25 ways to reduce waste in your bathroom

25 ways to reduce waste in your bathroom

From shampoo to cleaning products, the bathroom can be a breeding ground for plastic waste. And although many of these products are necessary for maintaining your personal hygiene, there are plenty of zero waste and reusable alternatives that you can make to significantly reduce your waste.

1. Bamboo Toothbrushes:

Next time you replace your toothbrush, try switching to a compostable option. Bamboo toothbrushes are fully compostable besides the bristles. Once you are finished using a bamboo toothbrush you simply remove bristles and compost the handle. While you cannot compost the bristles, the amount of waste is significantly smaller than using plastic toothbrushes.

2. Reusable Cotton rounds:

Replace disposable cotton rounds with a reusable option. Whether you’re taking off your makeup, a clay mask or applying toner, a reusable cotton round can be used endlessly, all you need to do is toss them in your laundry basket after each use, wash and repeat.

3. Safety Razor:

According to a study conducted by Statista, in 2018, 163 million U.S. consumers used disposable razors. Most of which were not recyclable. Making a switch to a safety razor will not only reduce your waste in your personal care routine, but it will also save you a ton of money from no longer needing to purchase single-use blades.

4. Toothpaste tabs:

Another great way to reduce your waste in your personal care routine is by swapping your plastic toothpaste tubes for Toothpaste tabs. Nelson Naturals Toothpaste tabs come in a glass jar and make a great zero-waste swap

PHOTO: Nelson Naturals | Facebook

5. Biodegradable Dental Floss:

Another dental hygiene swap, biodegradable dental floss. Traditional dental floss is made with synthetic fibers that do not break down whereas biodegradable dental floss is made with bamboo fibers that naturally biodegrade.

6. Water Flosser:

Toss floss out of your routine all-together by switching to a water flosser. A water flosser is a hand-held flossing device that works by cleaning in between teeth with a stream of water. Never purchase another container of floss again by investing in a water flosser.

7. Bar Soap:

Switching from body wash in plastic containers to bar soap may seem like an obvious zero waste swap, but did you know bar soap can replace so many other steps in your shower routine? Bar soap can replace your body wash, face cleansers, shampoo, conditioner and shaving cream. The Soap Works offers a variety of package-free bar soap for every step of your routine. Find them here.

8. Refill Liquid Soap Containers:

It’s only single use if you use it once. Not ready to make the switch to bar soap? Refill your own containers with your favourite liquid soaps, shampoos, conditioners and so much more.

9. Reusable Menstrual Products:

According to National Geographic, in 2018 5.8 billion tampons were purchased in the U.S. Most of which contained plastic applicators that will likely end up in landfills. Unfortunately, menstrual products cannot be avoided, but there are plenty of amazing innovations to help women reduce their waste each month. From silicone menstrual cups to reusable pads and period panties, there are so many ways to reduce menstrual waste.

PHOTO: Nenetus | Adobe Stock

10. Non-applicator tampons:

Not ready to make the switch to reusable menstrual products? Opt for non-applicator tampons instead of tampons that come with a plastic applicator. This swap will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste in your household.

11. D.I.Y. Products:

Some products may feel impossible to eliminate from your routine, so why not make them yourself? D.I.Y. products not only help reduce the amount of plastic in your routine, but they also can save you a ton of money. It is also super refreshing to know exactly what is going into your self-care. 

12. Bamboo Toilet Paper:

According to National Geographic, almost 270,000 trees are dumped into landfills or flushed down the drain each day and toilet paper is responsible for 10% of that. What are you supposed to use when you have to go? Bamboo toilet paper. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource; it is fast growing, requires no pesticides or fertilizers and self regenerates from its own roots.

13. Install a Bidet:

Ditch toilet paper completely and install a bidet instead. A bidet uses a fraction of the amount of water required to produce toilet paper. Although there is an initial expense to install a bidet, making the switch will lower your spending on TP by 75% or more.

PHOTO: Tushy | Facebook

14. Upcycle old prescription bottles:

Some waste is avoidable, while others may not be, for example prescription bottles are a necessity and cannot be avoided. But they can be reused. Prescription bottles are the perfect size for storing cotton swabs, dental floss, and bobby pins.

15. Natural Deodorant:

Switching to natural deodorant will not only protect your pits from harmful chemicals it will also help reduce your bathroom waste. Natural deodorant is often packaged in metal tins or glass jars, both of which are sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging.

16. Bamboo Bandages:

Another great way to incorporate bamboo into your bathroom routine is by swapping traditional bandages for bamboo bandages. Protect your scrapes and cuts without the need for cutting down tons of trees.

17. Microfiber Makeup Remover:

It is estimated that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable wipes are thrown into the landfill each year. Ditch makeup wipes for good by switching to a reusable microfiber makeup removing cloth.

18. Fabric Shower Curtain Liner:

Did you know they make fabric alternatives for traditional plastic shower liners? It’s true. No need to replace your plastic shower curtain liner every six months with another piece of plastic. Simply pop your new environmentally conscious fabric liner in the washing machine, and it's like brand new again.

19. Compostable Trash Bags:

For the waste you absolutely cannot avoid in your bathroom routine, opt for compostable trash bags instead of the traditional plastic counterpart.

20. Reusable Cotton Swab:

Replace up to 1000 cotton swabs with one reusable swab. Last Swab is the environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional cotton swabs that is zero-waste, easy to clean and built to last.

PHOTO: Last Swab | Facebook

21. Metal Tongue Scraper: 

Most tongue scrapers are made of plastic but did you know that there are metal and copper options as well? Investing in one of these other options will significantly reduce your plastic waste in the bathroom as they do not need to be replaced each year.

22. Bathroom Cleaners: 

Bathroom cleaners often come packaged in thick plastic containers and are loaded with harsh chemicals. The Soap Works Safe Bleach is an all-natural bleach alternative, that is packaged using a paper bag rather than plastic. 

23. Bamboo Toilet Bowl Brush:

Keep your toilet clean with another great low waste swap, a bamboo toilet bowl brush. Unlike plastics brushes, bamboo’s natural wood-look makes a great bathroom decor piece on top of its environmental benefits. 

24. Zero Waste Makeup:

Cosmetics may seem like they are impossible to be low waste, but there are some beauty brands that not only have amazing products, they also have amazing packaging as well. Elate Cosmetics is one brand that is starting to change the beauty world for good. All of their packaging is either recyclable, reusable, or plantable.

PHOTO: Elate Cosmetics | Facebook

25. Water Waste:

Now that you have reduced the waste in your bathroom, you can also be more conscious of your water consumption. Shorten the length of your shower, turn the ap off while brushing your teeth, and you know the saying- if it’s yellow, let it mellow. Doing your best and actively thinking about reducing your water waste makes you a part of the solution.

How many of these alternatives have you already adopted? Let us know in our comments which alternatives you have adopted or if you have any swaps we missed. 

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau.


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