A new start in the year is the perfect time to assess the situation and make some changes. Where are you at in your bathroom transition? Could your daily routine become greener by gradually switching from disposable to reusable, and from plastic to more sustainable materials?
The typical bathroom is cluttered with disposable items that pose a threat to our environment. Among the most polluting items we use every day, bathroom items such as cotton buds, plastic toothbrushes, make-up remover and disposable razors account for a considerable share. Ready for a change? Discover 7 ways to make your bathroom more sustainable:
Toothbrushes are often made of several types of plastic and cannot be recycled. They degrade into microplastics and most often end up in our environment. Instead of a plastic toothbrush, opt for a biodegradable wooden or bamboo toothbrush or a toothbrush with a replaceable head. In both cases, there will still be some plastic in the bristles, but in much smaller quantities. This is probably one of the simplest and most effective solutions you can adopt!
Tip: if you live with several people, you can easily personalise the wooden handles by drawing or writing on them. That way, everyone will know which toothbrush is theirs!
Cotons washable make-up remover
On average, a woman uses 6 make-up removal pads per day (source: Consoglobe). After a quick calculation, that's no less than 2,160 cotton pads per year! Switching to washable is actually one of the easiest changes: they look and feel the same, except you wash them instead of throwing them away.
Tip: quickly rinse your cotton pads with soapy water after use and/or throw them in a mesh bag to wash with your white laundry at 30 or 40°.
Soaps, shampoos and conditioners
Soap, shampoo and conditioner sold in plastic bottles are mainly made of water. Their solid versions are nicer, lighter to carry and very often cleaner in terms of composition.
Look for soap bars that are boxless or in recyclable packaging. There are many options, so you're sure to find one that works for you.
When it comes to shampoo, some people mention having to go through a detox phase that lasted from a few days to 2 or 3 weeks. So if you're not completely satisfied with the first result, don't give up immediately and give yourself some time! Your hair may have needed to produce more sebum in the past to fight the chemicals that were in your conventional shampoo. It now needs to regulate itself. Don't worry, it will adjust quickly.
Cold-processed shampoos are the ones that generally have the best composition as they do not require chemical agents such as SCI. However, it is usually necessary to complement their use with a solid conditioner to avoid having hair difficult to detangle.
Tip: Keep your soaps dry between uses. This will help them last longer.
On average, a shaver uses one disposable razor or blade cartridge per week. That's the equivalent of 52 shavers per year! BIC still sells 11 million shavers a day (source: Planetoscope). Time to switch to a Safety Shaver, don't you think? Safety shavers are durable shavers where you only change a single blade made of stainless steel.
Cotton buds are in the top 10 most common beach litter, behind plastic bottles and cigarette butts. It's a real shame when you consider that they are only used for a few seconds. A sustainable alternative is to use reusable cotton buds made of metal, wood or silicone. They are washable and reusable. Or, if you want a simpler alternative with an absorbent material, opt for 100% biodegradable cotton buds made of wood and cotton.
Skin care and cosmetics
To take another step towards a natural and waste-free bathroom, try to find alternatives that come in recycled or more sustainable containers such as cardboard, glass, metal or wood and try to avoid plastic. Deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc: there are plenty of options available today. Some brands also offer refillable options, which are also more economical.
Consider checking if you have a bulk food shop near you that carries solid cosmetics.
Tip: Do not try to change everything at once. Instead, you can look for a sustainable alternative each time you reach the end of a product.
Getting started in DYI
There is nothing more satisfying than making things with your own hands. There are many skincare products that you can make yourself, such as toothpaste, deodorant, make-up remover, bath bomb, etc.
They also make great long-lasting gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc.!
Change your daily routine step by step and choose the sustainable option that suits you best. Don't be afraid to try different brands and different solutions. Everyone is different, with different needs and priorities. Be patient and listen to your body.
Photo credit: Diana Akhmetianova