We all have unique routines for showering, brushing teeth, managing hair, and so on. We spend a lot of time and money in the bathroom and what works for one person may not for another. Over five years ago I started pairing down the products in my bathroom in effort to eliminate chemicals in my journey to get pregnant. I quit using all skin care products, no face wash, moisturizer, or foundation which also got me started on reducing plastic waste. Since we were pimple-ridden teens we have been bombarded with ads for the latest and greatest facial products. I can tell you, after giving my skin a few months to balance out, I don’t need any of it! I simply wash my face with water and use coconut oil as a moisturizer as needed. That alone has eliminated 4 plastic bottles of product from my bathroom and shopping list.
Consider what is piled on the ledges of your shower, liable to take out a toe with one wrong elbow move. We have replaced all of our bottles with bars, removing plastic waste, reducing water usage in production, and reducing carbon emissions from plastics and shipping. Bar soap is less expensive, takes up less space, is easy to travel with, and for me works better. For shampoo and conditioner I have used Lush, ethique, and HiBAR. I have very sensitive skin and found HiBAR to work best for my hair. The Maintain conditioner bar has lasted me 6 months, and the shampoo bar 4 months. My hair is silky and stays looking and feeling clean for 4 days. I also use bar body soap from Grove, they always have fun scents to choose from. I even got my husband to use bar body soap, now that is worth celebrating! Do you also buy shaving cream or exfoliant? Switch to making your own, in 10 minutes you can mix coconut oil, sugar or coffee grounds, and essential oils for the perfect exfoliant/ pre-shave.
Do you have kids products in there too? Dr. Bronner’s is a fantastic soap, I have used it on my daughter since she was born, and it also comes in a bar. I use it to wash her body and hair, and I use HiBAR conditioner on her once a week. Now that you have all these bars of soap you may be wondering how to maintain them. The goal is to not get the bars wet between uses, and you defiantly do not want them setting in water. We use a metal rack, that was previously used to hold bottles, which we hung in the back of the shower where it would not get sprayed. When traveling I just throw them in a reusable snack size zip top bag. There are a lot of bamboo bar holders and travel tins, look around and see what works best for you.
How many tubes of toothpaste and tooth brushes does your family go through in a year, too many to count? Replace your plastic tubes with Bite toothpaste. They are toothpaste tabs, similar to mints, which comes in a glass jar. You put one in your mouth and bite it, when you start to scrub with your toothbrush it foams up just like traditional toothpaste! Again, for you jet setters, this is way easier to travel with then little tubes. I don’t have to mess with liquid limits at all when I travel since switching to dry products.
There are also alternatives for mouthwash, Georganics and by HumanKind make tabs that turn to mouthwash when dropped into a glass of water. I prefer to use YoungLiving Thieves essential oil which is a blend of antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial oils. Put 2-3 drops on your toothbrush to fight cavities and improve oral health.
If you want to go completely plastic free there are a lot of bamboo and wood handled tooth brushes to choose from. I prefer an electric toothbrush, I know that is not the most ‘green’ option but I am particular about my teeth. When I travel I use the bamboo toothbrush from Bite, I love that it breaks down to two pieces so it fits in my hygiene bag easily.
Do you have any favorite plastic free bathroom products? Let us know in the comments. Check back next week to learn about our favorite green laundry options!