The bathroom is a place in our homes where we can produce a lot of waste, as many products we use are single-use and disposable. But we can reverse this trend by learning how to be zero waste in the bathroom and using the right essentials.
It isn’t that complicated, believe me! It doesn’t mean that you will have to change your habits and your whole lifestyle.
By simply switching to more eco-friendly products, you will drastically reduce your waste and it will help the environment!
In this blog post, I’m writing about 19 essentials you may need if you want to be zero waste in the bathroom!
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19 essentials to be zero waste in the bathroom
1 – Bar of soap
One of the easiest ways to be zero waste in the bathroom is to switch to a bar of soap instead of buying shower gel in plastic bottles.
It is also very practical when you’re traveling as it doesn’t risk exploding in your suitcase.
On top of that, you can use your bar of soap for shaving, instead of purchasing shaving cream in those wasteful aerosol cans.
2 – Shampoo & conditioner bars
Similarly, making the swap to shampoo bars will reduce a lot of unnecessary waste!
These bars last a long time and often contain fewer chemicals than conventional shampoos.
If you use a conditioner, consider switching to a solid bar as well.
But as I mentioned in my blog post about things I do not own as a minimalist, I don’t think that conditioners are necessary for all types of hair. So please only buy it if you need one.
3 – Cornstarch as dry shampoo
Once you’ve finished your current dry shampoo, why don’t you switch to a more natural and eco-friendly option?
Cornstarch is an amazing alternative to dry shampoo. I use it the same way as dry shampoo and it works very well!
The great thing is that cornstarch is 100% natural, whereas conventional dry shampoos are full of harmful chemicals.
They also often come in aerosol cans, which cannot be recycled and are bad for the environment.
4 – Low flow showerhead
Zero waste isn’t only about reducing our physical waste as much as possible.
It implies that we should preserve all resources to the best of our ability. This means that we should also prevent water waste!
Switching to a low-flow showerhead is an excellent option for that, as it can save thousands of gallons of water each year!
For more tips to help conserve this resource, read my blog post about 20 ways to save water.
5 – Low waste skincare
There are different options for zero waste lotions and creams!
Consider trying lotion bars, or lotion and creams that come in glass or metal packaging.
If you prefer making your own products, many recipes online explain how to create them, with a few simple ingredients.
6 – Bamboo toothbrush
Once you’ve used up all your plastic toothbrushes, start buying bamboo toothbrushes instead.
Their handle is compostable and it contributes to reducing plastic waste on Earth.
Another benefit of bamboo is that it is antibacterial, which is ideal for a toothbrush!
7 – Low waste toothpaste
Toothpaste almost always comes in plastic tubes, but there are alternatives that are way better for the environment!
For instance, some brands put their toothpaste in recyclable metal tubes.
And if you prefer making your own toothpaste, you can find many recipes online.
8 – Eco-friendly floss
Teeth health is very important. But, most flosses you can find at the store are made of plastic, so they cannot be composted or recycled.
Luckily, you can find an alternative to them. I’ve never tried them but I’ve heard great things about water flossers.
Another option is to get a 100% compostable floss in a glass container (and to compost it afterward).
Both alternatives will help reduce so much waste, especially if you floss every day!
9 – Natural mouthwash
Conventional mouthwashes are full of chemicals and some are believed to increase the risk of oral cancer.
Even though you’re supposed to spit it out of your mouth, you might not want to use this kind of products.
Instead, you can very easily make a homemade natural mouthwash!
Simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water, and add a few drops of peppermint oil. And there you have it!
10 – Sustainable Q-tips
Q-tips are single-use so they create a lot of unnecessary trash!
I also read that they’re not good for our ears anyway, so we’d be better off giving them up completely.
But if you can’t stop using them, finish all the ones you have and consider switching to a reusable version instead.
11 – Low waste deodorant
Most deodorants often come packaged in plastic, which is a shame.
Even better, if you want to be zero waste in the bathroom, you can make your own deodorant!
Ecoroots shared a great recipe to create your homemade deodorant.
You need to mix ¼ cup of baking soda, with ¼ cup of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. That’s it! Easy, right?
12 – Reusable period products
Did you know that the average woman throws away 10,000 to 12,000 period products in her life? That’s huge!
If you want to be zero waste in the bathroom, swap disposable tampons and pads for reusable period products.
I love menstrual cups, they’re super practical and comfortable, I cannot recommend them enough!
After you’ve bought your reusable alternative, you’ll save so much money and waste!
13 – Safety razor or electric razor
Plastic razors are practical, I know. But think about how many you are using each year!
Instead, consider buying a reusable razor. For instance, safety razors are made of metal and you only need to replace the blade every once in a while.
I personally use an electric razor, which is equally great! I find that sustainability influencers don’t talk about electric razors enough.
They’re perfect for reducing plastic waste!
14 – Low waste makeup
It is difficult to find makeup that doesn’t have disposable packaging. So the best thing to do is to create your own!
There are many recipes online to create your DIY mascara, blush, or lip balm! You can then put the final product in a container you already own.
If you prefer buying already made products, choose ones with as little plastic as possible.
I’ve found products that come in metal, glass, cardboard, or wooden packaging, which are way better than plastic. And try to recycle them as best as possible.
15 – Makeup remover pads
Single-use makeup remover wipes are very practical, yet so wasteful. Not to mention all the chemicals they contain that you’re putting on your face.
Replace them by reusable makeup remover rounds that are made of (organic) cotton.
Use them with a little bit of oil and you’re good to go. Your skin will thank you for it!
You can also sew your own out of an old t-shirt, it is super easy!
16 – Wooden hairbrush
If you already have a good quality hairbrush, skip this point.
But if you need to buy a new brush or comb, I recommend that you choose a wooden version.
Plastic brushes are often of bad quality. They don’t last super long and will take hundreds of years to decompose in the landfill.
On the other hand, wooden brushes are good for your hair health, but they’re also compostable.
They’re often better quality and generally hold up well!
17 – Bidet or recycled toilet paper
I don’t own any bidet but many people swear by them!
If you decide to buy a bidet attachment, you’ll be able to completely stop buying toilet paper, which is amazing! You’ll save trees and plastic packaging!
If you’re like me and prefer traditional toilet paper, try to buy recycled toilet paper instead.
Extra points for you if it comes in paper packaging!
18 – Wooden toilet cleaning brush
If you’re on the lookout for a toilet cleaning brush, please skip the plastic ones!
There are bamboo cleaning brushes that you can buy that are pretty inexpensive.
As I said earlier, bamboo is naturally antibacterial which is the best for a toilet cleaning brush. Better for you and the planet!
19 – Dual flush toilet
Like I mentioned for the low flow showerhead, saving water is an essential part of being zero waste in the bathroom.
You’ll be able to choose if you need to flush more or less water, which will save you gallons of water per day.
There you go! Those were 19 essentials you can try if you want to be zero waste in the bathroom!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to use and buy all these products!
Even if you made the switch to only a few of them, this would make a huge impact! You would divert a lot of waste from going to the landfill.
And of course, use up what you already have in your bathroom, and only buy what you need.
Everybody needs different products and some of these might not be of any use for you. Do what works best for you!
What are your favorite essentials to be zero waste in the bathroom? What swaps are you intending to make?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section!