10 Tips to a Zero Waste Bathroom
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Do you have an idea how many empty shampoo and conditioner bottles have you thrown in the trash this year? You didn’t even think about it that most of them are recyclable. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to cut down the plastic in your bathroom. Switch to using a shampoo bar or refillable bulk shampoo in place of plastic bottles of shampoo and also use dry shampoo to save water and cut down the number of times you wash your hair during the week. You can also swap out traditional conditioner for ACV. Use a spray bottle to spritz in your hair or just pour over your head. It works miracles.
Swap a plastic razor for a reusable safety razor. Safety razors are made of stainless steel which means they can be recycled at the end of their life. Safety razors use stainless steel blades that can be recycled too. Blades are super cheap plus last forever if you dry between uses. Instead of throwing into a trash bin, deposit the blades in an can and crimp it closed so it can get recycled without hurting anyone.
Use a soap bar in place of body wash in the shower. If you don’t want to switch to a bar of soap think about buying a larger size shower gel and use a refillable non-plastic soap dispenser. But switching to a bar of soap is definitely the better option.
Bar soap can be used as shaving cream, shower gel, hand soap. Buy a locally made olive oil soap that’s made with locally grown and pressed olive oil (more sustainable). Place one bar at the sink and one bar in the shower and make a simple, cheap, and pretty swap.
Bamboo or wood brush
You probably have a plastic hair brush or comb. Why not switch to a sustainable brush like the one wooden ones? A wooden brush or comb does a much better job of pulling oil from the root to tip. You might be able to go an extra day without washing. They should last for years if you look after them.
And what about toilet brush – is yours plastic? Change to a wooden brush with natural bristles.
Swap the plastic toothbrush for a brush with bamboo, which is compostable except for the nylon bristles. When it’s time to get a new brush, you can use the old one for cleaning grout. At the end of it’s life there, just pull out the bristles with a plier and compost the handle.
Toothpaste and mouthwash are very easy to make and don’t take anything away from the one you’d buy in store… expect the plastic disposable container and the unhealthy products in them. As it turns out, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to keep your teeth clean – you can even use plain old baking soda and get by. Most DIY toothpaste recipes fall into two categories: tooth powder or a coconut-oil based paste. Toothpowder is mild and non-abrasive. Anyway, toothpowder doesn't leave your breath smelling very minty fresh. Mouthwash can be a great addition to a morning routine.
Natural cleaning products
To swap chemical cleaning products, you can’t go wrong with some bicarb, white vinegar and essential oils. You can clean all areas of the house with only few ingredients: Castile soap, vinegar and baking soda, using natural fiber brushes that can be composted at the end of their life, and reusable cotton towels.
Not only is it a good idea to stop using them as part of your Zero Waste journey but a ‘monster’ blockage has been discovered in London sewers and wet wipes are a major contributor. Switch to reusable cotton pads or a flannel. You will save so much money when you stop buying wipes. You can even use these wipes to remove make-up. Just fold your pads, cover with mixture of witch hazel, water, vinegar, and lavender oil and let them soak. Wipe away, and just toss in the washer when you’re done!
Try to find it in paper packaging. Swap the wrapped plastic package to individually wrapped paper ones (like the ones at restaurants, hotels etc). Purchase 100% recycled toilet paper that comes without any plastic packaging. If you buy in batches it comes in a cardboard box, and you get a discount for buying by the case. They are also sold individually in case you want to try it out before you commit.
Toilet cleaner and freshener
Make it yourself. It is easy to make and completely natural – clean without toxic chemicals. Just mix a few ingredients together, press into ice cube trays, and let dry. Use essential oils to eliminate odours and to disinfect surfaces. This natural toilet cleaner freshens and eliminates funky odours, disinfects, naturally sanitises and leaves toilet sparkling clean and fresh.