Nov 11, 2016

5 Simple Plastic-Free Swaps To Make In The Bathroom

plastic free zero waste

Plastic shampoo bottles, plastic razors, plastic toothbrushes, plastic, plastic, plastic.

As I was started on my journey I realized how much waste was created in the bathroom. It can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to get started, but I realized there were some easy swaps that could be done.

1. Shampoo and Conditioner Bars 

I'll admit, I never thought twice about throwing my empty shampoo and conditioner bottles in the trash. Most of them are recyclable, but who has a separate recycling can in their bathroom? Not me, so into the trash they went.

Now that I've been using shampoo bar for months, I'm really surprised how easy the transition has been. I can't even call it more work, it's just a slightly different routine and you have eliminated a source of plastic from your life. Read my review and tips for using a shampoo bar here.

Information about what a shampoo bar is and how to use it to wash your hair in a zero waste and plastic free way.

I highly recommend you check it out. And commit to using it for a while, a whole month or even the while bar. I've heard different brands can have different experiences (especially if homemade), but I've been happy with J.R. Liggett's. I also have been trying out a conditioner bar and that seems to be working well too (review here).

Update: I also recently found out about Plaine Products. They have shampoo, conditioner and body wash in aluminum containers. Their products are organic, vegan and sulfate free, so good products, but their packaging is awesome. They try to avoid plastic at every step. You can even order the containers with or without a pump! Their goal is to refill the containers which saves a ton of resources. If the container is too damaged then they recycle it back into more containers! They also pay for the return shipping! You really should check them out. Read my review of their conditioner here. Plus for a limited time they are offering my readers a 15% discount when you use the coupon code: skipthebag. 

2. Safety Razor

This is another switch I wish I'd made earlier. Hubby has used a safety razor for years, but I always just used disposables. I would use them forever, far longer than I probably should, but at the end of the day it was still plastic trash. Don't know much about safety razors? Check out my post All About Safety Razors

I'll admit I was really nervous about using a safety razor. I thought I would have to find a different way to hold the blade and move it up and down my leg. I watched several videos about shaving legs and armpits with a safety razor. And my actual experience? So easy! I haven't had to change my shaving process. I'm maybe a little more careful around the knees, but really it's been no different. In full disclosure I did get a small cut the front of my shin once. I have no idea how it happened or what caused it, but it was very small and healed quickly. Read my tips for how to use a safety razor and not get cut!

Hubby has always used a Merkur classic safety razor. I used it once when I was trying to decide what I want and realized immediately that I wanted a longer handle so I got a Merkur Long Handled Razor. We use the Astra brand razor blades and have been really happy. 

Tips and tricks for how to use a zero waste and plastic free safety razor.

3. Bar soap

For years I have been firmly in the body wash and poof loofah camp. Well once this last bottle of body wash runs out I'm going to be rejoining the bar soap and washcloth camp. Some soaps have left my skin feeling dry afterward, so there may be some experimenting to find one that works. However  if I'm remembering correctly I've not had that experience when using Dove soap.
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Easy ways to ditch plastic in the bathroom, from washing your hair, shaving, and personal hygeine

4. Cardboard Applicators for Tampons

I was never exclusively using tampons with plastic applicators, but I also wasn't avoiding them. I typically would buy whatever was on sale. However like many other single use products once I started analyzing my waste it seemed like a no brainer to switch to cardboard applicators. Yes there are other options (no applicator or menstrual cup), but these are SIMPLE swaps. Those will be featured in part two more advanced swaps.

Common Kitchen Items that can be used in the bathroom for personal hygiene.

5.  Bamboo Toothbrush

This is another swap I made in the beginning of my zero waste/plastic free journey and question why I didn't do it earlier. It's a toothbrush...just not a plastic one. Yes, the bristles are still plastic (nylon), but it's a whole lot better than the alternative of an entire plastic toothbrush. I have not found a commercially available toothbrush with natural bristles. If you find one please let me know. I'll try it for you, and the environment, but honestly the thought if putting boar hair in my mouth gives me pause (Although I love it for my hair brush!). I discovered I push too hard while brushing my teeth, but since lightening up on that these Earth's Daughter's toothbrushes work perfectly well.

So there you go, 5 simple swaps you could make today to help reduce your plastic use and waste in the bathroom.

Want more of a challenge? Try the 5 Advanced Plastic Free Swaps For The Bathroom.

Menstrual Cups, Oil Cleansing Method and more!

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  1. Never thought of a bamboo toothbrush, but I might have to look into that! Another alternative is to make your own soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc and just reuse the same bottle to refill. I switched from disposable razors to an electric one years ago, but have also made my own hair removal wax (so easy) and used that with great success. So many little things can really add up!

    1. I would look into bamboo toothbrushes! I think everyone should switch. I've heard about making your own wax or sugaring, but I haven't taken the plunge yet.

  2. If you are scared if a safety razor, like me, get a Razor Renew strop and resharpen your disposable razor. I used the same razor for a year by resharpenjng the blade.

    1. I think safety razors get a bad rap, but I love the idea of sharpening your own!

  3. AnonymousMay 18, 2017

    Another way to reduce waste is with a Menstrual Cup! Nothing to put in the garbage, just rinse and repeat. Made the switch a few months ago and I am never looking back.

    1. Yes, I put menstrual cup on the advanced swaps. I was afraid that it might be too big of a jump for some people (but it shouldn't be!).

  4. I love the shampoo bars. It is eco-friendly and so easy to transport when youa re traveling.

    1. Absolutely! I almost feel like I'm cheating the system when I fly with my shampoo bar. However since it's not a liquid it doesn't count!

  5. The shampoo bars are a really interesting idea. I will look for some.

    1. I'd love to hear how it works out for you!

  6. I love that you're not preachy! Found an alternative to your toothbrush with nylon issues...
    In fact the whole site is almost completely plastic free.

    1. I can't be preachy; I'm just learning myself! Thanks for that recommendation, I've been to that site, but not seen that toothbrush. Thanks!

  7. Woo hoo - I have finally found hubby's pre-beard safety razor and can report back that my legs and underarms are hair and scratch free after using it :) #WasteLessWednesday

  8. AnonymousJuly 16, 2017

    I really like Kirks Castile bar soap, it doesn't dry my skin out as much as many other bar soaps do.

  9. I just love all your no waste tips! I hope someday soon I can implement all of them. I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award on my blog! (: