*reading time: 7 minutes
There’s something so liberating, like a small weight has been lifted off your shoulders, when you know that you’ve made an eco conscious decision. A guilt free, ‘tap myself on the shoulder’ moment that comes with making a sustainable swap and using your newfound low waste items feeling very chuffed with yourself.
These sustainable bathroom swaps help reduce the need for more landfill space because they’re either biodegradable or easily recycled, while others are guaranteed to last for many years.
If you’re just starting your sustainable journey, I want to remind you that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not a race to see who can do it better or faster.
Maybe your circumstances won’t allow you to implement as many of these as you would like right away (If you live with other people who have different habits or it’s not within your budget to do everything all at once), don’t stress, just do your best.
It’s about thinking more consciously about the decisions that impact the future of our planet and also making an effort to make our homes toxin and guilt free.
9 Easy Sustainable Bathroom Swaps (& where to find them)
- Bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic toothbrush
This was the first sustainable bathroom swap that I made and I’ve never gone back. Did you know that bamboo can grow up to 91cm per day – making it one of the most sustainable natural resources on the planet.
When you’ve worn out the toothbrush, all you have to do is pull out the little hairs with a pair of pliers and throw the handle into the recycling bin.
If it ends up in nature? No worries! It’s just wood.
You can support smaller businesses by getting your bamboo toothbrush from a local zero waste store in your area. Some of my favourite suppliers online in Europe are By Olive, Bambaw & The BamandBoo.
2. Sustainable toothpaste instead of commercial mixed plastic tubes
The normal toothpaste tubes which you can buy from the drug store are made from a mixture of plastic and aluminium, making them near impossible to recycle. Now just imagine, the global population goes through more than 20 billion tubes of toothpaste every year.
Which is why sustainable toothpaste alternatives have become very popular, made by smaller brands from easily recycled materials and less chemical, more organic ingredients. A very easy sustainable bathroom swap.
Here are some of the most popular sustainable toothpaste options:
- Lush toothpaste tabs: the containers can be returned to a lush store for them to be properly recycled and they come in various tasty and fresh essences
- Toothpowder in a glass container: the powder foams when wet and is mostly made from a base of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), activated charcoal and bentonite clay. (try pronouncing the ingredients in commercial toothpaste!) – bonus: although you can buy this, you can just as easily make it at home
- Toothpaste in a metal tube: these are less common but if you can find them, metal is easier to recycle than plastic, and these could be a great first step on your eco conscious journey.
- Colgate smile for good toothpaste: a vegan-certified toothpaste in a recyclable tube which is a fantastic step forward by a more well known brand
3. Bamboo cotton buds instead of plastic buds
Cotton buds are such a small and almost insignificant part of our bathroom routines that it’s easy to miss that it’s made of plastic and is contributing to plastic pollution in it’s own way.
It’s the very fact that it’s so small that makes it so dangerous. Once it ends up in the ocean, fish and sea mammals eat them up and then it’s game over.
And then who eats the fish? We do! It’s a vicious cycle that we can put an end to.
Making the swap to bamboo cotton buds is so effortless both budget wise and accessibility wise. You can get them from the sustainable zero waste store near you (more and more of which are popping up) or on most zero waste online stores like Bambaw & The BamandBoo.
4. Cotton or washable pads instead of makeup remover wipes
How many makeup wipes do you think we go through on a daily basis? As a collective, around 1.3 billion wipes get tossed out every day.
By investing in a makeup remover pad/mitten with which you can scrub your face with a little bit of makeup remover oil or face cleanser (bonus if it’s in a glass container), all you need to do is clean the pad after each wash and let it dry till the next time.
Or you could also buy natural bamboo cotton pads but they aren’t washable.
You’ll also be saving on having to buy new makeup remover pads all the time. My current favourite is the Ultra Soft Makeup Remover Pad by My Little Eco Shop.
5. A washcloth instead of a loofah
Did you know that a loofah that isn’t properly cleaned after each use and that just sits in the steamy shower after you’re feeling all clean, is a breeding ground for bacteria? There’s a super interesting article about it here.
Also, most loofahs that we buy are either made of sponge or other non conscious materials which harbour micro breads (see the article above to learn more).
If you absolutely need to use a loofah to scrub the life out of your skin, maybe using a washcloth instead is a more sustainable option. You can then easily throw the washcloth in with the laundry after a few uses and it’s usually made up of a towel material.
6. Soap bars instead of shower gel bottles
You don’t even need a special store for these ones. On the same shelf that you’ll find the plastic shower gel bottles that cause explosive echoes when they crash onto the shower floor, you’ll find the sweet innocent soap bars.
Yes, some of them are wrapped in plastic packaging (crazy) but if you can find the ones that are packages in carton, then you’ve just taken a sustainable step that required absolute minimum effort.
Similar to the plastic toothpaste tubes, shower gel tubes are made of a complex combination of plastics that are very difficult to recycle and so often end up in landfills.
7. Shampoo & conditioner bars instead of bottles
552 million shampoo bottles end up in landfills every year.
8. Wooden toilet brush instead of plastic brush
This is another one of those bathroom accessories that kind of just sits there and doesn’t get much attention until the designated user puts it to use.
If you’re the one in charge of toilet brush buying, by putting in the small effort of buying a wooden toilet brush with natural bristles (which was how they were originally made), you’re making a small effortless sustainable bathroom swap that helps resolve a huge problem.
The wooden brushes are just as hygienic and can be disposed of consciously when their life is over. FIY, your toilet brushes should be swapped regularly for hygienic purposes!
9. Safety razor instead of disposable razor
The safety razor, which comes with a wooden or metal handle, is the oldest method of shaving, having been around before all these quadruple bladed princess pink plastic disposable razors came on the shelves.
It takes some getting used to but once you’ve mastered the art, it’s a sustainable bathroom swap that will last for a long time and it’s a habit that you won’t want to ditch.
Have you implemented any of these or other sustainable bathroom swaps in your home? Would love to know the small changes you’re making to help our future be greener?
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