Soap with hand towel

Zero waste in the bathroom

Each morning you wake up get dressed, go to the bathroom, put on your face, brush your teeth, brush your hair and after that you are ready for the day. For some people it might take around a hour, for me it takes 15 minutes. I don’t put on makeup, it saves a lot of waste, damages my skin and is just too much effort so early in the morning. I only put on make up for special occasions.

Now take a moment, while in your bathroom to put out all the items you use for your routine and bath/shower. It is shocking to see that most of the items comes in plastic containers that you just throw away after use. Good on you if you recycle, but most people don’t.

Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients of the products you put on your body. Do you know what Propylene Glycol or Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate is? These are two products that is in Colgate Toothpaste. It might harm you, it might not. I am no expert on this and if you want to find out more I urge you to do some research. But I just choose not to buy those items anymore.

So now the shock sets in, after a cup of tea you wonder, what can I use that is more eco and waste friendly. I’m here to help, I hope, with a few products, DIY’s and tips on how to do your beauty routine more friendly. Tips that of what I have tried, what worked for my husband and me. (Yes you need to think about your husband’s needs also. He did not like my first toothpaste DIY)

Toothbrush

One of the easiest swaps to make it to get a bamboo or cornstarch toothbrush. After you are done with the toothbrush you can just throw it in your compost bin and it decomposes. We tried the bamboo toothbrush first. It worked great in the beginning but after a while it started to smell, because bamboo is absorbent.

All that lovely toothpaste, water, saliva and plaque gets into the pores and try as you may you cannot get it out. I for one don’t want to soak my toothbrush in boiling water after each brush. On that topic, do not keep your toothbrush outside on the sick in your bathroom, rather in a cupboard. When you flush the toilet, let’s hope the lid is closed, all that lovely bacteria goes up into the air and lands on your toothbrush.

The bamboo toothbrush is out then, so here comes the cornstarch. It takes a little longer to decompose but it is not absorbent. It looks like a normal plastic toothbrush, acts like a normal toothbrush but you can compost it after it’s life is done. I’ve been using this one for a while and am completely satisfied!

Another tip is after your toothbrush looks like it had its last brush, start using it to clean all those hard to reach places in the bathroom itself. So it gets multiple uses before you compost it.

You can buy both on Faithful to Nature. Bamboo Toothbrush | Cornstarch Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is one of the most easiest DIY’s to make. All you need is a glass container, sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and some essential oils.

Take 3 tbs of coconut oil, 1 tbs of baking soda and 1 tbs of sea salt and mix them well together. If it is too salty for you add a few drops of peppermint essential oils.

This recipe was too salty for my husband so I bought another natural toothpaste that I’ve been using for a few weeks now: Back 2 Nature Activated Charcoal Toothpaste. It does contain activated charcoal, so be careful if you brush not to mess on your clothes. But other than that I am completely happy with it.

Shampoo Bars

On Faithful to Nature there are lots of shampoo bar options to choose from. Lush also has a great product you can try. Personally I have not tried Lush’s one before but I have tried a bunch of others. The trick is to use Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water to rinse your hair afterwards.

While this did work for a while, my hair started to get oily fast.I’m still struggling to find the perfect shampoo bar that works for my hair type, frizzy, long, sometimes oily, sometimes dry. But till I find the perfect one I just buy in bulk so that it is less waste to through away. The bottle that I have will last more that 6 months. Afterwards I was thinking to use it for cleaning products. If you find something that works for you, please let me know so that I try it.

Faithful to Nature Shampoo Bars | Lush Shampoo Bars

Soaps

Oh my there are really some beautiful soaps out there. All shapes and colors. Support your local beauty shops that make all natural soaps. Not only is it good for your skin, your shower smells lovely and you are supporting your community as well.

