Bathroom

Swaps

Here's a list of ideas for your zero waste / sustainable journey. I hope this helps! As a preface:

Bandaids
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Bath salts
  • Use bulk epsom salt sold in bulk or buy it in the largest bag you can afford/store.
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Body lotion
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Body wash
  • Use bar soap, ideally unpackaged or wrapped in paper. I avoid purchasing soap with fragrance, for health reasons. Sappo Hill bar soaps are widely sold unpackaged and are on the cheaper end even though they're high quality and made with essential oils.
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Conditioner
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Contact lenses
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Cotton balls
  • Use washable cleansing rounds. I like these hemp ones from Handcrafted Goodies on Etsy.
  • Make your own cloth wipes by cutting up an old t-shirt. You can cut them into squares to most efficiently use all the fabric (circles leave bits of unused fabric). Use pinking shears (the scissors that cut in a zig zag) to minimize fraying.
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Cotton earbuds / ear swabs
  • Use a washcloth or rag (cut t-shirts are great for this since they're so thin) while you're in the shower.
  • The Last Swab, a reusable ear swab
  • There are reusable stainless steel picks, but I don't recommend them since you can seriously injure your inner ear.
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Deodorant
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Disposable razor
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Drain declogger and deodorizer
  • Declog your drain using baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. Recipe
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Dry shampoo
  • Make your own using bentonite clay, cornstarch/arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder (for dark hair). Recipe
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Exfoliating body scrub
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Face cleanser
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Face mask / facial sheets
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Face toner
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Facial steamer

There are machines made of plastic that are for facial steaming, but a bowl of hot water and a towel works!

  • Heat water in a kettle and pour into a glass bowl. Optionally, add a couple drops of essential oils like lavender for a calming effect. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head. Let the steam relax you and open up your pores.
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Floss
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Hair brush

Usually made out of plastic.

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Hair gel
  • Make your own using flaxseeds and water. Recipe
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Hair serum
  • Try making your own with oils such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, aragan oil, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil.
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Hair ties

Usually made out of plastic.

  • Choose plastic-free hair ties, such as these rubber + organic cotton Kooshoo hair ties
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Hairspray
  • Make your own with sugar and water. Recipe
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Makeup
  • Look for options in minimal packaging. Elate Cosmetics sells makeup in little or no plastic. Pressed powders are sold in stainless steel tins and packaged in seed paper. Foundation and creamy solutions are sold in glass jars with bamboo/plastic lined tops.
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Makeup remover wipes
  • Use washable cleansing rounds. I like these hemp ones from Handcrafted Goodies on Etsy.
  • Make your own cloth wipes by cutting up an old t-shirt. You can cut them into squares to most efficiently use all the fabric (circles leave bits of unused fabric). Use pinking shears (the scissors that cut in a zig zag) to minimize fraying.
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Medicine
  • Don't stockpile medicine. Buying large sizes or taking advantage of a buy-two-get-one-free deal is tempting, but oftentimes the medication expires before it's used.
  • If given the option, choose medicine in a container (it's often plastic) instead of a blister pack. The container is more likely to be recycled; the blister pack in not recyclable.
  • If given the option, choose a metal tube instead of a plastic tube.
  • Research natural remedies for your ailments. I'm not well-versed in the science of natural medicine, but there are some effective treatments, especially for minor conditions. I opt for more gentler treatments whenever I can. That said, there is definitely a time and place for modern medicine, pharmaceuticals, and so on so please consult your doctor above all else.
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Menstrual pads, pantyliners, and tampons
  • Silicon cups
  • Period underwear: Thinx | Aisle
  • Reusable pads: Aisle
  • Reusable pantyliners: Aisle or GladRags
  • Underwear for bladder leaks: Speax
  • Organic, toxin-free, applicator-free tampons: Cora
  • You can sew your own out of organic cotton flannel. Tutorial
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Mouthwash
  • Make it using aloe vera, distilled water, xylitol, and baking soda. Recipe
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Nail brush
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Nail care
  • Nail clippers are typically all metal and last a long time!
  • Use a stainless steel file instead of those pressboard ones that fall apart.
  • Compost the nail clippings
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Shampoo
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Shaving brush
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Shaving cream
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Shower
  • You can put a bucket in your shower while the water heats up. The water can be used to water your plants.
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Sunscreen
  • Opt for sunscreen packaged in a paper tube, metal tin, or sold in bulk containers. Balm Baby Sunscreen (cardboard tube)
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Toilet
  • Put a brick in your toilet tank to reduce water usage.
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Toilet paper
  • Buy a bidet attachment for your toilet. Tushy bidets
  • Buy toilet paper made of recycled paper, such as Natural Value and Seventh Generation. These brands also sell toilet paper individually wrapped in paper instead of plastic. You can also buy boxes of paper-wrapped toilet paper in bulk at a hotel or restaurant supply store. Who Gives a Crap sells sustainability-minded toilet paper online.
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Toothbrush

Usually made of plastic. Not recyclable.

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Toothpaste
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Travel-sized toiletries
  • Repurpose a small glass jar with a lid (baby food jars work well).
  • Reuse an empty plastic travel container.
  • Opt for refillable silicone bottles such as these GoTube Silicone Travel Bottles. It looks like the tops are plastic; I haven't found 100% silicone ones. It looks like the tops are plastic; I haven't found 100% silicone ones.
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Volumizing spray
  • -Make volumizing sea salt spray using just salt and water. Recipe
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