With the weather finally starting to get better and spring in the air, it’s also time for spring cleaning. This is also the perfect opportunity to think about all the “dirt” humans are generally accumulating on our planet. Consumerism and industrial production are rapidly depleting our planet’s resources, while 79% of all plastic ever produced remains unchanged in waste dumps (Geyer et al. 2017)! Over the past few years the zero waste/low impact movement has emerged to stand up against our throw-away society. And during March I want to share my zero waste experiences with you, discussing a different area of life every week. Because my toiletries and personal hygiene routines have probably changed the most since I started my journey last summer, I figured zero waste bathroom swaps would be a good start! 🌍
Some zero waste swaps are easier than others…
I made a promise to myself to every time I run out of a “regular” product buy the zero waste version instead. Some swaps, eg. buying a wooden toothbrush like my bamboo one from Hydrophil, were easy, while others, such as using a menstrual cup, required some adjusting. But slow progress is still progress! I went from using a deodorant in plastic to one in a glass bottle to this locally-handmade, vegan, zero waste deo cream from Rauch’s Seifenmanufaktur. Initially I was sceptical since even commercial deodorant fails me sometimes and rubbing it directly under my arms was unusual. But after some adjusting of how much to use I’ve gotten used to it so quickly!
Swapping my vegan, natural hair shampoo in a plastic bottles against zero waste shampoo bars from Shampoo Bit was another big change. I have quite greasy hair, but after around two weeks of using this bar I am fine. I’ve found it works best when you rub the bar directly over your head, instead of trying to make it foam in your hands. I’ve also started using soap bars instead of liquid soap in bottles. I’m actually using bars my mum found in her basement (hence the weird sheep soap in the picture). That means I’m not 100% sure they are vegan, but they wouldn’t be used otherwise which fits better with the zero waste intentions than buying new soap. I also had a Halloween soap with a pumpkin inside and a soap with a Christmas-y smell, so that’s another plus 😂
…and some are life changers
Hands down, the most amazing swap for me is coconut oil as make-up remover 🤯 The concept sounded so fake to me until I tried it randomly one day and immediately stopped using my “regular” product. Even for waterproof make-up and lipsticks, I’ve struggled getting off before! Honestly, if there’s one swap I want everyone to make, it’s this one! Transferring a small amount of coconut oil into a pot and keeping it in the bathroom would be a great first zero waste swap. Just melt a tiny amount of oil between your fingers, rub onto your face to remove the make-up (embrace the panda 🐼😉) and remove with a reusable cotton pad – done!
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone! We have been conditioned to think that we need all these products to care for our bodies and be beautiful. Therefore, it might be difficult to believe that simpler, more sustainable products can achieve the same. But don’t know it ’till you’ve tried it! Make it a fun challenge to see what works for you!
- Ease into the zero waste thing! You might be really motivated to just throw out every plastic item and replace it with “zero waste approved” equivalents. But honestly, this defeats the purpose of reducing your impact and might get overwhelming. Give youself time to adjust, you’re doing your best!
Do you incorporate zero waste aspects into your life? Have you tried any zero waste toiletries or do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments or over on my Instagram! Check back next week for Part 2 – Zero Waste in the Kitchen! Until then ✌️
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any brands mentioned in the post or pictures in any way. I simply want to show the products that I use and love.
Sources: Geyer, R., Jambeck, J. R., Lavender Law, K. (2017) Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances 3(7). 10.1126/sciadv.1700782