Today I will go over my best swaps for a zero waste bathroom,
Let’s jump to it:
Over the years, we’ve all become aware of the movement to reduce the use of plastics in order to protect the environment.
300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year.
Of that, only about 9% is recycled, and an estimated seven million tons end up in the sea each year.
These numbers led me to make some changes in my lifestyle.
I set out to find low-impact, plastic-free products to replace the damaging ones I’d always used before.
These are products that will help prevent further damage to the environment, but there are other reasons you can feel good about making these swaps, too!
Here are my favorite swaps, 10 zero-waste bathroom essentials:
1. Ditch the disposables for a long-lasting safety razor
Approximately two billion plastic razors are thrown away each year, according to the EPA.
Since they’re not recyclable, most end up in landfills. Instead of filling your garbage bin with one-time-use pink plastics, try out a reusable safety razor instead!
EcoRoots Rose Gold Safety Razor is plastic-free, comes in recyclable packaging, and includes five stainless steel replacement blades.
It’s easy to use, great color and design, high-quality and leaves you feeling smooth.
If cost is your concern, don’t let that deter you. It comes with five replacements, and each blade will provide you with about seven uses.
When you consider how much it would cost to buy 42 disposable plastic razors, that price will easily exceed the cost of one safety razor. This was one of my favorite swaps.
Safety razors look better, work better, and they are more cost-efficient over time.
2. Swap out your old, plastic toothbrush for one made of biodegradable bamboo
Over five trillion pieces of plastic toothbrushes are currently floating in our oceans.
One billion are thrown away each year, in just the U.S.
Plastic toothbrushes take hundreds of years to decompose.
Do we really want our great, great-grandchildren pulling pieces of our old Oral-Bs out of the ocean?
Instead, consider switching to an EcoRoots Bamboo Toothbrush.
They have a nice, simple design, are biodegradable, come in plastic-free, recyclable packaging, and unlike other bamboo toothbrushes, they’re about the same price as a regular toothbrush.
They also have natural, anti-bacterial properties.
Our great, great grand-children can spend more time zooming around on their hovercrafts instead of scooping chunks of old, plastic toothbrushes out of the path of our ocean’s marine life.
As an added bonus, the bristles are surprisingly soft.
3. Use shampoo and conditioner bars as a substitute for traditional plastic bottles
According to Johnson & Johnson, more than 552 million shampoo bottles may be ending up in landfills every year.
The number thrown out in the U.S. alone each year could fill 1,164 football fields.
Shampoo and conditioner bars are plastic-free, made with more natural ingredients, and quite honestly, they’re more fun to use.
They’re also much easier to travel with than those little bottles that get squashed in your luggage and leak on your clothes.
If Ariel in The Little Mermaid had to use shampoo and conditioner to achieve that perfect, silky style, these are the ones I’d imagine she’d choose.
EcoRoots makes shampoo and conditioner bars that are vegan, palm oil-free and SLS- free. They also last for 50+ washes, they’re color-safe (another plus for Ariel), cost-effective, smell great, and their website has different bars based on your favorite scent!
4. Replace your single-use tampons with menstrual cups and reusable underwear
In one day in 2015, The Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used applicators and tampons on beaches across the globe.
When flushed, they end up in our oceans. When disposed of properly, they sit in a landfill.
In addition to being eco-friendly, menstrual cups and reusable underwear give you the freedom to live life on your own terms, not your tampon’s timeline.
The Mahina Cup, made of high-quality silicone, is safe, easy, and protects you for twelve hours.
It’s also cost-effective, and will save you about $250 per year.
Alternatively, THINX makes reusable underwear that looks and feel like normal underwear, but absorb two tampons’ worth of liquid.
They’re made of moisture-wicking material that controls odor and bacteria.
I alternate between the two, depending on how much protection I need and what activities I have planned for that particular day.
5. Look for plastic-free toothpaste and floss instead of plastic tubes and containers
In the U.S. each year, 32 million pounds of plastic waste is attributed to floss containers and 26 million to toothpaste tubes.
If you’re not interested in making your own toothpaste to keep in a jar by your sink, I recommend trying Davids.
It comes in a recyclable metal tube, but what I like even more than that is that it’s made with natural ingredients.
