs to change.
All of these products can be easily found and are generally cheaper than the average product. Some items may cost more upfront than their current non-zero waste alternative, but as most of these products are meant to last longer, you will be saving money in the long run. Also, by slowly transitioning to zero waste when your products run out, you will only be replacing one item at a time instead of making many purchases at the same time, which can seem daunting to your pocketbook.
If anyone has trouble finding a zero waste alternative or has any other questions or comments, please message me or comment below and I will help however I can!