After the kitchen, the bathroom seems to generate its fair amount of waste. Switching over to a zero waste bathroom is easier than you think! Follow these 10 tips and kiss that bathroom waste can goodbye!
1) Facial Tissues
Start a collection of handkerchiefs. Not only will they reduce your waste, they will also feel better on your nose! We have some nice soft flannel in our home. To wash them, just throw them in with your regular laundry.
2) Shampoo and Conditioner
There are a few options here. You can try to find a place that will refill your bottles, use a shampoo bar, or go “no poo”. No poo never worked for me, and we don’t have any place around that we can refill bottles at so we have a shampoo bar….and love it.
For conditioner, I use apple cider vinegar (glass jar). If I remember, I like to infused it with chamomile, calendula, and yarrow but if I forget, adding 1-2 drops of rosemary essential oil and tea tree essential oil works great. *Rosemary essential oils is contraindicated for those with epilepsy. Some people find they don’t need it and some people made add a little coconut oil afterwards.
Warning though, the apple cider vinegar will let you know if you have any open scratches!
3) Toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Bamboo toothbrushes are a favorite among zero wasters, as I love them as well. We have one for everyone member of the family…including our not yet two year old (dental health starts young, though we skip the fluoride).
For the littles, who are picky, we still use baby toothpaste, but our oldest daughter (age 7), my husband, and I use a homemade tooth powder. I mixed equal parts baking soda and bentonite clay with some stevia ( powdered herb).
Unpackaged bar soap is the ultimate winner here, with soap in paper coming in second. Castille soap in a bottle is nice for those with access to bulk soaps but there are many, like us, that don’t have access to that. Supporting a small shop on Etsy is a great way to find some amazing soap. I personally love Rocky Top Soap Shop for their wide variety and quality, especially if you have a man in the house who doesn’t want “girly” soaps.
We switched a while back to the safety razor…and never switched back. It is a nice middle ground between disposable razors and the straight razor. My husband has to shave every week day and uses it with no issues. He took a month of leave and didn’t shave and it still did a great job when he had to get rid of his beard.
It works well on legs and underarms….although in full disclosure….in the winter I don’t shave my legs…too cold.
Use a shaving soap and a brush ( you can buy the razor, brush, soap, and soap dish all at the Life Without Plastic store) in lieu of shaving cream. Getting the right lather can be a learning curve so have patience.
6) Hand towels
A few years ago, I probably would have never had to add this to the list but since some company came out with disposable hand towels (sigh, shakes head)….keep real hand towels available. Launder when you do laundry.
7) Q-tips and Cotton balls
I used to think that I could never give up q-tips…and then I found myself in a place where we couldn’t have them! (Long story). We used the corner of our towels. Now, 12 years later, I don’t use q-tips. I don’t use the corner of my towel either…I use these awesome cotton rounds from one of my favorite shops on Etsy. Works like a charm.
The aforementioned cotton rounds can do everything those little fluffy balls of cotton (are we sure they are all cotton?) can…plus you can wash them and reuse them. If you want to remove fingernail polish….well, I would have to ask around. I don’t wear it because of its chemical content.
8) Toilet Paper
The most comfortable option is buying toilet paper in a paper wrapper. We used Amazon for this and got a case, which worked perfectly for our family of 6. For those with less people….it will definitely curb your need to buy toilet paper for a while.
Other options include, but not limited to….cloth wipes, bidet ,and air drying.
Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite chore, I would rather iron all the clothes and linens in the house BUT it needs to be done. Baking soda is a power house for tough jobs and a home made cleaner of vinegar, water, essential oils, and a splash of vodka does everything else.Vinegar works well for hard water folks too!
10) Feminine hygiene products
While several of the things listed above can have a positive impact on your health by reducing your toxin load, switching to cloth pads and/or menstrual cup is not only a step towards a zero waste lifestyle…its also a big step for your reproductive health. I talked much more about this on my blog, little impact family, so you can read the post “The Healthy, Zero Waste Period. A Change for Health.”
So there you have it, 1o easy tips for a zero waste bathroom. You are well on your way to living a zero waste lifestyle.