Stack of natural soap on washcloths
Reducing Waste,  Sustainable Swaps

Waste and Plastic Free Bathroom

I have sung the praises of shampoo and conditioner bars before but I have not written about a plastic free bathroom more generally. Plastic free July seems an appropriate time to rectify that!

My shower shelf is pretty bare these days. All that sits on it now are two containers, my razor and my pumice stone. And we have a bar of soap in the soap dish.

The two containers are both from Ethique, the New Zealand makers of a range of cosmetic bars. They are compostable, made with bamboo & corn-starch. One container holds my shampoo and conditioner bars, the other my face wash and scrub bars.

Solid Bars

By replacing our shampoo, conditioner, face washes and body wash with bar alternatives, we have eliminated the plastic waste from our daily shower.

We no longer use a liquid soap dispenser by the sink either. We have an old fashioned bar of soap in a pretty soap dish.

Toilet Paper

Another early change we made was to use Who Gives a Crap toilet paper which is plastic free and 100% recycled content. Plus they donate to a variety of water, sanitation and hygiene projects. They recently donated A$5.85 million to their partner causes!

Deodorant

On the deodorant front, I have moved over to either making natural deodorant or buying natural deodorants packaged in glass or cardboard. I particularly love the Two Winged Fruit Lemon Myrtle & Kunzea Deodorant.

Photo by Family Footprint Project

I’m still perfecting my recipe for deodorant and will share it when I have but as a starting point, I have been using this one by Thank You Body. I really wondered how well homemade deodorant would work and I am actually amazed at its effectiveness. It is the consistency I’m not that keen on. It doesn’t glide very well. If it is warm, it is ok. This isn’t easy through a Canberra Winter!

Skin Care

For makeup cleansing, I have made reusable makeup wipes and makeup remover lotion.

We also use handkerchiefs instead of tissues, washcloths instead of disposable wipes and cotton buds with a cardboard stick.

I haven’t made my own facial moisturiser yet but I have found one I like in a glass jar. I will give making my own a go when I have some time. Meanwhile, I am satisfied that at least I have eliminated the plastic.

Dental Hygiene

We use bamboo toothbrushes, although I was very disappointed to discover each one in my latest order (from a different company) is individually wrapped in plastic! They come in individual cardboard boxes which I would think was enough packaging for hygiene. I have given my feedback to the company.

Photo by Family Footprint Project

The last hurdle toward a plastic free bathroom for us is toothpaste. We still use a plastic tube of toothpaste from a big company. I have not yet tried an alternative. I know ‘commercial’ toothpaste is full of terrible chemicals, let alone the plastic packaging. The thing is I have quite a hang-up about dental health. I was confident to use different hair care products because hair is replaced. Our teeth are not and I haven’t wanted to take the risk of an untested product. I would love to know if you have had experience with natural tooth cleaning products, particularly if you have been using them for a long time.

When it comes down to it, if this is the only plastic product we still use in the bathroom, then I’m happy with the imperfect action we have taken.

Share your successes with reducing waste and working towards a plastic free bathroom. Comment below.

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