You would think it would also be so easy for me to switch, but no. I struggle with eczema so I can only use certain soaps. Luckily there is a small little shop in our town, Body Treats,  that sells a eczema friendly soap.They also make a lovely Man Soap which my husband uses. He also loves the Charcoal soap from Faithful to Nature also. It has tea tree oil in which  has antibacterial properties. I’ve bought a Beer Soap for him also to try.

You can make your own soaps if you are feeling adventures but ain’t nobody got time for that, well not me having a full time job. If you have the time, go do some research, it is not so hard to master the art of soap making.

Soap making by Essentially Natural

Face Scrub

Most of the time I switch it between Himalayan Face scrub and a DIY face scrub consisting of equal parts baking soda and coconut oil. The baking soda might be to harsh for your skin, so use with caution. Recently I have also started using tea tree oil as a face toner for white/black heads. I also have Kaolin Clay i use for a face mask every two weeks.

Deodorant

I’ve made two different recipes for this one. First one just had Baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils in. It kinda did not work, the baking soda was to harsh for my skin.

Second one consists of the following:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil.
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unrefined shea butter.
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking soda.
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil (optional)*

You can get the full recipe at The Healthy Maven. I have not tried this one full time as I am still working through my old deodorant.

If you don’t feel like the DIY route a nice product to try, that I have tried and loved, is

Natural Yogi Deodorant. It comes in a small container but it takes a long time to use up. The sell refill packs also and the plastic refill pack decomposes!

Organic Perfume

I don’t use spray anymore. It does not stay on long and most of it contains alcohol.

I would like to drink my wine and not absorb it through my skin.

Now I use some of my old perfume and some new organic perfume that I bought from Natural Notes Perfume. Essentially Natural also has a blog post on how you can make your own perfume. Follow their blog also for some more DIY recipes. You can also buy all of the goodies from them.

I’ve also made my own perfume once through Perfume Power. This was a super fun experience and worth doing. Spoil your sister, mother or friend and go do the workshop.

Moisturizer / Body Butter

Here is a recipe that I personally could not use, yay eczema, but my husband loved. I should not have added the essential oils as it irritates my skin. I will try this one again soon without them. The trick is to have 2 different types of oils, the one that gets solid when cold and the one that stays liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 30 drops essential oils (optional)

Just melt the shea butter and coconut oil together then mix everything together when melted.

Here is the full recipe at One Good Thing.

Air Freshener

Once you make this yourself you will never need to buy air freshener from the shops again. Your arsenal will be essential oils. Get some ones that you love and can use all over the house. I have peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon grass, orange, tea tree, lavender and vanilla. Go research all the essential oil properties.

All you need for this recipe is:

  • A spray bottle – it can be plastic because you will use it again and again and again
  • Water
  • Vodka
  • Essential oils

Fill your spray bottle ¾ with water. Put in 2 tablespoons of vodka, you will not smell this, and add in 20/30 drops of your favorite essential oils. Fill the rest of the bottle with water leaving a bit of a gap so you can shake the bottle. That’s it! Easy isn’t it? It really works, we have been using it for a few months now.

Hand Scrub for the garage working man

Don’t you just love it when your husband comes out of the garage and his hands are black! Gone is your perfectly clean bathroom sink because he struggles to get all the grease and oil out of his hands. Well here is a tried and very well tested recipe just for that. My sink is happy and white again.

Ingredients

Mix everything together as coarse as you want. You don’t want to make it too liquid, you need the grains to scrub all the oil/grease off.

Here is another recipe you might want to try if you don’t like the borax.

Other swops or DIY’s to try

Click here for a comprehensive list of zero waste replacements around your home or take a look at the zero waste directory to find a zero waste store near you.

Hope you find all these tips and recipes useful. Let me know which ones you loved, hated or have better solutions for. Do you know of some more swaps that I can do in my beauty routine that I have not mentioned?

Photo Credits
Laura Mitulla on Unsplash, joe137 from Pixabay, Kristina Balić on Unsplash, Brittany Neale on Unsplash, ANDI WHISKEY on Unsplash

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