The average woman uses 16 different beauty products on her skin every day. Now add the products for your partner, your kids, and anything else you may have accumulated and you have the smallest room in your house storing the majority of your single-use waste. (Your kitchen is probably the other culprit).
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Fortunately, starting in the bathroom is simple and here are 5 zero waste bathroom products that are easy to change to get you started.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Easy to swap and readily available, bamboo toothbrushes should just be the norm already. If everyone followed their dentists’ advice and replaced their toothbrush every three months, then there’s a potential 264 million toothbrushes going to landfill in the U.K. alone. Each. Year.
A bamboo toothbrush isn’t totally zero waste as the bristles are plastic and need to be removed, but bamboo handle itself is a grass and compostable, making this toothbrush eco-friendly overall and worth the swap.
2. Toilet Roll
I have been testing these out for a few months now and am finding that nothing will compare with what we are used to from name brands, however toilet paper is not sustainable.
Aside from the plastic packaging, 27,000 trees a day are literally wiped out every day worldwide. In an era where we finally realise the severity of the climate crisis we need to save as many trees as possible. So, here are some sustainable toilet roll options.
• Who Gives a Crap?
Who Gives a Crap? seems to be by far the most popular- and the one I have yet to try.
48 rolls arrive in a box wrapped individually in fun paper that can easily be repurposed into wrapping paper and the rolls themselves are made from 100% recycled materials. (They also offer bamboo paper rolls)
Each roll is 400 sheets and three-ply. From what I have read these are soft and a great alternative to what’s in the shops.
50% of the proceeds go to building toilets around the world for those that don’t have them, so your purchase also helps others.
The reason I haven’t tried them yet is the carbon footprint created traveling from China. I have been looking for toilet roll closer to home in the meantime. Otherwise this is next on my list.
• Cheeky Panda
I had been fortunate to come across a 9-pack of these at Aldi and figured they were worth a go.
I’m not a fan of the plastic wrap, but they can be recycled with carrier bags at larger stores.
These also are manufactured in China so they will have a larger carbon footprint traveling here.
I have seen plastic-free packaging on Amazon but it is a bit more expensive to buy it that way, so I will let you decide what you want to spend.
The rolls themselves are 200 sheets of three-ply bamboo.
Lee was not a fan at all and I did notice a pretty drastic difference going from Andrex, but I am saving trees. I just need to find something Lee approves of.
Overall this will not be my go-to, however if you don’t have the means to pay for a large delivery of toilet roll, this is a good alternative to regular toilet roll and convenient if you can find it in a shop.
• Uranus Wiper
Uranus Wiper is what I am currently using. It’s 4-ply and quilted and feels more like toilet paper than the bamboo rolls. At 150 sheets in the roll, we do use the rolls faster than any other roll I’ve tried.
On the plus side…the rolls are made from 75% recycled materials and 25% pre-consumer waste paper and these are manufactured in the E.U. which gives me the lower carbon footprint I was looking for.
The rolls arrive in a box in paper bags that are reusable and compostable.
Uranus Wiper also donates a penny a pack to the Anal Cancer Foundation. It would be nice if they donated a penny per roll, but something is better than nothing.
Bumboo is another 100% bamboo toilet roll and will thus be shipped from China. It is plastic free packaging and like Who Gives a Crap? the rolls are wrapped in cute reusable, recyclable paper.
The roll contains 300 sheets of triple-ply paper and this is another feel-good company that plants a tree for every box purchased.
I have not tried these yet either, but these seem promising. I just don’t know if Lee would go for bamboo toilet roll again.
One thing I should note is that bamboo is a grass and doesn’t breakdown the same way paper tissue does, and I have seen that some people with septic tanks have had bamboo toilet roll clog their systems.
Lee and I did not have a problem with our toilets, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
3. Bar Soaps
Bar soaps have come a long way over the years and by making the switch to plastic-free soaps you can potentially eliminate 4 or more plastic bottles in your home.
• Replace your bodywash with a bar.
My favourite at the minute is the Sleepy soap at Lush which Olivia calls “cloud soap.” It doesn’t last as long as other soaps I have tried but it smells lovely which Lee appreciates.
I don’t use Lush all the time because they tend to add a few synthetic chemicals to their products (which I try to avoid) and they are on the pricer side, but they are a lovely treat once in a while with the added bonus of no plastic packaging.
Other places you can look for handmade soaps are local maker’s markets, local sellers online, and I’ve even found lovely bars at a National Trust Shop.
Lather up the soaps in a washing flannel and they will easily last 3 or 4 times longer than a bottle of shower cream.
• Shampoo and Conditioner
My go-to here, (despite my reservations with Lush’s soap) is Lush’s honey shampoo bar. It lathers nice and rinses out easily as well which says a lot when talking shampoo bars.
I have been reducing how often I wash my hair (twice a week) and am finding that my hair doesn’t need the conditioner, so I only use a conditioning bar when I want to wear my hair curly.
Along with washing less, I have been working towards a more “no poo” method for my hair and alternate the honey bar with a homemade avocado shampoo.
If you have toddlers or young kids and are looking for products specifically for them check out my Zero Waste Bath Time article for additional ideas and tips.
• Hand soap
Grabbing a bar of soap instead of plastic-pump bottles is another easy swap. The only investment is the soap tray you would like to use, but I was able to pick up a cute bathroom set at a charity shop for £2.50.
For my hand soaps, I grabbed a couple of bars of Faith in Nature from Holland & Barrett, but any bar not in plastic will work and I have seen reasonably priced soaps at Tesco which is convenient.
4. Face Flannels
Using a 100% cotton washing flannel can replace a couple items.
Washing your face. I have stopped buying makeup remover and a specific face wash for that matter, and instead use oil.
I am using the last of my Jojoba oil at the minute but have also used olive oil and get the same results. Rub the oil on my face, run my flannel in warm water and wipe everything off.
My skin is clean and no more exposure to unsavoury chemicals or wasting money on products with water (aqua) as the main (first) ingredient.
I use the flannels instead of a loofah or the exfoliating washing gloves I used to get when washing in the shower. I find the flannels spread the soap easier than using the bar and my hands alone.
If I find I need to exfoliate I use a dry brush before I get in the shower.
When your flannels are at the end of their first life, send them to the rag drawer and use them for cleaning flannels, when they reach the end of their reused life, if you opted for 100% cotton they can be composted!
Deodorants come in plastic cartridges or the cans of spray which I have always had a problem with because of the inhaling-your-spray-as-you-apply part.
Just doesn’t seem like a good thing for your lungs in the long run.
Luckily, finding a plastic-free deodorant option isn’t a hard task either.
I have found a lovely deodorant that comes in a glass jar and works well, too! Holland & Barrett also carry a Native Unearthed deodorant in stores. It works great and the coconut vanilla scent is yummy and subtle.
Once you get used to putting it on with your hands, you’ll find it’s another easy switch.
I also make my own deodorant. I have a bit more control over what goes into it and can make the consistency more like a stick deodorant so I can apply it by reusing an old deodorant cartridge I saved.
I hope you found these zero waste bathroom product swaps easy and that the changes mark the start of a new normal for you and your family.
Once you start making a few changes, look at products that you are running low on and see if you can find some eco-friendly alternatives, or eco-friendly companies to shop from.
Finding zero waste bathroom products isn’t too hard once you know where to look.
If you want some more easy zero waste products to swap in your home check out my 5 Easy Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps to keep you going.
Comment below and let me know what your favourite zero waste products are.