I will give you a tour of my zero waste bathroom and show you how to make some small changes for a big impact.
As I started being more conscious about the plastic waste that ends up in our landfills, I decided to reduce my plastic usage.
I have started with my bathroom products as I realised I do use a lot of them. I thought I would share my journey with you and maybe help you make better choices.
To be completely honest with you, I still own products that have plastic packaging or are made of plastic. I want to keep it real.
Also, this is my personal choice so please don’t feel pressured to buy the same. I’m still testing and changing some products. But I wanted to share them with you just to show you the range of possibilities.
In my zero waste bathroom you can find;
• Plastic-free Hand soap bar
•Plastic-free Bamboo Toothbrush
• Plastic-free toothpaste
• Plastic-free Dental floss
• Plastic tongue scraper
• Plastic-free Deodorant
• Sustainable Razor
• Plastic-free Shampoo bar
• Body wash bar/shaving soap
• Home-made makeup remover
• Face and body moisturiser
• Reusable Bamboo and cotton make-up pads
• Sustainable Cotton and bamboo buds
• Plastic-free Sunscreen
• Sustainable Menstrual cup
• Sustainable Recycled toilet paper
Plastic-Free Hand soap
Hand soap was my first zero waste swap. It’s pretty basic but very important as you will reduce a ginormous amount of plastic throughout the year by swapping from a bottled one to a bar.
You can find hand soap bars in any store nowadays, although most of them will be wrapped in plastic. I linked the brand I use for over two years now and the key ingredients are coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, essential oils, and water. Simple but nurturing.
You can purchase it here: Hand soap bar
Plastic-free Bamboo toothbrush
I have been using the same brand of bamboo toothbrushes since I started with my zero waste journey. The difference in brands is insignificant. It depends mostly on your preference and if you prefer soft, medium, or hard bristles.
When it’s time to change it, reuse it for some other purposes. For example, I use my old one for cleaning and when it’s worn out I will toss it in my compost bin.
Note: Some bamboo toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable (bristles and a handle-like the one I use) while some are made of a biodegradable handle and plastic bristles. In that case, take out the bristles with pliers, dispose it into your plastic recycling, and the handle into your compost bin.
You can purchase it here: Toothbrush
Natural plastic-free toothpaste
Usually, most people said how toothpaste is one of the toughest thing to swap due to a very specific taste and texture. And I must agree.
There are tons of DIY videos and recipes for making your own toothpaste but I still haven’t tried any. I had problems with my teeth since childhood so I’m pretty skeptical when it gets to choosing dental products. I tried a few different brands and decided to stick to this one (linked below). The taste is great but it does take some time to get used to the texture.
Note: This type of toothpaste doesn’t foam but you can actually feel how squeaky clean your teeth are. When you finish your toothpaste you can always reuse the container for storing something else. Another option is buying toothpaste tablets which you chew until you make a paste of it and then just brush your teeth as you would usually do. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds good.
Twice a week I also use this natural toothpowder with activated charcoal which helps with stains and plaque removal. The same brand as the toothpaste. I need to be completely honest with you and say it’s a bit messy. But the results are great so it’s worth it 🙂
Plastic-free Dental floss
Traditional dental floss I’ve been using for years is made from waxed nylon, which is derived from crude oil (a non-renewable resource). To decompose the nylon it takes up to 200 years. This information is just mindblowing to me so I decided to switch to a plastic-free option.
I alternate between a standard and a charcoal dental floss made of sustainable bamboo charcoal fibre, candelilla wax and peppermint essential oil. I love it because it’s very firm, peppermint oil makes it taste very nice and you can get a refill (2×30 metres) every time you run out of it.
You can purchase it here: Dental floss
Plastic Tongue scraper
As mentioned at the beginning of my post, I still have products that are made (or contain) plastic. This is still a journey and I do want to show you how some products are still good to use. The point is to reduce waste and plastic so just hold onto them and use them fully before tossing it out.
I’ve had this particular tongue scraper for about 3 years now and I definitely plan on using it for at least another year or so. It’s in a good state and there is no reason for getting rid of it. I clean it once in a while with bicarbonate soda, lemon juice, and water (I just soak it in the mixture and then brush it with an old toothbrush).
Note: A tongue scraper is really important for your oral hygiene; it gets rid of bacteria that live on your tongue and in your mouth.
