So you’ve decided you want to go zero waste or at least try to eliminate your use of plastic as much as possible, that's awesome. Eliminating unnecessary disposables in your own home is often the first step.
The best way to start going zero waste is to tackle one room of your home at a time.
The bathroom is one of the most wasteful rooms in the house so it is the perfect place to start. Go take a look now right now, and you’ll most likely find an overwhelming number of plastic products and disposables that you can easily swap for sustainable alternatives.
So where do you start with creating your zero waste bathroom?
Here Are 7 Easy Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps
Try these simple swaps for a zero waste bathroom. Not only are these some of the most common zero waste essentials, but they are also practical which means you will be more likely to stick with them in the long-term.
1. Ditch Soap Dispensers in Favor of Zero Waste Soap Bars
Unfortunately, almost all disposable soap dispensers are made out of single-use plastic which is extremely wasteful. There really isn’t a way to get around it. But it is easy to replace your liquid soap with a zero waste bathroom swap.
The solution is soap bars. There are so many great natural soaps out there that are vegan, fair trade, and all natural. Soap bars also usually have less ingredients than liquid soap which tends to mean it is better for your skin.
Some of our favorite zero waste soap bars include:
- Tom’s of Maine
Tom’s of Maine has lately become a favorite toiletry brand of ours thanks to their all natural, vegan, and high-quality products. We also like how the company is changing and adapting to make their products better and to reduce their carbon footprint.
One good example is how they changed the packaging for their all natural soap bars from a bulky paper box to a single layer paper wrapping made from 100% recycled paper.
The soaps come in a wide range of scents and can be ordered in big packs of up to 12 bars to avoid unnecessary shipping.
- Dr. Bronner's
The best part about Dr. Bronner is that their soaps are more widely available than many other sustainable soap bars. And by being so available, they make it easier for the everyday person to make a conscious effort to be more environmentally-friendly. Their soap bars come wrapped in 100% biodegradable and 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
Dr. Bronner’s has also recently committed to becoming a zero waste company.
Check out our favorite Dr. Bronner's zero waste soap bar!
You can also check your local Whole Foods for a zero waste soap bar without packing of any kind.
2. Soap Bar Holders - Plastic Free Bathroom Alternatives
Now we know what you’re thinking. Soap bars tend to make an icky gooey mess, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Finding a plastic free soap holder will not only maximize the life of your soap bar, but it will also keep it well-ventilated.
We love this super stylish polished marble soap holder. It comes in a black, white, and light beige color so it can flawlessly match your bathroom.
The soap holder is simple enough to be used in any bathroom yet sleek enough to really stand out. It's been designed to fit any soap bar and has two drain holes underneath to let the soap dry between uses to avoid making a mess.
This polished marble soap holder would make a great gift!
This inexpensive but super sturdy soap case holder is handmade from all natural beech wood. It is coated in a non-toxic finish without any without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) making it perfect for people with allergies and sensitivities.
The unique design ensures your soap bar stays dry and lasts for as long as possible. It also comes in a two pack so you get one for the sink and one for the shower!
3. Zero Waste Shampoo and Zero Waste Conditioner
Did you know that every year 80 billion plastic bottles from shampoo and conditioner alone are discarded in our oceans? As we mentioned in our How To Travel Sustainably article, it is estimated that by 2050 we will have more plastic in our waters than fish.
Let that sink in for a moment and try to imagine what that would be like. It’s a terrifying thought.
That’s why we love these zero waste shampoo bars and the fact that the company is a big proponent of the #giveupthebottle movement.
These zero waste shampoo bars are also great in our book because:
- One shampoo bar is roughly the amount of 3 bottles of liquid shampoo and last 2-5 times as long because they are very concentrated
- All natural and vegan ingredient list
- The shampoo bars are sold in compostable packaging
- Comes in 8 different versions for everything from frizzy hair to dandruff to normal and gentle kid friendly
Wondering what to do about conditioner? Don't worry, we've got you covered! The same company also makes zero waste conditioner! Not only are these zero waste conditioner bars eco-friendly, but they come in two versions one for oily to normal hair and one for dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. They are also filled with good for you ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, and B5!
Lush is also another brand that is widely available worldwide and offers solid shampoo and conditioner bars. Their shampoo and conditioner bars are another great zero waste hair care swap because they are vegan, cruelty-free, sold in 100% biodegradable cellophane that can be composted, and widely available in stores around the world.
