Before getting into a greener way of living, and then zero waste, my bathroom used to be cram packed full of product after product. Multiple bottles of shampoo for different needs and shower gels/bubble baths lined up on the edge of the bathtub, and other supposed ‘essentials’ stacked up on shelves. Of course, I always moaned about how expensive it was for all those bits, and how the bathroom always felt cluttered. But I didn’t know any different. And to me, this was normal.
Looking back now I am absolutely horrified about my excessive consumption of products and the waste generated from just one area of my life. In a bid to help you declutter and ease into zero waste, I’ve put together a few tips for things that I feel are zero waste bathroom essentials.
Zero Waste Body & Facewash
I really recommend purchasing a vegan soap and where possible, package free. There are some health shops that do this, but if not try and at least opt for paper or card packaging that can be recycled. Companies like Big Green Smile sell a wonderful soap called Oliva* which is a super mild castile 100% olive oil soap. It’s super cheap and free from plastic packaging. Not to mention very effective for use top to toe.
If using soap on your face isn’t your thing, try making a facial oil. I personally love using sweet almond with a little argan oil, which is a great combo for my skin. Avoid coconut oil as it’s drying when used as a cleanser, and has a comedogenic rating of 4, meaning it’ll likely cause clogged pores and breakouts.
Zero Waste Shaving & Waxing
Before plastic razors came around, safety razors were a staple item for hair removal. What’s great about them is that you only need to replace the metal blades. Which, being made of steel, are able to be recycled. Not to mention the blades are usually super cheap and many come in a little card package. Providing you care for it, your safety razor will last a lifetime. You can even pass it down to someone else. Check our my blog post on safety razors for more info.
If you prefer waxing, I would suggest trying out sugaring/sugar waxing. It’s just water, lemon juice, and white sugar mixed together and heated to turn it into a sticky mixture. What’s great about it, is that it doesn’t rip skin and is dissolvable with warm water.
Zero Waste Period Products
By using a menstrual cup or cloth pads, you can completely eliminate rubbish/trash. As they’re reusable, there’s no waste and nothing to throw away. You can also save a lot of money by switching. My personal faves are Lunapads, and Lunette*.
If reusables aren’t your thing, consider eco and organic brands. I personally rate Natracare*, Naty and Organyc.
Zero Waste Hair Care
For zero waste shampoo and conditioners, try using a shampoo bar with an ACV (apple cider vinegar) and water rinse. I mix 1 tbsp of ACV with approx 200ml filtered water and keep it in a glass spray bottle. If your hair is oily, you may want more ACV. But do experiment with ratios until you find one that suits. You will definitely need the ACV rinse after using a shampoo bar. This is to remove any residue, especially in hard water areas.
I personally swear by the Moroccan mint shampoo bar* by Aroma Awakening as a shampoo bar that really nourishes my hair. Plus it arrives without any plastic packaging, hurrah!
If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own shampoo bar. This wonderful free recipe by The Nerdy Farm Wife is fantastic.
Zero Waste Oral Care
As I mentioned in my blog post about bamboo toothbrushes, it’s important to consider using a toothbrush that is sustainable. Toothbrushes have a very short life span of 3 months, so just imagine the waste generated. What’s worse, every toothbrush ever made that was thrown into landfill still exists! Bamboo is a very fast growing material, and many brushes made from it can be composted after use.
Toothpaste is a little more difficult since I find that there’s conflicting advice regarding DIY toothpaste using bicarb soda and coconut oil. I’ve spoken to many dentists, and each have opposing opinions on whether bicarb is too abrasive or not. So I would suggest doing your own research on making your own toothpaste or toothpowder. For me, I alternate between my DIY toothpaste containing coconut oil and charcoal powder, and a toothpaste by a brand called Lavera.
What are your ‘Zero Waste Bathroom’ must haves?