You can purchase a plastic-free tongue scraper here: Tongue Scraper
I am seriously obsessed with this deodorant. I have been using it for some time now (as you can see my little collection below) and I absolutely love it. Before this one, I used mineral salt deo which is odourless and I quite liked it but it had plastic packaging. This one is recyclable.
All of these smell incredible. My favourite is definitely Jasmine and Rose but I always switch them around. What I like the most, besides being completely plastic free, are the natural ingredients. Coconut oil, shea butter, sodium bicarbonate are the key ingredients of every Earth Concious deodorant.
Most importantly, these deodorants are antibacterial, don’t contain any aluminum or parabens. They also don’t clog your sweat glands.
Note: In case you’re switching from commercial deodorants to this one, give yourself a week to get used to it. You can experience some bad odour but not necessarily. The reason for this is that the glands in your armpits get clogged by using deodorants that contain parabens, aluminum etc. Which means your skin cannot flush out toxins through sweating BECAUSE antiperspirants don’t allow you to sweat.
My advice is to give yourself some time when you start using natural deodorants and don’t give up. It’s best to do it during winter when sweating is reduced or maybe whilst you’re on holiday. Another piece of advice to speed up a process; make a detox mask of Bentonite clay and water to draw out the chemicals from the skin so your armpits can breathe again.
You can purschase it here: Earth Concious Deodorant
I still use the same razor I’ve been using for years now. And the reason is that I bought a ginormous stock of refill blades so now I will keep this one until I run out. Afterward, I will be investing in a double edge safety razor. You can switch to a double edge safety razor instead of buying and ditching your plastic one every time you’re done using it. You have to change the blade every week or so and be careful when you first get it, in case you haven’t tried it yet.
Note: The blades are recyclable in the UK. Check your local authority on how and where to recycle.
You can purchase one here: Double Edge Safety Razor
Plastic-free Shampoo bar
I have to be honest with you, I tried a couple of shampoo bars and I wasn’t impressed. Well, to be REALLY really honest I was so desperate that I decided to get back to my old bottled shampoo. I was aware that was not an option so I gave it another go. I didn’t want to give up as more than 552 million shampoo bottles could be ending up in landfills every year. In the end, I did found one that suits my hair. Finally!
I heard about the new range in Holland and Barett (Ethique) and that was the one. My hair smells beautiful, perfectly silky and that’s without using the conditioner. I never use conditioner as my hair is naturally thin and silky. But this shampoo bar is truly amazing.
This one personally works well with my hair so I would recommend trying a couple of different brands and just deciding which suits you best. I will link the Ethique and the previous one I tried.
Body wash bar/shaving soap + a plastic bottle that I refill
In case you are trying to save some pennies, you can use a hand soap bar for washing your body. If not, there are plenty of brands now that make beautiful body soaps which moisturise your skin and make it smell amazing. I am currently trying out the detox bar from brand Friendly (the same as my hand soap)
Ladies – For shaving, I use the same soap I clean my body with and it works pretty well for me. You can, of course, find some good shaving soap bars but not a necessity. The regular soap might dry out your skin a bit more so make sure you moisturise afterwards.
The plastic bottle on the photo below I usually use for my family and friends that come to visit. As sharing a soap bar doesn’t sound that appealing 🙂
I refill the bottle with a shower gel at my local zero waste shop.
Home-made makeup remover
I was using coconut oil for removing my makeup until I discovered a couple of recipes for making my own mixture. I use sweet almond oil (100-150ml) and add 10-15 drops of tea tree essential oil. This is just a suggestion but options are endless.
Add a base oil of your choice (jojoba, almond oil, grapeseed oil) and also any essential oil you prefer. Bear in mind if you’re switching from a commercial makeup remover to oils, be prepared for your skin to go bananas. Mine went from oily, to super dry to breakouts to normal.
I’m not a dermatologist so in case you have any skin condition please advise with one. I’m just sharing with you my experience.
After removing my makeup, I would use a cleanser to wash off the oil. And apply my usual moisturiser.
Reusable Bamboo/cotton make-up pads
I’m super happy with this purchase. It’s definitely one of my favourite investments when it comes to my zero waste swaps. I don’t have to spend money on cotton pads anymore, probably ever. Plus I won’t be making any waste.
These are super soft and gentle to your skin, washable in a washing machine and as a bonus you get a wash bag with your purchase.
You can purchase them here: Make-up pads
Face and body moisturiser
I’m still experimenting with plastic-free face moisturisers so unfortuantely I cannot share with you any recommendations just yet.
