12 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Bathroom
Over the last few years, I have cut down my plastic use and waste quite a bit. The swaps I found hardest to make were in my bathroom, and although I've been able to swap several items, I am still learning and finding new swaps every day.
Below are a few alternatives for daily bathroom essentials that will help you cut down on bathroom waste!
REUSABLE COTTON SWABS | LAST SWAB
I am fully aware that cotton buds are not the best for your ears, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who continues to use them anyways. If you'd like to continue to use cotton buds, this is a great reusable alternative!
Last Swab offers two types of swabs made from either plant-based materials or recycled, ocean-bound plastics collected by Indonesian fishermen.
An insane amount of resources, raw materials and CO2 go into creating cotton swabs. They are produced, packaged, shipped, distributed and then disposed of within minutes, if not seconds. Last Swab has been tested and reused up to 1000 times and can be used in any way you would use a standard cotton swab, capable of replacing millions of cotton swabs each year.
REUSABLE COTTON ROUNDS | FREON COLLECTIVE
Another single-use item that takes a toll on our planet is cotton rounds. These take a tremendous amount of resources to produce and are again disposed of within seconds. If disposed of incorrectly, they can also clog our sewage system and take years to decompose fully.
Alternatively, organic cotton rounds are machine washable and can be used time and time again. The Freon Collective carries a beautiful selection of cotton rounds that feel and look good on your vanity!
SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER AND BODY BAR | UNWRAPPED LIFE
This is one I really struggled with until Christen introduced the team to the Unwrapped Life. If you look at your current shampoo, you will see that the first, if not the second, ingredient is water. The Unwrapped Life skips the fillers and packs a concentrated formula into a perfect, package-free bar. They offer formulas for every hair type and hair goal. They also offer conditioners and body wash bars. The Unwrapped Life will help save your hair, body and planet!
SWAP PLASTIC FOR GLASS | THE BARE HOME
I love using a shampoo bar, but I prefer liquid hand soap, and that's fine. The goal is to set sustainable habits that you will stick to. The Bare Home carries incredibly fragranced liquid hand soap, beautifully packaged in a reusable glass bottle. Their hand soap is phosphate, dye and cruelty-free.
My personal favourite scent is the Blood Orange and Bergamont.
SPONGE CLOTH | TEN AND CO.
As you may all know by now, the sponge cloth is incredibly versatile! I always have two on hand in my bathroom. I keep one sponge cloth sink side for any toothpaste or water splatter and a second (and much older) sponge cloth in my bathroom cleaning caddie. Since my significant other's barber has been closed for a month, he has set up shop in our bathroom, resulting in tiny little hairs all over. Luckily, our sponge cloths' diamondback pattern can pick up the tiniest hairs and cut wipe-down time in half.
SAFETY RAZORS | LEAF SHAVE
I'll admit, this one was a little scary for me. I nicked my legs a few times and wasn't totally sold on safety razors in general until I found Leaf Shave. Their razors are super comfortable to hold, and I haven't had any mishaps. They also look beautiful displayed on the vanity while keeping plastic razors out of our landfills.
BAMBOO BRUSH AND COMB | TEK
Although brushes aren't a single-use item, they eventually need to be replaced. A great brush can last you a very long time, so investing in one that is both easy on your hair and the planet is important. Tek brushes are hand-made in Italy using ash wood and are 100% plastic-free.
CELLULOSE ACETATE COMB | KOV
Some people prefer the slip plastic combs offer, and we're not here to judge. In that case, I would recommend trying a cellulose acetate comb. Cellulose acetate is a natural plastic derived from wood pulp. This comb by Kov has the same smooth slip as plastic and is a great step in the right direction.
BAMBOO AND REUSABLE TOOTHBRUSHES
According to National Geographic, an individual will go through 300 plastic toothbrushes in a lifetime, and the U.S alone has disposed of enough toothbrushes to wrap around the earth 3 times! Those are terrifying statistics. If that number scares you as much as it scares me, here are some great alternatives to the classic toothbrush.
Bamboo | The Wowe bamboo toothbrush is the most affordable and gets the job done. After removing the bristles, the handle can be composted or used as a marker in your garden. This option is both easily accessible and affordable.
Aluminum | The Grin toothbrush comes with a reusable aluminum handle using 85% less plastic. Once you're due for a new toothbrush head, pop it off and send it back to Grin. They will recycle your used toothbrush heads in a commercial recycling plant at no cost.
TOOTHPASTE BITES AND ALUMINUM TOOTHPASTE TUBES
A few weeks ago, we posted a series of stories breaking down how long certain items take to decompose. One of the items was a toothpaste tube, and in case you missed our IG stories that day, it takes over 1000 years to break down. Bite toothpaste bites are delivered in plastic-free, 100% recyclable packaging. They are stored in a glass jar and sealed with an aluminum lid. Rather than buying a new jar each time, refills are delivered in 100% compostable pouches as well.
If you're not ready to switch to toothpaste bites, I would suggest looking for toothpaste that comes in an aluminum tube.
PERIOD UNDERWEAR, REUSABLE PADS, CUPS AND PACKAGE FREE TAMPONS
Beyond sustainability, it is ridiculous how much women will spend on period products in their lifetime. There are several things I would rather be spending that money on, and cute period underwear is one of them.
Period Panties | Knix has come such a long way and now offers lacey-period panties, which is WILD in my opinion, but I trust them wholeheartedly. These are pricy upfront but over time are the fraction of what we spend on tampons and pads.
Reusable Pads | This is similar to the period panty but may not last you as long throughout the day. They are just like a traditional pad but can be washed and reused. They also come in the cutest patterns.
Menstrual Cups | I can't speak on menstrual cups, but I have several friends who use them and swear by them.
Applicator Free Tampons | If you prefer a traditional pad or tampon, I suggest looking for an applicator or package-free. There are also options for organic cotton pads, which are much more eco-friendly than most traditional pads and tampons options currently on the market.