Zero Waste Bathroom Essentials
Going zero waste is not easy, I know from personal experience, but luckily eliminating waste from your bathroom routine just got easier. Here is everything you need to know about creating a zero waste experience in your home bathroom.
Brushing Your Teeth:
Eco-friendly toothbrushes have probably gotten the most media attention lately, but with hundreds of brands to choose from, which type is the best? I have seen eco toothbrushes made from bamboo, wood, plant based plastics, recycled #5 plastics, and cornstarch. All of these options are sustainable, but bamboo wins (due to the fact it is one of the fastest growing plants in the world). Two companies that make the cut for fantastic bamboo toothbrushes are listed here:
Life Unpacked also makes a great dental floss made from corn fibre. When buying floss, make sure it comes in a reusable glass container and is made from silk or corn fibre. Regular dental floss is usually made with nylon, a type of plastic, that takes hundreds of years to biodegrade (source).
When it comes to toothpaste, buy a glass container brand such as Wintergreen Clean or a bamboo container of tooth powder (avoid buying the Nelson Naturals brand because it tastes horrible). If you have time, it will save you money to make you own. Here is the recipe I use - https://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes/homemade-toothpaste
Having a Bath or Shower:
Store your shampoo and conditioner in glass jars (which also leads to less violent shaking of the almost empty shampoo bottle) and refill them at your local zero waste store. In Toronto you can do this at the Unboxed Market or the Pretty Clean Shop. Make sure you are buying all natural bars of soap that are not packaged in plastic - super easy to find at local farmers markets.
Now comes the daunting question of.... bath or shower?
It is more sustainable to have a quick shower (max 5-7 mins) than it is to have a bath, however baths provide a very relaxing ritual for some people. If you are a bath lover, I would recommend only having one a week.
Try to stick to quick showers most of the time to save on water. The most eco-friendly thing to do is buy a water saving shower head. Water saving shower heads don't use more than 2 gallons of water per minute, while a regular one would use closer to 5 gallons of water per minute, and the average bath uses 36 gallons of water (source).
The Part No One Wants to Discuss (The Toilet):
First Step: buy toilet paper made from bamboo fibres or post consumer recycled materials. It is usually pretty easy to find at any health store or zero waste market. Just make sure it isn't wrapped in plastic. Here is a brand I love called Who Gives A Crap.
Second Step: buy a Tushy.
What's a Tushy? It's a modern bidet. Instead of wiping the bacteria around on your bottom, it cleans everything off. It's actually more hygienic than traditional North American "wiping". It stops the spread of bacteria (less yeast infections, UTI's and bladder infections), saves you money and saves the planet. I have been using mine for a month now and would highly recommend it.
It's super easy to install on a regular home toilet.
I challenge you to give it a try if you haven't before!
Next week I will be discussing zero waste feminine hygiene, so all the men out there will probably want to skip next weeks blog haha.
Have a great week,