A journey to plastic-free living seems daunting when you consider the many ways that plastic enters our lives. When I first began working towards the goal of eliminating plastic waste in my life, I first identified the areas of my life where I was producing the largest amount of plastic waste. For me, the standout categories were food packaging waste, and hygiene/beauty packaging waste. The kitchen and the bathroom were the places that I chose to start in my home. We’ve discussed how to reduce waste in your kitchen here on the stasher blog, now let’s talk about a zero-waste bathroom makeover!
How to Reduce Plastic Waste in Your Bathroom
The first step to a plastic-free bathroom is simply reducing the amount of products and items that you use! How can you simplify your hygiene and beauty routines? Instead of having multiple plastic bottles of shower gel and body spray, why not simplify with a bar of delicious-smelling, exfoliating body soap, and a bottle of high-quality essential oil (try rose, sandalwood, or sweet orange) that you can dab on for a much longer-lasting scent?
2: Look for Better Options
- Plastic-bottled shampoo can be replaced with a shampoo bar that comes in a biodegradable paper wrapper or box.
- Plastic razors can be swapped for a stainless steel safety razor that will last a lifetime (just replace the blades as they become dull). As a bonus, you’ll get a better and closer shave!
- Lotion can be done away with in favor of a super-hydrating face or body oil. Different oils tend to work better for different skin types, so you might need to test out a few different types. I simply use pure organic virgin coconut oil on both my face and body (a little goes a long way!), and my skin has never been softer, clearer, or more wrinkle-free!
- Cotton balls for removing makeup are wasteful, but a few soft reusable cotton rounds can easily replace them. Caring for them is easy, you can just throw them in your laundry basket and wash along with clothes and towels.
- Floss is usually made out of plastic and packaged in plastic. Instead, you can buy biodegradable silk floss that comes in glass packaging.
- Toothbrushes are a big contributor to hygiene-related landfill waste, since they need to be replaced often. Wooden or bamboo toothbrushes still have nylon (plastic) bristles, but the handle will biodegrade, lessening waste.
- Toothpaste can be made at home with natural ingredients, or purchased in a jar.
3: Look for Opportunities to Buy in Bulk or Refill
Not ready to switch to a shampoo bar, but want to reduce plastic packaging waste from shampoo and conditioner? Many health food stores and coops offer bulk shampoo and conditioner (as well as lotion, bath salts, and other hygiene items). Just bring your own container and fill it up! To reduce packaging waste and save money, you can also consider buying in bulk. Staples like cotton swabs can be purchased in a big box rather than a tiny plastic package. Store just the amount you need in a stasher bag- they’re waterproof and will keep things clean and dry.