How much waste do you create in your bathroom? Since I read Bea Johnson’s book, Zero Waste Home, I’ve been looking for ways to reduce the amount I throw away generally, and the two rooms I waste the most in are definitely my kitchen and my bathroom.
If you’re wondering if the same applies to you, think about the rooms you have bins in, and then keep an eye on them over the course of a week. How often do they fill up? And what do they fill up with? How much of it could you refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, or rot?
The difficulty with bathroom items is that plastic is rampant. For years, my toothbrush was plastic, my toothpaste came in plastic (even some of the fluoride-free varieties), my face cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, razor, and even cotton buds all contained plastic. Plastic negates any possibility of recycling or composting, as it takes hundreds of years to break down. I knew I needed to change.
Easy Plastic-Free Swaps
It’s pretty fortunate that there are so many eco-friendly stores online that champion a greener way to live these days – and that we have the internet to connect us all up! One of my favourites is Wearth London, a conscious department store that combines both style and sustainability. They stock furniture, jewellery, homewares, and beauty, among other things, all of which are clearly described based on their ethical principles, place of origin, and maker too.
I love that you can also shop on Wearth London’s site by your own values – in this case, their plastic-free range was perfect.
My first swap out was a plastic-packaging-free soap; soap is so versatile, and I use it both in the shower and at my sink. I love that all of the Soap Daze range uses cardboard as packaging, and their soaps are both gentle on the skin and make the most of natural ingredients. I also love that I learned about Soap Daze’s founder, Sharon, making all her products from her garden studio in Devon – a great little story to think about when using their products!
Shampoo & Conditioner
If you’re also looking for a similar experience with shampoo and conditioner, I would really recommend checking out Ethique’s Beauty Bars. Coming in cardboard packaging, they’re great for using at home, when traveling (they don’t count as a liquid!) and even at festivals, like I did at Green Man last year. Read my full review here.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Oddly enough, it’s taken me the longest time to change over to a compostable toothbrush. I’m a bit funny when it comes to brushing my teeth – I like that clean, well-scrubbed feeling and I’ve found previous eco toothbrushes to be a bit of a let down. Thankfully, Wearth introduced me to a great bamboo toothbrush from Georganics that has charcoal-tipped bristles to make my teeth a little whiter too.
For toothpaste, I’ve been giving their English peppermint paste a go, which works great so long as you’re ready to give up that delightful white foam. This is more of a clay, and it comes with a little wooden spatula (albeit cellophaned to the pot) to help you mix up a perfect pea-sized blob to brush with. When brushing, it turns into a paste, and adequately removes plaque to leave my mouth feeling clean. It’s just a bit different, and I’m still getting used to it!
When it comes to shaving, I haven’t thrown anything away for over two years thanks to my Philips Satin Shaver. While it does have a plastic outer, and plastic packaging, it has removed the need to make any waste at all, and right now it’s working perfectly for me.
If you can’t handle the thought of plastic packaging, I would recommend Mühle’s traditional razors, which start out as an investment piece but really, 10 blades can be bought for as little as £2.50 and they’re beautiful to look at too. I know when my Philips dies (sadly nothing lasts forever), these will be what I switch to.
One item I cannot recommend highly enough is Soap Daze’s Washable Cotton Pads. These trump regular cotton pads any day – they’re inexpensive, reusable, and larger than a regular cotton pad too. I use these twice a day for toning my skin in the morning, and removing eye makeup in the evening.