Regular toothpaste tubes are covered in long, unpronounceable words, many of which have questionable effects on your health. Davids makes a natural toothpaste that you can feel good about.
It’s better for the environment, better for you, and it’s not tested on animals like most regular toothpastes are.
Their floss is biodegradable and vegan, and contains charcoal and essential oils to keep your teeth sparkling clean without any harsh chemicals.
6. Let reusable facial rounds take the place of single-use cotton balls
Cotton beats out all other crops in the amount of chemical pesticides required to protect from insects and other pests. These insecticides can leak into the ground and pollute surrounding groundwater.
A well-placed jar of single-use cotton balls may look like a cute bunch of bunny bottoms, but they may contain traces of chemicals that are bad for your skin.
EcoRoots makes organic reusable cotton rounds without harsh chemicals.
They’re more sustainable than single-use cotton balls, biodegradable, come in plastic-free recyclable packaging, and they’re just as soft.
7. Use sustainable, plastic-free toilet paper as a fill in for toilet papers wrapped in plastic
27,000 trees are cut down daily just to make toilet paper.
Each individual American will use the equivalent of 384 trees in toilet paper in their lifetime.
Deforestation has a major impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
Regular toilet papers are also wrapped in plastic, which ends up in the ocean, like many of the other pre-swap products on this list.
Who Gives A Crap makes toilet paper without trees, they offer free shipping on most orders, and they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
Their products come individually wrapped in paper rather than plastic. They offer toilet paper made of 100% recycled materials, and one that’s made of, you guessed it, bamboo. Those pandas are really onto something.
8. Cut out aerosol shaving cream containers and let shaving soap bars smooth your skin
The EPA has warned that emissions from hydrocarbons and various other gases increased by almost 60 percent between 1990 and 2009.
Hydrocarbons are another source of harmful greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
Many shaving cream containers are made with recyclable materials, but because of the use of hydrocarbon propellants, many recycling centers won’t accept them.
Rather than buying plastic or metal shaving bottles, I recommend trying out a shaving soap bar, like Tierra Mia Organics.
Their shaving soap bar contains cocoa butter and coconut oil, lathers well, and gently exfoliates.
It costs about the same as a name-brand can of shaving cream, but a little goes a long way. Its natural ingredients like goat milk and Vitamin A make it great for sensitive skin, too!
9. Remove plastic-tube-contained chemical deodorants from your life and try out a biodegradable, natural deodorant stick
Recent medical studies have revealed that a large number of parabens (one of the main ingredients in regular deodorants) were found in over 70% of women with breast cancer.
The aluminum in deodorants is also a water pollutant, damaging ecosystems, and marine life if it ends up in the ocean.
The tube itself that deodorant comes in is usually recyclable, but not all of its component parts. So, like the aerosol shaving cream cans, deodorant tubes may not be accepted by all recycling centers.
Meow Meow Tweet makes a deodorant stick that not only has a really fun name, but is also free of harmful chemicals, and comes in biodegradable packaging.
My favorite is the lemon eucalyptus & rose geranium, but it also comes in lavender bergamot, grapefruit, and cedar spruce.
They’re made with essential oils, and plant and mineral powders, so you can feel good about meow meow deodorizing!
10. Shift to recyclable, natural lip balms from conventional plastic lip balms
The EPA estimates that about 30% of waste discarded by the public consists of packaging and containers, including the ones used for your favorite lip balm.
Unless your favorite lip balm is Burt’s Bees. They offer a free mail-back recycling program if curbside recycling isn’t available for many of their products.
They also use recyclable materials for 89% of their primary packaging.
The lip balm itself is made with 100% natural ingredients like beeswax, peppermint oil, and vitamin E!
Confession: Burt’s Bees was my favorite far before I started on my eco-friendly journey, and I’ve been recommending them for years, but the recycling program is new information to me, so it just makes me love them even more.
If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, the ocean, your own health, or all three like I was, I’d recommend trying these products out and achieve a zero waste bathroom.
Pick the ones you think would have the biggest impact, or try them all.
Some may cost more up-front, but they’ll save you money in the long run. To me, this is just choosing quality over quantity.
Find what works for you and will also help make the world a little bit better!
Once you find your favorites, share them with your friends and family, too.