Zero wasting your bathroom is all about simplifying your health and beauty routine. Remove unnecessary potions and lotions from your cabinet and replace plastic laden, disposable products with reusable or natural, compostable ones.
Read on to discover our 11 simple eco-conscious swaps for the loo that the planet and your pocket will love.
1. SOAP BARS
Swap the body wash for soap bars! You can find naked soap bars for good prices and you’re only paying for the soap, not the water added to it as well!
To make your soap bars last, make sure that they can dry between use - place them on a rack or anything with air flow underneath (I place mine on top of some pebbles on a saucer) or hang them in a net bag, or dry them with a dishcloth and place them in an airtight container.
Leaving them wet in a moist environment like a shower, especially on a solid service, will waste soap, making it less economical, and leave it sludgy and sticking to the surface you’ve left it on.</p>
You can also make your own soap bars at home. There are many tutorials and DIYs online and many workshops you can go to learn how to do this.
2. SOLID SHAMPOO BARS
Did you know that one shampoo bar equals three bottles of liquid shampoo? So by buying one solid shampoo bar you save three plastic shampoo bottles! And although some shampoo bars may seem expensive, one bar will last as long as three bottles of shampoo, so divide the cost by a third to compare it to the cost of your regular liquid shampoo.
Like liquid shampoo, it can take a while to find the right one for you and your hair type though. So, if one type or brand doesn’t work for you, it is worth trying another brand; however, there are some ingredients you should avoid, so investigate what’s in a bar before you start experimenting with it.
Also, it does take a while for hair to get used to natural soap-based bars so allow enough time for this and don’t give up too soon!
3. NATURAL DEODORANT
And DIY deodorant works out a lot cheaper than any store bought deodorant!
This recipe for DIY zero waste deodorant is quick, easy, affordable and provides great protection. The best part? It doesn't contain any nasty chemicals or dangerous additives.
¼ cup of baking soda
¼ cup of arrowroot powder
4 tbsp of coconut oil
2-3 tsp of vitamin E oil
6-8 drops other essential oil of your choice for scent
Melt the coconut oil using a double boiler or in the microwave
Once it has liquefied take it off the heat
Add in the vitamin E oil and essential oils
Stir in the baking soda and the arrowroot powder and mix well to combine, making sure there are no lumps
Pour into an old cleaned out deodorant container or jar
Let it set in the fridge or freezer for an hour
Some other recipes I have found online use cornstarch instead of arrowroot and some use shea butter or beeswax, so these are other ingredients you can play around with to find the right concoction for you.
Everyone’s bodies are different, so not all natural deodorants work for everyone so try something different if this recipe doesn’t work for you and some people react to baking soda so stop using it if you develop a rash or sensitivity. A recipe I’ve come across that skips the baking soda uses coconut oil, shea butter, candellila wax, bentonite clay, arrowroot powder and tea tree.
Other zero waste deodorant options include wiping your pits with lemon (I’m yet to test this) and using a potassium crystal deodorant stick, which lasts at least 12 months. I’m yet to try this too, but it has been recommended by other zero wasters I trust. You simply moisten it with water, glide it over your skin and pat the crystal dry before storing it.
Stock up on some hankies and you won’t need to buy tissues anymore!
Simply throw them in the wash basket with your clothes after blowing, or use any dedicated box or basket for your dirty hankies.
If you like the convenience of being able to pull tissues out of something, use an old tissue box covered in a fabric tissue box cover for your hankies or layer them in any box with a slit cut on top that you can pull them through.
Search for vintage ones in second hand stores, buy new ones on Etsy, or sew your own from scrap fabric.
5. REUSABLE COTTON ROUND
Another thing you can stop buying - single-use cotton pads. I love our range of washable cleansing pads. These cleansing pads are easy to wash and are far softer than conventional cleansing pads.6. REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS
How much do you spend on pads and tampons every month? How much have you spent on them since your first period? Too much! And how many pads and tampons have you sent to landfill? And how many menstruating women are there on the planet? A lot!
Single-use pads and tampons are big business and a big waste of resources. Reusable menstrual products will save you a lot of money and means a lot less of these disposable options are heading to landfill.
The initial investment for a menstrual cup, period underwear and/or reusable menstrual cloth pads can be high, but you will definitely save in the long run.
And personally, I find my period undies and menstrual cup so much more comfortable than I ever found pads and tampons. Speak to any women who uses reusable menstrual products for their period and they will gush about them with pure love and adoration.
7. SAFETY RAZOR
Again, an up-front investment but a good investment in the long run - buy a steel safety razor to replace your plastic disposable razors. These sultry steel follicle slicers last practically forever, if not forever, saving so much plastic waste and saving you so much money!
You just need to buy blades, which can be recycled in blade banks and don't cost much.
8. DIY TOOTHPASTE
DIY toothpaste is a good option for people who have strong, healthy teeth that don’t need fluoride.
And you can easily make your own at little cost. Again you’ll find loads of DIY toothpaste recipes online, but some from zero wasters we trust are.
5 tablespoons bicarb soda
10 drops clove oil
10 drops sweet orange oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp powdered xylitol
1 tbsp baking soda
Essential oils of choice to taste
And we sell natural charcoal dental floss too - if that’s something you’re interested in.
9. BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES AND HAIRBRUSHES
Plastic toothbrushes cost between around 2 and 5 each, while bamboo toothbrushes generally cost around 4 to 7, so they’re on the higher end of the scale to more expensive.
The environmental costs of plastic toothbrushes is clear though - with over 30 million plastic toothbrushes, which will most likely remain on earth for over 200 years, being bought in Australia every year and many of these causing environmental pollution in our oceans. And, with this high environmental cost and the cost savings gained through other zero waste health and beauty solutions, we think they are worth it.
They should be replaced every three months, which is the same as is recommended with plastic toothbrushes. There are even subscription services that send you new brushes when it is time to find a use for or compost your old one.
Bamboo hairbrushes are also more expensive than plastic hairbrushes, but they are not only better for the environment as they are biodegradable, they are much better quality and will last longer and are better for your hair and scalp.
Brushes made from bamboo or wood distribute your natural hair oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair more effectively than plastic, naturally conditioning it more. Also, less static is created when you brush with a wooden brush, so flyaways and frizz will be less of a problem every winter.
10. MULTI-PURPOSE BEESWAX BALM
Eco Boulevard uses this multi-purpose balm as a lip balm, hair wax, elbow grease, a shoe polish, a wood dressing, a mascara remover, a cuticle cream, a foot/heal balm, an after shave leg lotion, a sunburn cream, an eye gloss, a tattoo aftercare balm, and the base product for her homemade deodorant.
It is simply made up of
1 part beeswax
5 parts olive oil
To make the balm you melt the beeswax and olive oil mixture over low heat and then pour it into a jar and let it set. The beauty of its non-coconut oil base is that it maintains its consistency whether it is 40 degrees or four!
Start using loofahs instead of plastic sponges. These can often be easily found package free and are all natural! And they are cheap.
You can even grow your own if you plant a loofah plant in your garden! It is a type of squash and it can be eaten when young, but they are more commonly grown to maturity and dried for use as a sponge, scrubbing pads, back scratcher, exfoliator, or padding.
***Before using anything all over your body, test it on a small patch of skin as natural substances can still cause reactions (like baking soda) and be sure you trust recipes for things that could affect your overall health - like toothpaste. Your health should always come first.
Good luck with reducing waste in your beauty routine!