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How to convert your bathroom to zero waste?
Many bathroom products contain a lot of plastic, which creates a lot of waste.
The list is huge. From shampoo bottles, tubs of moisturizer, and shaving razors to toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, etc.
That’s why I decided to create a list of zero waste bathroom swaps and essentials that will help you reduce your waste!
For each product, you can find information on where you can purchase it.
A quick list with the 21 zero waste bathroom swaps & essentials:
- Recycled toilet paper
- Zero waste shampoo and conditioner
- Eco-friendly soap
- Dry shampoo
- Plastic-free razor
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Eco-friendly toothpaste
- Zero-waste dental floss
- Tongue scraper
- Zero waste deodorant
- Eco-friendly makeup
- Natural perfume
- Reusable cotton rounds
- Organic cloth wipes
- Menstrual cups
- Eco-friendly ears swab
- Bamboo hairbrush
- Zero waste body moisturizer
- Skincare products
- Zero-waste cleaning products
- Biodegradable toilet brush
Before diving into the list, I should point out that it’s best to support local businesses and purchase the products locally, or order from zero waste online stores.
If that’s not possible, then you can purchase most of these products from Amazon.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each swap!
1. Recycled toilet paper
Toilet paper is something we use almost every day without fail.
Most of us just pick the cheapest brand on the shelf or go for whatever feels the most comfortable on our rear end.
However, if you’re serious about reducing your waste, you should choose recycled toilet paper.
Your butt may not notice the difference, but the trees certainly will!
Additionally, did you know the U.S. consumes the highest amount of toilet paper rolls worldwide and at the cost of deforesting millions of acres annually!? Yikes.
This infographic below gives you an idea of just how much toilet paper waste we contribute to the environment:
For more eco-friendly toilet paper products, check my article with 19 plastic-free options.
If you prefer to try something a little different, you can also consider bidet or reusable cloths to wash & reuse. These two options will reduce your toilet paper usage by a lot!
2. Zero waste shampoo and conditioner
To reduce the amount of waste, I would recommend using shampoo and conditioner bars, or liquid ones, in sustainable packaging.
You can search retailers like Earth Hero to find sustainable shampoo and conditioner bars on the market today.
If you prefer to use liquid shampoo and conditioner, try out Plaine Products, or take a reusable container to your nearest bulk store.
3. Eco-friendly soap
If you’re going to invest in shampoo and conditioner bars, you might as well complete the set with an eco-friendly bar of soap.
Their bars are made from biodegradable wrappers and sustainable ingredients.
Alternatively, you could also make your own home or check many more fantastic options at Eco Roots.
4. Dry shampoo
Dry shampoos can come in handy in the moments when we need clean hair ASAP, but we have no time.
But, the conventional ones aren’t good both for you or for the environment.
That’s why you can make your DIY dry shampoo with just 2 (or 3) ingredients!
It is super duper simple.
Just mix equal amounts of arrowroot powder (or corn starch) and cocoa powder (for brown hair), or arrowroot powder and clay for blonde hair.
For more details, check my step-by-step guide with many tips & a video.
5. Plastic-free razor
The amount of plastic wasted on disposable razors will shock you.
These products last much longer than those single-use plastic razors.
The only thing you need to change is the razor blade, with is super cheap and lasts many shaves.
6. Bamboo toothbrush
Keep your teeth white and fresh without using a plastic toothbrush!
(Just remember to remove the bristles before you recycle the toothbrush as they are not compostable…yet!)
Prefer something more long-lasting? Try the sturdy aluminum brushes from The Goodwill Company.
7. Eco-friendly toothpaste
You can either buy or make a DIY toothpaste with baking soda, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil.
I tried the homemade one, but I prefer to buy zero waste tooth tablets, if I have to be honest.
Some excellent eco-friendly toothpaste products are:
- Geoganics toothpaste, tooth tablets, or tooth powder
- Davids spearmint or peppermint toothpaste
- Unpaste toothpaste tablets
8. Zero-waste dental floss
You wouldn’t believe how many zero-waste flossing products you can purchase nowadays.
If you floss every day (as we certainly should), there are many brands, that offer plastic-free alternatives, such as:
In addition, the packaging is all recyclable or compostable.
9. Tongue scraper
The final oral care product I can suggest is a tongue scraper.
They are great to freshen your breath while fighting bacteria and even enhancing your sense of taste.
They are usually made out of stainless steel and very easy to clean.
10. Zero waste deodorant
There are two benefits to using a zero-waste deodorant:
- you help save the planet (since most deodorant sticks end up in landfills)
- you avoid brands with harmful skin irritants
If you want to use a zero-waste deodorant that comes in a biodegradable container and is made of organic essential oils, I recommend brands such as:
You can also DIY zero waste deodorant with coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, and baking soda. For the full recipe & guide, read my article.
