When I first became aware of plastic pollution and sustainability, the first place I made eco friendly swaps was the bathroom. I found it the easiest place to make these changes because there are so many alternatives available. I have tried and tested a few various plastic free/ earth friendly products over the past 5 years and these are my favourites!
I love this toothpaste. I have tried a few of the brands of natural toothpaste who sell their products in glass jars, and this is, by far, my favourite. I have used it for about 3 years and have found no other toothpaste that leaves my mouth feeling so fresh! It takes a little getting used to! It doesn't foam and it is clay based, so it doesn't look all lovely and white and clean. In fact, It looks like you are brushing dirt in to your teeth (hmm.. am I doing a good job at selling this to you?!) BUT, stick with it, you get used to it being a bit different and you end up with sparkly teeth, fresh breath and NO PLASTIC WASTE woohoo! It may seem expensive at £8 a pot, but one pot lasts me much longer than a traditional tube of toothpaste, so I buy them a lot less frequently. It won't be for every one! But for me- I won't use anything else!
2.FACE CREAMS, HAIR SERUMS & DEODORANTS
I make them all using pretty much the same ingredients! My face cream/ hair serum is made from shea butter, coconut oil, grapeseed and essential oils. I buy the shea butter in big bulk tubs and I think the last tub lasted me about 2 years! I mix roughly equal parts shea butter and coconut oil in a Pyrex jug in a pan of boiling water. I melt them down, add a little squeeze of grapeseed oil (not always needed) and add some drops of essential oil. I then pour it in to the same jar that i just keep refilling!
The Deodorant is shea butter, coconut oil, bicarb of soda, arrowroot powder and essential oils and it is honestly the BEST deodorant I've ever used! I follow this RECIPE
I have been making my own products for about 4 years and have saved so much plastic (and money) in doing so!
3. MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS
Reuse-able sanitary products save SO much plastic waste! Traditional sanitary towels contain around 90% plastic and tampons have plastic in them too.
For the past 4 years, I have been using cotton and bamboo sanitary towels and an Organicup. Not only do they save huge amounts of plastic waste, but they are SO MUCH CHEAPER! One pack of re useable sanitary towels can last 5 years! I know a few people who are put off because they think it's all a bit yucky, but it really, really isn't. You just just put them in the washing machine and they come out fresh and ready to use again. To me the idea of used tampons floating around in the ocean or used sanitary towels sat around on landfill sites is so much yuckier!! There are loads of different brands to try- and I recommend purchasing a few to test which works best for you- especially with the cups. Don't try one cup and then give up. My first one was rubbish- my second one was perfect!
4. SOAP SWAP FOR SHOWER GEL AND HAND WASH
I haven't bought shower gel in years and now I fail to see the point in it! I just buy a Faith in Nature soap, which comes loose in most health food/ zero waste shops. One soap for the sink to wash our hands with and one soap for the bath to wash our bodies with. So simple! No more plastic bottles of hand wash or shower gel. Although for those of you who love a shower gel or hand wash and are not prepared to swap for soap, take advantage of zero waste shops who offer refills of those products, that way you only ever need the one plastic bottle.
5. SHAMPOO REFILS AND SOAP BARS
For the past 5 years, I have experimented with shampoo soap bars- some I found to be really bad for my thick hair, and some really good. I highly recommend trying a few! My husband, however, didn't get along with the shampoo soap at all and so, we decided to opt for Faith in Nature refills. I actually buy the big 5 litre bottles from the Faith in Nature website and refill my smaller shampoo bottle once a month. The 5 litre bottles of shampoo may be plastic, but one bottle costs around £35 and lasts us a year. When it's finished with, I cut the top off and use the large tub as a planter in my garden!
So it's a pretty decent alternative and, though not 100% plastic free, it saves a lot of plastic waste!
You have probably seen the bamboo toothbrushes around. Those are great and definitely an eco friendly alternative, but before I knew about the bamboo ones, I had already bought this toothbrush and I have been using it now for about 4 years. It is made from plastic but you never need to replace the toothbrush body itself, just the bristles. The bristles pop out of the top of the brush and you just replace them! Its a company called Yaweco. All of the Yaweco packaging is recyclable, so when you buy new bristle heads, you can recycled the packaging they come in. So this is an important point that I want to make- when you are making your bathroom plastic free, avoid throwing away EVERYTHING plastic. If you already own it and it has more life in it, replacing it with another produced product, plastic or not, is less environmentally friendly than getting all of the use you can out of the item you already own!
7. TOILET ROLL
While toilet roll itself is plastic free, it is usually packaged in plastic. Unfortunately it is a product we cannot avoid and often find ourselves with lots of plastic packaging each month.
There are 2 brands I want to introduce you to that use plastic free packaging and are eco friendly. The first is The Cheeky Panda. This brand make toilet roll from bamboo- the fastest growing plant in the world. The packaging is made from sustainably sourced paper! Not a piece of plastic in sight. I get this from my local health food shop for £3.50 for 4 rolls. It is a touch more expensive than other brands, but amazing quality- oh so luxurious and super soft!
The other brand I like is called Eco Leaf. They make recycled toilet roll in compostable packaging! It is cheaper than the Cheeky Panda but not as soft and wonderful! Still, it does it's job!
So there are my 7 simple swaps towards a plastic free bathroom! I hope they have been useful and maybe inspire you to make some eco friendly swaps!
Thank you for reading! Lisa