When looking at the bigger picture of transitioning to zero waste it can feel a bit overwhelming. The key is to start slow. These 4 simple zero waste bathroom swaps are the items I have changed in our bathroom. Not only was it simple but it was a lot easier than we thought.
When I started trying to be more conscious about the items we use in our home more specifically the bathroom, it got me thinking how can I swap out the items I use?
Sometimes it’s hard to see what changes we can make especially when we are so used to things like cotton balls and plastic toothbrushes. We’re comfortable with how we live life and things we use on a daily basis. Change can be scary, even if it’s just a toothbrush.
But then that also got me thinking, well how did they do it before, when plastic wasn’t even invented yet?
The Importance of Zero Waste
That helped to change my perspective on changing things around my house and motivated me to look for other solutions. If they could do it back then, we can definitely do it now.
Trying to live a more sustainable life with less waste is important to me because I would love to one day have kids and for them to live full lives on a planet that is safe.
I can’t imagine my family or loved ones living in an environment where we can’t even breath the air.
At the same time it can be hard to accept that this could happen, especially if it’s not right in front of us. But the Earth just like our bodies, it give us signs. It speaks to us and we only have to take the time to listen.
Now of course that’s not to say that my home is completely zero waste. I definitely think it is a slow process and this is why I have started with simple items first.
So I’d love to share with you these 4 simple bathroom swaps to help generate less waste and honestly save money too. I no longer have to worry about buying facial cotton pads or makeup wipes whoo hoo!
On to the list…
The first thing I swapped out was our toothbrushes. Yes Eric didn’t have a choice I bought him one anyway haha. But he agreed to use it for a little bit of time to see how he liked it.
Now we both use bamboo toothbrushes. The ones we use I get from Whole Foods for about $5, but they also have plenty of options online. Even on Amazon they have packages of bamboo toothbrushes for the whole family.
The bamboo is compostable and won’t stick around for thousands of years like plastic will. I have found that the bamboo toothbrush is just as effective as the plastic one I used to use.
I’m keeping my teeth, gums, and the planet clean – win win!
2. Reusable Facial Cotton Pads
These are one of the things I was most excited to swap out. Cotton balls and cotton pads can really add up, not only in the trash but in your wallet too.
I used to switch between cotton balls and cotton pads to put on my toner at night. But when I found these reusable facial cotton pads on Etsy, I was like hey that’s a better idea.
The little shop that I purchased them from allows you to choose your colors and for 10 cotton rounds it’s about $8.
Up front it can seem a bit pricey but it pays for itself in the long run. This was the last time I paid for facial cotton pads.
I also wanted to mention that if I do ever get makeup on the cotton pads, because you know it happens sometimes especially if I’m taking off my makeup and toning while I’m half asleep, I spritz it with a little Hydrogen peroxide.
I know it sounds a little scary but Hydrogen Peroxide is an excellent alternative to bleach, it’s safer and better for the environment too. When you use it on clothes or material it acts a bleaching agent and disinfectant.
I spritz the little cotton rounds with hydrogen peroxide, if they need it just before tossing them into the washer.
So that’s how I keep my reusable cotton pads clean and white, and I hope to use them for many years to come.
3. Makeup Remover Cloths
Makeup remover cloths, oh one of the best recommendations I have ever received.
My NAET practitioner is the one who recommended these wipes to me.
In case you missed it, I talk a little bit about NAET in my Vegan to Vegetarian post, which you can read here.
My skin is extremely sensitive and I was having a lot of reactions to the things I was putting on my face. So, just like our theme today the goal was to simplify my facial routine.
I found these reusable makeup wipes at Bed Bath & Beyond. They come in a pack of 4 four $10. First, I purchased one pack to see if I liked them and how they felt on my face.
I loved them! So I bought another pack to have enough throughout the week.
The cloths have a soft side, I use this for light makeup days.
And a little bit of a thicker side, it’s still soft but great for getting off heavy makeup like mascara and eyeshadow.
This is such a great swap for a plastic package of one-use makeup wipes. And again it helps save some money.
Also in case you didn’t know, when you sign up for Bed Bath & Beyond emails they send a 20% off coupon every month. So that’s another great way to save a little bit if you decide to try these out, which I highly recommend.
4. Shampoo & Conditioner
Alright so now to our last swap of the day, shampoo and conditioner. I know this could technically be 2 items but in my mind I always pair these together, so I just count it as “one” item.
Anyway this is the most recent swap I’ve made in the bathroom.
I kept seeing these bottles all over Pinterest, so I decided to check it our for myself. Turns out, I love this company and what they represent. The company is called Plaine Products and the way it works is shampoo, conditioner and body wash come in aluminum bottles like the one you see in the photo.
When you order they send you the bottles and pumps. Once they’re all used them up, when you put in a new order they ask if you need to send bottles back. If you select “yes” they send you a shipping label. You send back the bottles and the cycle continues. You can read all about it here if you’d like.
The concept is so awesome and simple.
At first I was a little nervous because not all shampoos are good for curly hair so what I did was I ordered the travel sizes to test them out first.
Since Eric and I both loved the shampoo and conditioner, we ordered the bigger bottles and have been doing so since last year.
I’m so happy I found this alternative of zero waste shampoo and conditioner because like I mentioned before, change is hard and I couldn’t wrap my head around “a bar” of shampoo. It’s a little weird for me, so this option works perfectly.
Zero Waste With A Partner
Now with change being a little difficult, it can sometimes be even more so when you have a partner.
Eric isn’t always all that enthused when I tell him I’m going to make some swaps, not because he doesn’t like it, but because he’s comfortable with the items he’s using, like most of us.
What I have done is learn to compromise and I do my best to include him in the process well, aside from the toothbrushes but hey they worked out for the best haha.
I’ll let him know I’d like to swap this or that and if he’s ok with me trying it out. Just like with the shampoo, I told him my plans to order the travel size first so we could both test them out.
He agreed to try it out and here we are.
The one thing we’ve yet to agree on is toothpaste. I have tried various eco-friendly brands but for some reason or other we end up going back to the tubed toothpaste.
I was making my own for a little while, but then I found out I’m allergic to coconut oil.
Benefits Of Zero Waste
So you see, these changes take trial and error, time and patience.
I think making a conscious effort is already taking a step in the right direction.
A goal of zero waste isn’t just about the trash, but also about finding things that are healthier for us and our planet.
If you’d like to read a little more on the benefits of zero waster for our planet, communities, and economy you go here.
Let me know if you decide to make any of these swaps or if you already have!
What do you use to shampoo your hair or brush your teeth? How about to remove your makeup?