Simple swaps for an ecofriendly, zero waste bathroom!
The second most important place (after the kitchen) to start making eco conscious product swaps is your bathroom! So, I want to you to visualise your bathroom cupboards, your sink and your shower… What do you see? I’m guessing a lot of single use plastic bottles; from hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, body wash to toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant and makeup;- the list goes on and on. Commercially, there is very little available packaged plastic free, pretty crap really. The great news is that it’s actually really easy to make some simple switches to ecofriendly products without compromising on quality, effectiveness and price. Just a heads up… just because something is packaged all fancy-like and has a high price, this is by no means an indication of its quality or for that matter its contents’ safety… but more on that in another blog! There are some great, effective toxin free products on the market but not that many packaged with the environment as a consideration. Here we offer you up some suggestions for a few easy bathroom swaps to help you reduce your plastic use.
Soaps, Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Try for a second to calculate how many bottles of soap, shampoo and conditioner your household goes through in a year… frightening to think really. Over 50 million of these bottles end up in landfill in NZ and up to 500 million in the US each year - no stats available for Australia but they are likely to sit somewhere in between. Staggering figures! Switching to cleansing bars, be it soap, shampoo or conditioners is a pretty dramatic way to reduce your plastic waste. Always opt for those that are sustainably packaged (i.e. not wrapped in plastic or unnecessary wasteful packaging) and if possible manufactured using sustainably sourced ingredients. Our shampoo and conditioner bars are packaged in ecofriendly paper packaging that is 100% recyclable and the shampoo bars lather just as well as a conventional detergent based shampoo without all the nasty stuff. You can check out our haircare range here. Stored correctly on a soap saver, these bars can last you months; on average 1 bar is the equivalent to 3 bottles of shampoo. Our conditioner bars last even longer!
Toothpaste Powder/ Bars and Bamboo toothbrushes
Granted, changing from conventional toothpaste takes a little bit of time to adjust but if your committed to reducing your waste this is definitely one to try. There are a couple of options here; the first is a tooth powder where you simply dip your wet toothbrush bristles into the powder and brush away. There are quite a few on the market now so not hard to find. The second option is a tooth soap bar.. I know this sounds a little odd but it’s a soap bar formulated for brushing your teeth. I haven’t tried it myself and wouldn’t imagine it’s for everyone but worth mentioning. There are a couple on the market, here is one from our friends at Urthly Organics. Alternately, make your own powder! We are running a Low-Tox workshop with MPKickass Collective on August 11th 2019 in Mornington where you will make your own tooth paste powder among other things (book your ticket here) but if you can't make it and want to have a crack at it yourself, try this recipe;
DIY Toothpaste Powder
2 tbsp Bentonite clay
2 tsp Bicarbonate powder
½ tsp Activated charcoal
1.5 tsp xylitol (or stevia)
A pinch of salt
8-10 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together in a (non-metal) bowl, pack into a glass jar and off you go.
Onto the toothbrushes.... In Australia we use approximately 100,000,000 plastic toothbrushes a year! It’s scary to think that these will take over 500 years to break down. So this swap collectively is one with huge impact. Making the switch to bamboo was one of my family's first bathroom swaps and we haven’t looked back. My kids draw little pictures on the handles so they know which one is theirs. New toothbrush day is pretty exciting in our house.
Reusable Safety Razors
These are great! Yes, the razor can be a little bit pricey, some can be around the $40 mark but a pack of 5 blades is only $1.95, such a great investment. You can get them from Barber supplies co online for $29 or Shave with Valor who also have a blog with some great tips for using them... Check it out here.
This was another easy swap for us. We use two different brands, my daughter and I like No Pong and my hubby uses Valor; Pit stop and yes they absolutely work! They both come in a cool metal tin that can be reused. There are loads of effective and affordable products on the market to check out. We have been asked so many times if we make a deodorant. Funnily, it was the first product Tammy ever made for herself but as The White Pigeon Said came to fruition the deodorant dropped off the product list… maybe in the future.
Reusable Makeup remover pads
Stop throwing out those make up remover pads and switch to a more sustainable option. Some are made from Bamboo or there are these organic hemp fleece ones, which are $13 for 10.... pretty good value when you think about how long they'll last. Just pop them into a washing bag and in with the wash and voila, ready to go again - definitely a winner. Better still; if you’re handy on the sewing machine, you can whip these up with terry towelling, flannel, organic cotton and/or hemp and store them in a jar in your bathroom cupboard.
Cotton buds & bandaids (worth noting…. Because, why not switch right!?)
For those of us who still use them, the sticks in conventional cotton buds are generally plastic! Loads are now popping up on the market that are either paper or bamboo, both are affordable and way more environmentally friendly. Once you've switched, used buds can be composted. On the bandaid front, we use Patch brand. They are made from sustainable bamboo and are latex free and hypoallergenic. Use up what you've got and then switch!
Ok, so I was a little late to get on board with the menstrual cup. Tammy pretty much made me buy one and has asked me every month if I've used my cup yet. Honestly- I haven’t used it! But I will this month. I’ve heard great things about them and Tammy swears by hers, she says it’s a game changer. So who else is with me? Let’s make the switch this month.
In the past, pretty much all of my skincare products were packaged in plastic; my face cleanser, toner and moisturiser, and all of my make-up. Each 4-6 weeks replaced with even more plastic. Now, all my skincare products are in reusable glass - still working on the makeup though. We've got you covered for some of your regime with more coming soon. Our cleansing grains, face masks and face oil are all packaged in glass that can be re used and re filled – we are very happy to take the bottles back to be washed, sterilised and reused! Even our accessories are ecofriendly. Our custom made ceramic mask and grain spoons and our bamboo brushes are a great addition to your bathroom without adding to landfill in the long run. You can check out our range here. If your favourite products come in plastic, write to the manufacturer requesting that they find an ecofriendly alternative; eventually if enough people ask, they will.
Do it Yourself
Next week we are running our first DIY Natural skincare workshop at Creative Makes Studio. We are so excited to share our knowledge and teach eco conscious friends how to customise their own products. We’ll be providing high quality organic ingredients and customisable recipes to make a cleansing powder, toner and face oil – it’s going to be fun! Places are limited so if you are wanting to book in check out this link. If you want to join us in the future, please just send us a message to let us know; we’ll pop you on our waitlist and when we announce our next sessions you’ll be the first to know. Get in touch here.
When you shop with us you can rest assured that you are shopping with a brand that is committed to providing you with the most effective, tox-free and affordable products that are packaged sustainably.
Making these simple bathroom swaps will not only reduce your environmental footprint but will actually save you money. You don’t have to run out and make all these swaps straight away... baby steps. Use up what you have first and then swap out each product as you need to. Before you know it, your bathroom will free of plastic.
Sarah and Tammy X