So you’ve switched to a bamboo toothbrush, are now using a shampoo bar instead of bottled shampoo, but you’re ready to take it to the next level and move some more plastic out of your bathroom. We’ve got the ultimate list on how you can up your game and create the ultimate eco-friendly bathroom.
Step 1 — Don’t Stress the Plastic Stuff
The biggest key to living sustainably is to use what you already have, don’t stress if you’ve now started to notice that the hairbrush you’ve been using for the last five years is plastic. If it’s still in good shape and doing the job it’s intended for, it’s not time to replace it yet. When it does come time to replace those plastic items then start seeking a plastic free, more eco-friendly version. For example, bamboo combs and hair brushes are a great option.
Step 2 — Take a Bathroom Bin Inventory
The best way to reduce waste is to first realise how much waste you are producing. There are several ways to do this.
Go Lidless for a Week:
When you have a lid on your bin it hides all the bad stuff from plain sight, which does not give you any awareness of what going into the bin on a daily basis. You put it in, it’s hidden, you open the lid, remove the bin liner add the waste to your main waste bin, and voilà it magically is no longer a problem. Let’s now face reality ... it really is your problem, waste is our collective problem so let’s face it head on. Remove the lid and go face-to-face with what’s hiding inside.
Keep it Separated:
Instead of having just one main waste bin in your bathroom, break it down to a few bins. One bin for recycling: (eg. shampoo and conditioner bottles, liquid soap containers and cardboard toilet rolls). One bin for general waste: this would be for items such as cotton buds with plastic handles, plastic razors and or razor blades, dental floss. If you’re already at the next level and composting then adding another bin for compostable items is also great.
What goes in a bathroom compost bin? If you’ve already switched from plastic dental floss to a plastic free version then this is safe to add to your compost, and the same goes for bamboo handled cotton buds.
Using these methods you will see what items are going into general waste, these will be the items you will want to replace with plastic free products.
8 Simple Swaps
Seeking some ideas on what how you can switch out plastic for an eco-friendly bathroom alternative. We’ve listed some simple swaps you can make:
1. Swap: Cotton Buds with a Plastic Handle for Bamboo Cotton Buds
Bamboo Cotton Buds can be added to your compost and if for some reason they do make out into the environment, they will break down naturally and not pollute the ocean or land.
2. Swap: Plastic Toothbrushes with Bamboo Toothbrushes
This is one of the easiest swaps you can make. Bamboo toothbrushes can either be added to your home compost (they may take a while to break down) or they can be used as a marker in the garden — where they will naturally degrade. Just be sure to remove the bristles beforehand.
3. Swap: Bottled Shampoo & Conditioner for Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
Bar Shampoo does take a little while to get used to, but basically you create a lather in your hands, apply it to your hair and massage and rinse as usual. If you find your hair needs conditioner after shampooing then also apply a conditioner bar. There’s no waste when it comes to shampoo bars — the cardboard packaging can be recycled.
4. Swap: Tubed Toothpaste for Toothpaste Tablets or Paste in a Glass Jar
Toothpaste tablets may sound a little odd but they are a great zero waste option for your bathroom and also perfect for travel. Simply take one tablet, chew the tablet and as it starts to turn to a foam in your mouth, brush as usual. No mess, no tube, no waste.
5. Swap: Roll on Deodorant with Natural Deodorant in a Cardboard Tube
Liquid roll-on deodorant, stick deodorant or deodorant in a spray can is so common and convenient that we often don’t think there is another way. The good news is … you can get stick deodorant in a push-up cardboard tube. Push up from the bottom and apply. So simple, and the best part is — providing the cardboard tube does not have a thin plastic outer layer/sticker you can either place it in your recycle bin or add it straight into your compost. Zero plastic, zero waste!
6. Swap: Nylon Dental Floss with Plastic Free Dental Floss
Did you know that almost all dental floss on the market is not only made from plastic but is also packaged in plastic? And all that plastic is single use, and non-recyclable. But ... there is a better way. Plastic Free Dental Floss comes in a glass canister which is refillable. Bonus, the floss is biodegradable and safe to add to your compost.
7. Swap: Plastic Hair Ties with Biodegradable Plastic Free Hair Bands
Getting down to the final easy swaps on our list is one for the ladies (or guys) with long hair. Hair ties aren’t the typical item you would associate with being made from plastic. But it’s true that’s exactly what they are made from. By switching to a plastic free hair band you never have to worry about losing the odd hairband (of course you never want to), but if you do ... you can rest easy knowing that it’s not going to break down into microplastic on the side of the road.
8. Swap: Plastic Band Aids with Patch Compostable Band Aids
The final swap on our list should probably be at the top of the list — these band aid replacements really are that good! Next time you reach for a band aid think about where it will end up (likely the waste bin in your home), and then what happens to it? It’s headed off to the landfill. Patch Band Aids will stop plastic heading off to landfill — the entire package is compostable. Though you may want to recycle the cardboard tube!
These may be our Top 8 Swaps to achieve an eco-friendly bathroom but there’s always more you can do to go green in the bathroom.
Have some green tips eco-friendly bathroom tips you’d love to share? Let us know your eco-secrets below.
Author Bio - Catherine Anne Earle
Catherine founded EORTH, an online plastic free store in July 2018.
Although she had always considered herself to be fairly environmentally conscious, it wasn't until she participated in a Plastic Free July challenge that she became more aware of how damaging plastics were to the environment.
Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Management and was the part-owner and founder of Sun Peaks Independent News, a community newspaper based in British Columbia, Canada.
Catherine now resides in her home town of Cairns and operates EORTH in the beautiful beachside suburb of Palm Cove, Queensland.