11. Eco-friendly makeup
Traditional makeup packages are notoriously difficult to recycle and typically contain harsh irritants for your skin. So why not switch to zero-waste makeup?
The industry has recently seen a surge in popularity, and the product is generally of better quality, free from animal testing.
For instance, Elate Cosmetics offers everything you might need – eyeliners, eyeshadows, mascara, lipstick, foundation, etc.
12. Natural perfume
Conventional perfumes may include respiratory or hormone disruptors harmful to you and can build up in your body over time.
If you want to keep using perfumes, you can get some that are not harmful to you.
Check some of these brands that offer natural and safe perfumes:
13. Reusable cotton rounds
Reusable cotton facial rounds are another great product.
Use them to remove makeup or apply facial cleansers, and simply wash!
14. Organic cloth wipes
Stop using tissues! Instead of relying on them to blow your nose, you can invest in organic cotton cloth.
Honestly, you may not even need to buy anything, as many of us have plenty of washable cloths around the house. It could not be any simpler!
15. Menstrual cups or panties
Most tampons and menstrual pads are not ideal for the environment.
In addition, they are not biodegradable and add to the list of products that sit in landfills.
Instead, I highly recommend menstrual cups. They’re reusable, washable, and require fewer changes than the average tampon and pad.
Menstrual cups may seem scary, but I promise you – it isn’t!
You can find all the answers to questions you might be wondering about in my article here.
16. Eco-friendly ears swab
Most of us grew up using q-tips for almost everything, so I understand the temptation of throwing them away immediately after use.
The good news is that there are sustainable alternatives for these too!
The Oriculi earbud, for example, is washable, reusable, and made from bamboo.
17. Bamboo hairbrush
In case you need a new hairbrush or your old one breaks – switch to a new one made from bamboo!
Wooden hairbrushes are much better for your hair since the plastic ones cause your hair to break more.
The wooden bristle brushes are smooth, and your hair will slide over them so that it won’t break your hair.
You can check this one from Earth Hero or this Wooden Pocket Comb from Life Without Plastic.
18. Zero waste body moisturizer
There are plenty of zero-waste moisturizers that will keep your skin looking fresh and hydrated at all times.
Alternatively, you could make a DIY moisturizer using coconut and essential oils.
19. Skincare products
There are plenty of sustainable & zero waste skincare options – from make-up removal to moisturizers, soaps, oils, etc.
A couple of cool ones that I found are:
- Natural make-up removal (link to Eco Roots)
- Shea rose clay facial soap (link to Eco Roots)
- Badger’s Cuticle Care Cream (contains beeswax)
- UpCycle face moisturizer (link to Eco Roots)
- Osea Moiseruzers ($20 OFF code)
- Oil cleansing with Mad Hippie Antioxidant Oil or Hemp Oil
20. Zero-waste cleaning products
Stay on top of your bathroom’s cleanliness and also swap out those toxic chemical cleaners for safer, eco-friendly bathroom cleaning products instead.
You could also try the DIY method and make your bathroom cleaning products with baking soda, apple cider vinegar, essential oil, or other combinations.
21. Biodegradable toilet brush
Last but not least, there’s one more item that you’d probably never think of but most definitely would use!
When the moment arises that you need to replace your toilet brush, why not consider a biodegradable alternative?
This all-natural one (link to Earth Hero) is made with a beechwood handle and vegan Tampico fiber bristles.
It also looks much nicer in the bathroom than a dull plastic brush!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I avoid using plastic in my bathroom?
To help limit the amount of plastic you use in the bathroom, start to ditch the unsustainable plastic products slowly, and switch to more eco-friendly ones.
That doesn’t mean you have to throw away everything you currently have, that’s unsustainable.
Use it all up, and then switch to the more sustainable alternatives.
Are there other ways to be more sustainable in the bathroom?
There are many ways to be more sustainable in your bathroom. For example, you can try to reduce your water consumption by:
- Taking shorter showers.
- Turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth.
- Switching to a low-flow showerhead that can save up water.
- Line drying your clothes.
- Checking your toilet regularly for leaks.
- Avoid flushing away cigarette butts or other non-biodegradable waste.
- Cutting down toilet paper usage by installing a bidet.
- Purchase “zero waste bathroom products” only if you truly need them.
What are some zero waste tips on a budget?
Even if you’re short on cash, there are plenty of ways to live an almost zero waste lifestyle without spending a lot of money.
- Repurpose things. Instead of buying fancy reusable cotton rounds – cut an old towel or cotton t-shirt in small squares.
- Refuse small single-use samples.
- DIY easy things like toothpaste, face masks, lip balm, facial cleanser, cleaning products, etc.
Now that I’ve given you the rundown of my favorite zero waste bathroom products, I’m sure there are items I’ve missed.
Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce your waste when it comes to toiletries, soaps, and other bathroom essentials?
Let me know in the comments section below!
How toilet paper affects the environment (Infographic by Tushy):