No Poo Method
Lastly, a new recent trend is to stop washing your hair completely, but we’re not sure if we could get on board with that. But if you are interested in learning more about the no poo method, this article from Bustle offers a great glimpse of what to expect.
If you do end up trying it, be sure to report back to us with your results, we would love to hear it!
4. Switch to a Compostable Bamboo Toothbrush - A Zero Waste Essential
Consider that each year around 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes end up in our landfills. Switching from a regular plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush makes a huge difference in the amount of waste you contribute. This bathroom swap is also one of the easiest zero waste changes you can make.
We made the switch to a bamboo toothbrush a few years back when we stumbled upon them at a store in Sweden, and we haven’t looked back since.
Today, most grocery stores sell some form of zero waste toothbrush, otherwise, you can find one at your local Wholefoods or on Amazon.
There are a lot of great options out there, but we prefer these compostable bamboo toothbrushes because they:
- Come in a 4 pack
- Sold in 100% plastic free zero waste packaging
- Certified cruelty-free and vegan
- Partner of One Tree Planted
5. Zero Waste Toothpaste
Changing your brush isn’t worth much if you’re still using wasteful toothpaste in plastic containers. In fact, even the best cruelty-free and fluoride free toothpastes are still sold in plastic tubes.
Now, a lot of people recommend making your own zero waste toothpaste, but not all of us have the time or the interest to do that. The other option is to use toothpaste or tooth powder that is sold in recycled aluminum containers or glass jars.
- Uncle Harry’s Toothpaste
We can vouch for Uncle Harry’s fluoride free toothpaste which is sold in peppermint, spearmint, anise, and cinnamon flavors in glass jars. Uncle Harry’s also makes a children’s version of the toothpaste.
The toothpaste has a short and natural ingredient list and lasts a long time.
You can find Uncle Harry’s on Amazon. Check prices and availability here.
- Bite - Zero Waste Toothpaste Tablets
Another really cool zero waste toothpaste option is Bite. Bite is a company that has created a waste free toothpaste tablet that can help revolutionize the way you brush your teeth. More importantly, Bite will help replace the 1 billion plastic tubes we go through each year.
The tablet - or toothpaste bits as they call them - are made from organic and vegan materials, come in several different flavors, and are sold in a glass jar with a recycled metal cap. You can order them one by one from their website or start a toothpaste subscription.
Best of all is that Bite tablets taste and feel like regular toothpaste but without all of the waste.
But if you find it really hard to part with your favorite toothpaste, Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle® offer a free recycling drop-off program for natural care products.
6. Zero Waste Razors
- Safety Razor
When it comes to zero waste razors there is really only one reliable option, and that is a safety razor made of stainless steel.
By using a safety razor, you will eliminate your need for a plastic razor, and you only have to buy new metal blades when needed.
The best part about zero waste razors is that they last a lifetime and will be a constant part of your zero waste bathroom. There is even a second-hand market for zero-waste safety razors from back in the days.
Safety razors are made of stainless steel which means they can be recycled at the end of their life. Safety razors use stainless steel blades that can be recycled as well.
If you're looking for a new razor we can recommend this classic zero waste safety razor, it even comes with a travel case and a set of high-quality blades from Sweden.
- Straight Razor
That being said, there is one more option but it’s only really a zero waste bathroom tip for men. Instead of buying a safety razor you can get a straight razor and really shave like in the good ol’ days.
Obviously, this requires a bit of training but let’s be honest - there is nothing like a good straight razor shave.
Worried about shaving foam? Don’t be. Just use a little bit of coconut oil for a seamless shave.
7. Zero Waste Deodorant
Finding a zero waste deodorant that can keep you dry and odor free is not easy. Most of the alternatives out there either just mask the odor or don't keep you dry at all. However, there is actually a really good and effective zero waste swap, and it doesn't require you to make your own deodorant at home.
When it comes to cruelty-free and zero waste deodorants, no one does it better than this company.
Both versions are:
- Free of parabens, sulfates, aluminum, and palm oil
- Made from organic cold pressed essential oils, dietary magnesium, cocoa butter, shea butter, and arrowroot powder
- Certified organic and fair trade
- Non-sticky, natural deodorant that really works and provides long lasting protection
- Handcrafted in the USA with biodegradable, zero-waste packaging that will compost in a year!
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