Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Zero Waste Bathroom Essentials

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Continuing on for zero waste month, today I'm telling you about all my bathroom essentials.  If you missed the beginner's guide to zero waste you can find that here, and last week I talked about my kitchen essentials, since that room makes the most trash.  The second area where you make the most trash though is definitely the bathroom.

Here's the biggest thing I did to stop making trash in the bathroom - I removed the trash can.  Seriously.  Well, for myself.  I put it back when guests are over because I don't like to make guests uncomfortable just because they don't feel the same way about things as I do.  But if you don't have a trash can in there, it forces you to be really mindful of what you're actually throwing away, because you'd need to carry it to the kitchen trash can.

Here's what else I've switched to for my zero waste bathroom:

Bamboo Toothbrushes.  You will be paying slightly more than you would for their plastic counterparts (would you though?  I've seen those suckers at Walgreens lately, they're getting pricey!) but it's worth it, because they're fully biodegradable.

DIY Toothpaste.  There are a ton of recipes out there to make this yourself.  There are powders, creams, all kinds of options, or you can get the tooth tabs at Lush which are packaged in cardboard.  I don't personally like to include baking soda in anything I use in or on my body because I'm pretty sensitive to it, so my recipe doesn't call for it.

Dental Floss.  Biodegradable silk floss will be the most like what you're already used to.  Another good option is a gum stimulator.

Face Wipes.  To remove makeup, I mentioned already that I use coconut oil.  I just wipe that off with these super soft wipes I bought on Etsy, which then just get thrown in the wash with the towels.

Menstrual Cup.  Lifesaver, seriously.  If you're going to switch to only one zero waste thing I mention in all of these posts, make it this one.  The packaging it comes in can be recycled and while that isn't ideal, it more than makes up for what you save by getting it.  No more waste from pads or tampons and it's 10000 times healthier for you.  I realize there's a ton out there to buy so watch Bree on YouTube to figure out the right one.

Safety Razor.  It's not at all scary, I promise.  It will take longer than shaving with a traditional razor but you won't cut yourself.  I've never cut myself with the safety razor and I have with a plastic venus razor so I prefer these even.  And I mean, it barely takes longer once you get used to it, don't worry.  It's an investment for the handle the first time but you literally never have to buy it again.  And it's like $30-$40 which is at least what you're going to spend on razors in a year anyway, those damn things are so expensive.  The replacement blades are like 13 cents a piece, and you can sharpen them if you really want.  If you dry the blades between use, 10 blades will last you 5 years, I kid you not.  So it's zero waste and a massive money saver.

Toilet Paper.  Well I'm not going to stop using it!  I just make sure it's recycled and that they're wrapped in paper and never plastic.  I have a box of tissue in my bathroom, I should note, but it's for guests.  Kleenex doesn't break down like toilet paper, so I just blow my nose with toilet paper if need be.

Hand Soap.  While I don't use body soap (if you do, switch to a bar of soap instead, packaged in paper or without any packaging at all), I still do use hand soap.  Castile soap, diluted, is ideal for this.  It does come in a plastic bottle but it lasts forever since you dilute it so much.  You can often refill these things if you have such a store near you, but I haven't found one yet in Chicago that has bulk liquids.

What else have you been throwing away in the bathroom that I missed on my list?  Let me know in the comments and I'll try to help you find a great zero waste alternative.

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