If you’re currently on the journey to a sustainable lifestyle, or if you’re hoping to embark on this in the near future, you may have considered tackling what is often one of the biggest problem areas in the home: the bathroom. Between plastic toothbrushes, disposable razors, and single-use cotton balls, this room is ripe for change! If you start exploring your options, you’ll quickly discover that there are a lot of opportunities for turning your current commode into a zero waste bathroom. Here are 5 of our suggestions for how to make your own zero waste bathroom:
1. Hold on to Your Bottles and Refill Them
- A great way to start off your zero waste bathroom is to reuse what you already have! In most cases, the optimal eco-friendly choice is to extend the life of the items you currently possess. How, you may ask? Well, a lot of products like body lotion, face moisturizer, and toner have bulk refill options at your local low waste/sustainability store. So whenever your product runs out, instead of buying a new bottle with new packaging, you can simply take the cleaned, empty bottle to your local bulk store and refill it! Now, your next question may be, how do I find one of these refill stores? We’ve got a few resources for you:
- The blog Litterless provides a zero waste shopping guide, where the bulk refill store selections are listed state-by-state.
- Similarly, the blog Zero Waste Home has a bulk finder, where you can easily type in your zip code and see the refill store options in your area.
- We also partner with a ton of amazing low waste and refill shops through the Albatross Blade Take Back Program. You can look through our Instagram to see our highlight posts of these stores and potentially find one near you!
2. Make Your Own Products
- We also realize that a zero waste store or a wide selection of refillable products may not be available in your area. As such, it may be easier and cheaper for you to achieve a zero waste bathroom by making your own products from DIY recipes! Making your own products is a great budget-friendly option, and it also allows you to create more natural products with no ingredient uncertainty because you made it yourself! One of the most common homemade recipes is for body scrub (check Pinterest for examples), which typically has just a few ingredients – a coarse material for the exfoliant and an oil to hold it all together. You could even make a super eco-friendly body scrub by repurposing used coffee grounds! Another super easy DIY product is toothpaste. Simply combine 1 part baking soda and 2 parts coconut oil (tablespoons work best) in a small jar and stir to combine! Optionally, you can add some cinnamon or peppermint essential oil (approx. 20 drops) for added flavor. Speaking of coconut oil, this product is basically the magic ingredient when creating a zero waste bathroom, and can be used in many other DIY recipes, including just by itself as a makeup remover.
3. Ditch the Disposable Razor
- It’s estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that 2 billion plastic razors are thrown away each year. As the world’s first zero waste shaving company, we are thrilled to be able to provide a zero waste solution for this problematic industry, and another great zero waste bathroom swap. Once your last plastic cartridge has been used, replace your razor with an Albatross zero waste safety razor. Compared to plastic razors, safety razors do the work for you because you don’t need to apply any pressure, you let the razor itself do the work. And our razors are affordable (replacement blades cost only $0.30 each!), easy-to-use, and overall just a great addition to any zero waste bathroom! Wanna learn more about the importance of this plastic-free swap? Check out this blog post to read about the environmental implications of plastic razors.
4. Use Bars in the Shower
- As we mentioned, it may not make sense to go the refill route for all of your bathroom products. When it comes to shower essentials, consider trying another money saving alternative, and use bar products instead. At Albatross Designs, we supply everything you need to swap out your current shower caddy with bar substitutes! Our activated charcoal and green tea bar soap is a fantastic cleansing soap for both your face and body. And our peppermint tea tree shampoo bar will leave your hair feeling clean, silky, and smooth. We just love how minimalistic a bathroom looks with bar products instead of large, clunky bottles! And the satisfaction of adding a plastic free shower routine to your zero waste bathroom is pretty gratifying as well. Just make sure to use a soap dish that drains well so your soaps don’t sit in a pool of water in the shower – this will greatly increase the lifespan of your bar soaps!
5. Try Reusable Facial Cloths
- While disposable cotton products like Q-tips or cotton balls are super convenient, opting for a reusable, cloth option is better for the planet. This zero waste bathroom swap can be as easy as replacing your container of cotton balls (once they’re all used up, of course!) with a stack of reusable towels you already have. Depending on what you use these products for, you may also want to consider reusable facial rounds. There are options for this on Etsy, or, if you’re savvy with a sewing machine, you could even try making your own (YouTube it for examples)! Facial rounds are intended to be smaller and more delicate than regular cloth, so they are perfect for removing makeup or cleansing the more delicate areas of the face. It’s up to you to decide what type of reusable facial cloth you’d like to use, but if you are used to using Q-tips or cotton balls, you’ll soon develop an appreciation for the durability of real cloth!