The majority of bathroom products have been designed to be convenient and disposable, and are often sold in wasteful plastic packaging, so it may come as no surprise to hear that your bathroom is the second most wasteful part of your entire home, after the kitchen. Despite this fact, the bathroom is normally the last place people consider when shifting towards a low waste lifestyle.
7 Ways to Create a Zero-Waste Bathroom
Think about it: What’s hiding in your bathroom cabinet? If you take an inventory of everything that’s in there, it’s more than likely that among the items you’ll account for will be a handful of single-use, disposable, toxic items you are probably using every day, such as personal hygiene products (i.e. dental floss and toothpaste) and various cosmetics and skincare products.
The good news is that there are many zero waste, (and healthy!) alternatives to every single product that goes under your bathroom vanity, in your shower, and on your skin. Below are some of our favorite ideas for how you can start creating a zero-waste bathroom.
1. Ditch your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush
Just think about how frequently you switch out your toothbrush and pair this thought with the fact that traditional plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable. In fact, billions of disposable plastic toothbrushes are thrown out every year all over the world.
They eventually make their way into landfills or the ocean, where they can impose a significant threat to wildlife, since they take thousands of years to break up.
Bamboo toothbrushes, on the other hand are biodegradable and compostable. You can purchase a pack of 10 bamboo toothbrushes (that aren’t packaged in plastic) for under $15 from Zero Waste Cartel.
2. Trade in your traditional plastic bottled shampoo and conditioner for shampoo and conditioner bars
This is by far one of our favorite bathroom hacks for going zero-waste. These bars don’t just save on plastic packaging, they eliminate the use of plastic bottles altogether. Plus, since they are more concentrated, they are sure to last you longer. Check out the ZeroWasteStore to shop through some safe and eco-friendly options.
3. Opt for bar soap
Similar to shampoo and conditioner bars, bar soaps don’t contribute to plastic waste. Because they’re available at pretty much any drug or grocery store, this is one of the easiest zero-waste swaps you can make.
Be sure also to avoid bar soaps that contain palm oil, or ensure that the brand you’re purchasing uses sustainably sourced palm oil. You can visit the WWF site to learn about what companies and brands are following the guidelines for the sustainable use of palm oil.
4. Switch to biodegradable dental floss
We know, flossing is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but what about all the single-use plastic waste? Luckily, there are a few eco-friendly, zero waste alternatives to plastic dental floss, such as silk dental floss (that’s derived from the mulberry worm), or vegan dental floss made from sustainable bamboo.
You can buy bamboo charcoal floss that’s just as good for you as it is for the environment from Lucky Teeth. Their floss is packaged in eco-friendly refillable glass jars with stainless steel tops.
5. Choose a sustainable toilet paper
According to NRDC, Americans each use nearly three rolls of toilet paper per week. Not only does this lead to excessive paper waste, but most toilet paper brands are also full of chemicals and toxins such as bleach, dioxin, and other pollutants.
You can help address this environmental issue by choosing a more sustainable product. Caboo toilet paper, for example, is made with organically grown bamboo and is 100% biodegradable.
6. Swap out your disposable razor for a bamboo razor
Billions of disposable razors are sent to the landfill each year. While the blades can usually be recycled, how many people do you think go out of their way to actually break down a disposable razor to ensure it is recycled properly?
Bamboo razors are a great alternative, and all you need to do is recycle the blade when you switch it. Amazon sells these for both men and women.
7. Start using toothpowder
Most store-bought toothpaste contains countless unnecessary (not to mention, toxic) ingredients, such as pesticides, artificial colors and sweeteners, etc. Some even contain Microbeads for extra “scrubbing power” which are actually tiny pieces of plastic that go down your drain and straight into the ocean, harming our marine ecosystem and wildlife.
Toothpowder is a much better alternative for the environment, that’s also very easy to use. All you have to do is wet your toothbrush bristles and dip them into the powder. Tiny Yellow Bungalow sells a zero-waste tooth powder that’s vegan and plastic-free.
See What Else You Can Do to Create a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
As you’ve learned, the bathroom is a place where a lot of waste is generated but there are a lot of easy swaps and steps you can take to create a zero-waste or low-waste bathroom. If you’re looking for other ways you can minimize your impact on the environment, be sure to continue checking out our blog. Don’t forget to browse through the Spring Power & Gas website to learn about our innovative energy products!