I’m using coconut oil or sweet almond oil mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil as my body moistuirser.
Sustainable Cotton and bamboo ear buds
I love these.
Simple but powerful. I say powerful because I always remember that distrubing image of a seahorse carrying a used ear bud disposed into the ocean. And I wish it was only that one. Millions and millions of plastic earbud end up in landfilds and oceans.
This is a really simple swap that anyone can integrate. You can now find bamboo and cotton version in shops like Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s etc.
In case you want to purchase it online, I’m using this brand: Cotton buds
This one is yet to be tried. Still waiting for that glorious British summer. 🙂
It’s quiet pricey for the amount you get but I will definitely invest if it’s worth it.
You can purchase it here: Sunscreen
Sustainable Menstrual cup
After months and months of battling with menstrual cups, I have finally found “The One”. It’s interesting because I cannot recommend THIS particular brand in THIS size. Every vagina is different and there’s no one size fits all. I am suggesting to do some research on which one would suit you best and just give it a go. There are different shapes, different sizes, and different softness, or shall I say, flexibility. But I can tell you one thing, do not give up.
This is the best time to try it out and practice when you are at home, comfy, and safe. It could be messy at the beginning until you don’t get used to it but as I mentioned previously, it is definitely worth it.
It has a 12-hour capacity which equals 3-4 tampons. Yes, that means you don’t have to worry about it the whole day. (Of course, it depends on your flow but still, it’s awesome). You can also wear it at night, you’ll be safe and sound. Aaaand, It can last up to 10 years. Whaaat? So, just imagine how much waste you can reduce and the money you can save from one menstrual cup in 10 years’ time. It’s completely safe and easy to clean.
How to use: I want be getting to deep into explaining how to insert the cup but I will tell you it is going to be interesting. Furthermore, depending on your flow you should empty the cup every 6-12 hours, rinse it and insert back. To sanitize it before your next period, you can place it in a pot of boiling water and boil it as instructed by the manufacturer. (Quiet similar to cooking a bowl of pasta :P).
So, how is your experience with the menstrual cup and what do you think about it?
There are also cotton sanitary pads, biodegradable and recyclable tampons and period pants that you can get, so no pressure with a menstrual cup if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
Sustainable toilet paper
Isn’t this the most cheerful toilet paper you’ve ever seen? 🙂 It makes me, and anyone who enters my bathroom smile. I order it online and a pack of 48 rolls last me for half a year. You can also subscribe and not worry about ordering it every time you run out.
Fun fact – Who Gives a Crap brand donates 50% (yes, FIFTY) of their profits to help build toilets for those in need. The company donated over 1 million pounds to charity and saved a lot of trees, energy and water. It’s impressive, isn’t it?
You can get purchase it here: Who gives a crap
If you have read this long post all the way through, first of all, thank you.
Secondly, my biggest advice when it comes to switching to sustainable products is it’s VERY important to use up everything you have and is still good to use.
Third advice, If you prefer using shower gels more than a soap bar, Don’t feel pressure to use the bar. The same with creams, laundry detergents, food. Try searching for zero waste shops in your area and refill what you can. If you’re vegan, be aware of ingredients because zero waste doesn’t mean vegan. They still sell products with honey and beeswax.
And lastly, give yourself some time to get used to all of the new products. Be mindful and be patient. You are probably very excited (at least I was) and you want to get rid of all the plastic you have in your household. But that’s not the point of living sustainably.
Use and reuse everything you have for as long as possible. Recycle it properly. And then start with another product.
And again, be mindful. I know sometimes it could be hard, especially for women. We like to try a lot of different products and then end up buying another one because “we really need to try that one now.” If you want to test and experiment with a couple of products but end up not liking it, try giving it away to your friends.
Regarding my products, I’m getting them mostly from andkeep.com website because it’s easier for me to just order it online and I really like the range they offer.
I still buy certain products from my local zero waste shop. There are plenty of shops that you can purchase Eco-friendly and sustainable products from so do your research and start slowly.
I hope I helped you learn something new with this zero waste bathroom tour and that you can take some useful information.
Use the code “VALENTINA BALGAVI” for purchasing products on andkeep.com website to get 15% off. Just type in the code at the checkout.
Disclaimer: I will not get paid if you use the code, I will just save money on my next order by getting a certain percentage off, the same as you.