In case you haven’t seen the headlines lately, plastic is piling up on our planet.
Scientists say there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Oh, and it’s also taking over our landfills.
Why? Because “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t really apply to plastic. Unlike other materials (e.g., compostable goods like food scraps and cardboard), plastic doesn’t dissipate into organic matter. Instead, it just breaks down into smaller, microscopic pieces.
The good news about our plastic problem? It’s something we can fix.
We can buy less of it, especially single-use plastic.
There’s no doubting the convenience of single-use items like yogurt containers and coffee lids. But purchasing something that lasts for 1,000 years… just to use once? It’s enough to make us want to swear off those disposable cutlery sets forever.
Luckily, we can all make easy swaps when we’re on the go.
Mother Earth will appreciate us carrying a reusable water bottle, reusable shopping bags, and skipping the straw (or carrying a steel or glass alternative) at restaurants.
And what about at home? A quick survey will probably reveal plastic lurking around the house — especially in the bathroom.
Here are three easy ways to create a plastic-free bathroom. None of these suggestions require giving up anything (sorry, you still have to floss 😉 ). They just offer a more sustainable alternative.
1. Use non-plastic versions of your daily staples
Ironically, something that works so hard to keep our mouths clean is polluting our planet. In the U.S. alone, 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes end up in the earth’s landfills and oceans.
An easy switch? Bamboo-handle toothbrushes. Because it grows quickly and is compostable when disposed of properly, bamboo is a sustainable alternative to plastic. Two great picks are Brush with Bamboo and Mable.
You can do away with disposable razors and their high-priced replacement blades by using a safety razor like this one from the Package Free Shop.
Meow Meow Tweet and River Organics offer a variety of highly effective, all-natural products, ranging from deodorant to chapstick — all sold in sustainable, cardboard packaging. And instead of washing your face with single-use makeup wipes, consider investing in reusable washcloths — they’re softer on skin, too.
2. Skip the plastic packaging
When it comes to toiletries, it’s usually not just the products that are single use — the packaging often is, too.
Dental Lace helps you avoid waste from both ends. Instead of plastic thread, the company uses biodegradable mulberry silk floss. This refillable thread is housed inside a reusable glass container.
Plaine Products offers shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and hand wash in aluminum containers. Their products are organic, vegan, and sulfate-free. They pay to have the empty containers shipped back so they can reuse them, which saves a ton of resources.
Once each bottle is too damaged to reuse, it’s recycled and given new life as a different container. Unlike plastic, which is downgraded when it’s recycled (which means it can only be reused so many times before it goes to the landfill), aluminum can be recycled infinitely — with no loss of quality.
There are lots of other options to round out your plastic-free bathroom repertoire.
Who Gives a Crap offers TP, tissues, and towels that are made from either bamboo or recycled paper. None of their stuff has plastic packaging. Plus, they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need.
Free Bonus: Easily Clutter-Proof Your Bathroom In Only 5 Steps
3. DIY your own supplies
There are more and more resources for those crafty souls who are willing to go the extra step and make their own products. DIY is a great way to skip the plastic and cut down on waste.
Feeling nervous? Start with whipping up some toothpaste. Most toothpaste tubes can’t be recycled, so straight to the landfill they go.
Plus, it’s easy! The ingredients are all stuff you probably have in your house right now. You’ll need one glass jar, some coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint essential oil (optional).
Simply mix 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a glass jar. (You can add 15 drops of peppermint essential oil for taste.) Mix it together, et voila: You’ve got homemade toothpaste.
That’s the entire recipe. Just dip your toothbrush into the jar and brush.
If that seems too simple, there are recipes out there with fancier ingredients. Check out Kathryn Kellogg’s post from Going Zero Waste. Her recipe includes extensive explanations and information on the ingredients.
Setting up your plastic-free bathroom doesn’t have to be a headache. With these simple swaps, you’ll be an eco-warrior in no time at all.
This is a guest post from Plaine Products, a company dedicated to the elimination of single-use plastics. They provide all-natural, vegan, amazing-smelling hair and body care products. Toxin-free, cruelty-free, and good for the planet.
Top image via A Beautiful Mess