The bathroom is the home’s hygiene hub but have you ever noticed how many of the products you reach for every day come packaged in plastic? While good hygiene is a basic need, the single-use plastic that most products come in is not. Go peek in your shower or under the sink and you’ll quickly see that the smallest room in your house has a big plastic footprint.
There are tons of ways you can change this – read on for three bathroom swaps to minimize waste!
1. Swap bottles for bars
For centuries, families have relied on the humble bar soap for all of their hygiene needs. These slippery bars are making a huge comeback as consumers are growing increasingly aware of the impact that plastic has on our environment. You can now purchase a bar to replace most bottled products,
Brands like Rocky Mountain Soap and Lush are creating products that are free from single-use plastic and budget-friendly. This keeps both the planet and your wallet happy!
If you replace your hand wash, face wash, body wash, shampoo and conditioner with a solid bar, you can eliminate 5 plastic bottles from ending up in your trash.
If you can’t bear to part ways with your favourite products, try reducing your impact by purchasing them in bulk size bottles. Increasingly, bulk stores like The Soap Dispensary offer refills into existing containers for liquid products such as soap and shampoo.
2. Tubes are out, chews are in
Photo from Nelson’s Naturals
While some homes already have bamboo toothbrushes, what about the other half of the equation? Toothpaste has come in plastic packaging for as long as we can remember… until now. Alternatives have started springing up fast, including tooth powders and chewable toothpaste tabs.
Toothpaste tabs are versatile, earth-friendly, come in paper packaging, and require less water than regular brushing. If you can’t see yourself chewing on a tablet morning and night, why not try a plastic-free tooth powder? These toothpastes often come in a glass jar that you can re-purpose once the product is finished.
You could also try making your own tooth cleaning product with only a few ingredients – see DIY zero waste toothpaste and powder recipes here and here.
3. Let’s talk toilet tissue
We don’t care if you’re a folder or scruncher, so long as you only use the toilet paper you need!
The average American uses three rolls of toilet paper per week. Most of these rolls are made from wood pulp. The demand for wood pulp products is causing deforestation both in our backyards and globally. Canadian wildlife like the Canadian lynx and moose are being affected as their boreal forest home continues to be logged.
If you’re ready to flush your old toilet paper habits, here’s two things to try:
Use less. Next time you reach for the roll, try using less. You might find you don’t need as much as you think to get the job done.
Choose recycled. Some tissue companies use recycled or sustainably sourced fibers as an alternative to wood pulp. A great option to buy is Seventh Generation. Their products are 100% recycled and you can even drop off the packaging to selected stores for recycling.
We hope these zero waste tips have inspired you to consider the planet the next time you shop for bathroom essentials! If you have any other zero waste bathroom swaps, we’d love to hear them! And if you’re looking to give your home even more of an overhaul, check out our eco-friendly decluttering tips.