Have you joined the global effort to slow the flood of plastics polluting our oceans and drinking water? Good for you! The more of us who start rejecting unnecessary plastic in our lives, the better for the planet. By now, you tote around your reusable bags you go accompanies by your stainless steel water bottle and travel mug. Perhaps you’ve even gone as far as packing waste-free lunches – and now you’re wondering: what’s next?
How to Build a Better Bathroom Routine
You’ve probably noticed that most of the products we use in the bathroom are packaged in plastic: shampoo, body wash, lotion, oral care, facial scrubs and cleansers, cosmetics and more. The great news is that there are lots of companies out there developing plastic-free options for these products. But while demand continues to grow, there are simple swaps you can implement to drastically cut down on the plastic you use as you wash, brush and style.
But first, why reduce plastic use?
Plastic pollution has reached epic proportions, with microscopic particles of plastic found in the most remote corners of the planet, including polar ice and the deepest parts of the ocean. Plastic pollution affects all of us, exposing us to hormone disrupting chemicals and making the environment we live in far less healthy.
A primary contributor to the issue is single-use plastics, which include everything from straws and bottles to plastic wrap and packaging. Environmental experts suggest focusing on ways to avoid these single-use items by replacing them with non-plastic alternatives.
Start with soap
Get started with these tried-and-true swaps!
- Plant-based bar soap: Smells great and lathers up just as well as liquid versions.
- Shampoo bar: Level up with a bar soap designed to mend your mane. (You can get one for your pup, too!)
- Moisturizer: Enliven dry skin with argan oil, almond oil or coconut oil, which all come in easy-to-reuse glass containers. BONUS: Use these oils to replace shaving cream as well.
- Hand soap: Melt a paper-wrapped bar of Castile soap (a quick Google search will yield thousands of tutorials).
- Hand salve: These come in sleek tins, which are great for traveling!
- Stock up on low-waste shaving soap, aftershave and beard balm.
Optimize your oral care routine
From toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes to dental floss, quite a bit of plastic goes into caring for our pearly whites. Try these:
- Bamboo toothbrush: Not only is bamboo naturally antibacterial and biodegradable, but this BPA-free brush comes in 100 percent biodegradable packaging
- DIY toothpaste: Easily make a three-month supply using baking soda, bentonite clay, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.
Recycle for your menstrual cycle
Most tampons and pads are made with plastic fibers, which ultimately wind up in the air and in our water supplies. Use these progressive products instead:
- Menstrual cup: Made with flexible, medical-grade silicon.
- Organic cotton pads and panty liners.
- Or, level up with reusable cloth pads: Make this swap and save up to $300 within five years.
Make better makeup choices
For sanitary reasons, makeup tends to come shrink-wrapped in plastic. Do your due diligence to search for cosmetic brands that use the least amount.
Better for baby
Ditch plastic-based diapers, wipes and more with these simple eco swaps you and baby will feel good about!
- Cloth diapers
- Cloth wipes
- Reusable swim diapers
- Plastic-free diaper balm
- Soap bars for babies: Making their debut once again!
Editor's note: While you're thinking about greening your self-care routine, you may want to consider swapping conventional bathroom cleaners for eco-friendly products as well.