18 Feb Simple hacks to reduce the plastic waste in your bathroom
Now that we already learned how to deal with microbeads and microfibres, it is time to talk about ways to reduce the plastic inside our homes. And what better place to start than the bathroom.
Shampoo and hair conditioner: Solid shampoos and hair conditioners may be more expensive up front, but they last longer (nearly 3 months, compared to the regular shampoo bottle that lasts weeks to a month). Therefore it will save your money in the end. Shampoo bars do not take up as much space as shampoo bottles, they are more convenient to carry during trips, and also healthier for your hair. Make sure they do not come wrapped in plastics. If you have problems with greasy hair (that is natural, do not freak out), you can go further and use coconut soap instead of shampoo to wash your hair. Attention: not the coconut soap we usually use to wash clothes, the coconut soap made specially to wash our skin and hair.
Deodorants: Since you are already using solid shampoos and hair conditioners, why don’t you also try some deodorant bars and creams?
Sponges: Loofah sponges are a vegetable biodegradable 100% natural alternative for scrubbing. They can be used both in the bathroom (for your skin) and in the kitchen (for cleaning). For those who live in houses with gardens, you can grow a luffa plant in your own backyard.
Tampons: For women tampons may be the major source of plastic waste from the bathroom. But it does not have to be like that anymore. Reusable mooncups, fabric pads, period underwears, or even compostable tampons. Choose whatever works best for you.
Waxing and razors: Buy a safety razor with a pack of bladers (each blade lasts a couple a weeks), and the body of the razor will last longer. For those who rather wax than shave, there are a lot of DIY recipes to make your own sugar-based wax, or you can try the plastic-free waxing from MOOM Pure & Natural Beauty Products.
Makeup removal: Instead of using single-use makeup remover pads which are sometimes made by using plastic fibres, or wrapped in plastics, try the variety of plastic-free alternatives on the market such as reusable cotton pads, muslin cloth that you can wash and they are good to go again, or compostable konjac sponges made from vegetable root.
Cleaning products: Cleaning the bathroom is never the most fun task. But it can be less painful by using natural cleaning products such as vinegar and baking soda. Usually the vinegar evaporates and does not leave its smell, but if you are concerned about that, you can always mixture vinegar with fruit peels in a glass bottle for some weeks before using it. There are also plastic free toilet brushes available on the market, such as from Boolalou and the Plastic Free Life.
Dental cleaning: Smile is the best makeup anybody can wear. So let’s take care of these teeth. Truthpaste and Georganics provide natural and organic toothpaste packages in glass jars. If you are down for a disruptive experience, try using toothpaste tablets. You can always make your own tooth powder with all the recipes there is now on the internet, but please consult your dentist beforehand. For toothbrushes we recommend wooden and bamboo brushes. Keep in mind that most of them still use some form of plastic. For flossing, there are already some plastic free biodegradable refillable alternatives (The Dirt, Paz de Gaia for Brazilians).
Cotton buds: In Brazil you already can find bamboo or paper stalks cotton buds on the drugstore for the same price as the plastic ones (Mio, Affagio, Needs). Less known and more expensive are reusable cotton swabs that can be cleaned and reused over and over.
Creams: Where refill stations are available, take smaller containers back to the shop and have them refilled directly. If you do not have access to these facilities just yet, the alternative is to go to a wholesaler near you or online to buy from in bulk. If that is still not feasible, always choose to buy the biggest containers instead of buying smaller containers that will last weeks to a month.
Paper: Depending on where you live it can be hard to find, but there are some brands that sell plastic free toilet paper (not wrapped in plastic) such as The Good Rool, Renova Paper Pack, Who Gives a Crap, Natural Value, Betterway.
Remember, going plastic free is not about perfection, it is a work in progress.
Did you like our tips? Do you have others you can share with us? Some favorite brands? Feel free to join us.