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For most people, the bathroom is where you begin and end your day. So why make it a place where you begin and end your day with plastic and chemicals? Imagine if you could start your day in a sustainable, healthy, and ethical space without having to second guess the chemicals you’re putting into your body. You can! Just one small switch at a time. We’ve talked before about switches to eliminate toxins and fragrance, and today we’re here talking about some simple switches you can make to remove plastic. We’ve already mentioned a few things, like lip balms and pouches, that you might want use in your bathroom as well as on the go.
A few notes: Switching out one product at a time is better than getting overwhelmed and not making any switches at all.
Also, this is a starting point. Once you start looking for plastic, it is amazing where you finally start to see it. We're sure you'll come up with other products to switch out as well.
1. RAZORS. Plastic razors are great for… honestly nothing. There are always better options!
First up? The plastic-free options.
Safety razors are a much better alternative than plastic razors because they last you far longer, give you a better shave, and don’t fill landfills with plastic! It might take some getting used to (think: learning to shave your legs in middle school) but others have had no problems making the switch! We say give it a try and see it it's for you! With no shame if it's not. Here at SHE some of us use safety razors, some of us don't. You can find safety razors in a variety of places, but we like this one from Wild Minimalism and this one from Amazon.
Here's the funny part: you would have died laughing watching us research this because we watched so many shaving videos...and we discovered that shaving is totally a guy's world! The alternative to straight razors are, well, we'll call them really straight razors. The stick razors you see in old Westerns where total bass ass cowboys use what looks like a knife and you wonder how they don't slit their throat. Too much? Too much. Moving on ; )
Another two options that aren't plastic free, but we can't help but mention them since they keep razors out of landfills:
Option 1: Resharpen your disposable razors. We haven't tried this option. But we've ordered one from Amazon and will let you know how easy it is.
Option 2: Use a plastic razor that has been recycled like this one from Preserve! Actually there's a lot to cheer about with this company. This B-Corp makes products from recycled #5 (polypropylene) plastic such as Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups and items from Plum Organics and Whole Food. Those same products can be recycled again when the time comes to replace them. Bonus points: its products are all made in the USA (lower carbon footprint if you live here) and are not tested on animals.
2. FEMININE PRODUCTS. Let’s talk about periods for just a second. By 2022, the feminine product industry is supposed to valued at $42.7 billion. That’s because periods cost the average woman $18,171 over the course of her lifetime. That’s a lot of money. It also generates a lot of waste; you can figure just how much yours creates here. All of that being said, imagine if women were able to change this industry. Imagine if we could control how we’re taking care of our bodies in a sustainable and healthy way. Imagine if we could ditch the bleach-filled tampons and plastic applicators. Good news, we can. The innovators and entrepreneurs out there have already created plastic-free and sustainable alternatives for women on their periods.
- Reusable pads. Reusable pads and panty liners act just like regular pads, but they’re washable and reusable. These options from Hesta Organic are organic cotton, so they’re lacking the chemicals that regular pads have. Gladrags also provides great organic pads. Luna pads are another option: this company is a women-owned, social mission business.
- Thinx underwear. Basically exactly the same as a reusable pad, except they’re underwear! And cute. Also completely sanitary and leak-proof, so triple win!!!
- Menstrual cups. If you’re not familiar with what a menstrual cup is, it’s a silicone cup that you can insert just like a tampon except it holds up to 3 times as much as a regular super tampon. They also last you years, so not only are you cutting down on waste but you’re saving a ton of money. There are lots of brands (you can find a Diva cup at Walmart!) But we like these ones made in the USA from Hesta Organic or Ruby Cups. For every Ruby cup you purchase, one is donated to a woman in East Africa. 100 million girls have to miss school because of their period. A Ruby cup empowers them to achieve their dreams by going about their daily life.
3. HAIRBRUSHES. Hairbrushes are typically made completely out of plastic, but this one is entirely made out of bamboo! Even the bristles! You can also get a bamboo comb. Bamboo is better for distributing natural oils throughout your hair than plastic… bonus!
4. FLOSS. Those single-use plastic floss sticks are incredibly handy, but entirely unsustainable. Even typical floss comes in an unsustainable plastic packaging. But this floss comes in a spool inside a glass container, and you can buy refills! Look for floss in stainless steel packaging as well.
5. TOOTHBRUSHES. It is quite possible to never buy a toothbrush if you regularly go to the dentist's office (or stock up at hotels ; ). But unless your dentist office rocks (please tell us if they do!), then you can #choosetorefuse and buy a plastic-free option instead! These compostable toothbrushes are great because it’s not just the bamboo handle that’s compostable, but the bristles themselves are also made out of plant-based fibers too!
These toothbrushes are also biodegradable and come in fun colors, perfect for if you share a bathroom and need to easily differentiate between toothbrushes. The brushes from Humble Brush are also made from bamboo, but use Nylon 6 for bristles. The company was focused on creating a brush that would degrades over time, be processsed through regular waste channels, yet last long enough to allow you to use your brush for the recommended three months. More importantly, every Humble purchase goes towards funding a project for children in need of oral care via the support of the Humble Smile Foundation. For every brush sold, a child in need receives a brush or needed oral care.
If you’re travelling and need a toothbrush case, this bamboo case by The Environmental Toothbrush is for you!
Optional: If bamboo just isn't your thing, Preserve does have a recycled plastic toothbrush made with new nylon bristles and 100% recycled plastic.
6. SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER. An effective, chemical-free hair product alone is hard enough to find, let alone a plastic free version! We discovered some solid shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush. While you’re there, pick up a few bath bombs… just because they’re pretty and shopping plastic-free is extra work! You earned a relaxing bath ; )
7. SOAP. Most facial cleansers come in a plastic tube, even bars of soap come individually wrapped in plastic. These charcoal bars by Beautycounter are not only quite possibly the greatest soap bars on the planet, but they come packaged in recyclable cardboard. We mentioned them in our Spring Handbook! You can also check out your local farmer’s market for unwrapped bars of soap that typically contain non-toxic ingredients. Or head to Whole Foods and look for Good Soap. Made by Alaffia, these soaps aren't covered in plastic. Instead you grab the scents and shapes you want and slide them in a cute paper bag! Best of all, Good Soap sales fund Alaffia community empowerment projects in West Africa with the end goal of poverty alleviation, gender equality and human rights for all. Read more here ... and check out Alaffia, which is an incredible company with massive impact and clean, fair trade products.
8. TOILET BRUSHES. A toilet brush and stand isn’t exactly the prettiest thing to display in your bathroom, but it is better to have that out instead of a dirty toilet and this brush and stand is actually pretty cute! It’s made out of wood and comes with a removable terra cotta dish that you can clean at any time. Eco-friendly and sanitary!
- Plastic is going to be around forever. So make sure you recycle everything in your bathroom that you can! Toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles are things commonly not recycled, simply because it’s easy to forget that they can be! One note: make sure to completely clean them out before recycling.
- Storage is great for keeping things organized and clutter-free. Buy wire baskets or mason jars to store your makeup products and brushes.
- Stop lining your trash cans with plastic bags. That just means the plastic bags are going to end up in landfills too! Consider lining your trash with old newspaper, or forgoing a liner altogether. We have a ceramic trashcan and we'll give the container a quick rinse on the weekends. Dump the trash can directly into your larger trash can outside when it gets full.
Remember, each step, whether big or small, is still a step. Comment below about any changes you’ve made, or any changes you want some help making!