The bathroom is a great place to start a zero waste journey. Bathroom products have been designed to be convenient and disposable and are often packaged in wasteful plastic packaging. However, there are reusable or compostable alternatives to all of these products that can help you transition to a more zero waste bathroom. If you are new to the movement, that is Zero Waste, let me fill you in. The movement enables a package free or a low waste lifestyle. Cutting the amount of packaging, and plastic packaging at that. Because the vast amount of plastics filling up the landfills is huge and plastic will inevitably out live us. I have written a post all about trash and how long it lasts, read it here. Cutting the amount of things we consume in plastic packaging is what low wasters do, or create their own.
Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps
Plastic toothbrushes are disposable, in the UK more than 256 million toothbrushes are discarded every year. They will remain within landfill or end up in the oceans consumed by marine life or washed up on shore. You can stop this plastic pollution by switching to a bamboo toothbrush with compostable plant-based bristles. When you’re done with the toothbrush, you can place the entire brush (with bristles into the compost). The toothbrush will compose and start a new life, you can purchase your bamboo toothbrush here.
Toothpaste comes in plastic tubes that are more than likely, non-recyclable. Thus, end up in the landfill. Switch to a homemade toothpaste or buy a toothpaste that comes in a glass jar or use tooth tabs. I have previously used LUSH dirty toothy tabs, they worked a treat on my teeth. But if you are like me and find biting into the tab gross then I probably wouldn’t use them. Another alternative would be tooth powder, you dip your toothbrush into the powder and brush like normal. Plastic Free and Environmentally friendly.
Safety razors are a great alternative to disposable razors. They are not what they are made out to be, many believe the razors are dangerous and difficult to use. That is not the case, these razors are so much easier to use than the convenient ones. The blades are made from stainless steel and can be recycled when you’re done and the razor itself can last a lifetime.
Liquid shampoo comes in a plastic bottle, however, there is a solid version that comes plastic free. Yes, shampoo bars! They not only reduce plastic waste, they also last a lot longer than liquid shampoo. I have used 3 Lush shampoo bars in the whole time I’ve been living low waste. One bar, depending on regularly you wash your hair, can last 4-5 months. I only wash my hair once a week, as washing too regularly messes the natural oil build up. So, shampoo bars have been a great swap.
Reusable menstrual products
The average woman uses 10,000-12,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. Those pads and tampons take around 500-800 years to fully biodegrade. Creating unnecessary waste. Menstrual cups and period underwear have less of an environmental impact, than disposable products. A reusable menstrual cup is not just good for the environment but it’s healthier for your body. Tampons can leave chemicals and bleach in your body even after they are taken out.
Bar of soap
Body wash, like liquid shampoo, comes in a plastic bottle. Of course, there is always a plastic free alternative. An unpackaged bar of soap is that alternative, you can find these soaps at local health stores, Lush and online. They are easily obtained, but if you don’t like the bar of soap you can get liquid soap in bulk at your local bulk stores (if you have any local).
Switch from cotton buds with a plastic applicator to ones with a wooden or paper applicator. Therefore, they can be compostable, reduce waste going to landfill and stop hundreds ending up in our oceans. They are listed in the top ten list of beach litter. The Scotland Government have now passed a policy that bans plastic cotton buds from being in use. It is estimated that through this policy they have saved several tonnes of plastic. This policy should be implemented across the UK, as it could save our valuable marine life.
We produce and use twenty times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago. It’s time we all changed our daily lives, to use more sustainable items we could inevitably save the planet we live on.