One thing I attempted to do this year was to keep all the plastic bottles I used up in my bathroom for the entire year. The bathroom has been on my radar for a couple years now. I’ve been reducing my waste and then with this year and trying to go zero-waste, and really reduced the amount of plastic in my everyday hair and body care routine. There’s a recipe posted about my homemade toothpaste, which you can see makes a majority of waste for me in the bathroom.
However, I also have many lotions and moisturizers that have collected throughout the years. I was able to make the biggest dent in that area. Overall, here’s the breakdown of my plastics in the bathroom:
- Eucerin Daily Moisturizing Creme
- Bath & Body Works Healing Hand Cream (had for 5+ years)
- Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Lotion
- Bath & Body Works Rio Rumberry Body Lotion
- Bath & Body Works White Citrus Body Lotion
- Bath & Body Works Breath at night intense hydration body cream (had for 5+ years)
- Lush Celestial Facial Moisturizer
All of the bath and body works lotions were gifted to me by friends and family over the years. It took me a long time to get through those containers, and I still have a couple of other lotions in my bathroom that need to be used up. Also, you may have heard about Bath & Body Works being sued over their false claim to “not test on animals.” I used to buy a lot from them, but since going cruelty-free with all my toiletries, I will no longer be purchasing from them. The biggest change in this area is that since I’ve used up all the face and hand creams in my drawers, I have been able to make my own. These have been put in an old recycled glass container. It’s a good moisturizer for your face and hands due to the shea butter.
- Yes to Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser
- Lush Mask of Magnaminty
I am pretty fortunate to have clear skin. So I don’t need a very intense facial cleaning regiment. I’ve also found a lot of simpler items to help use for the occasional breakout. For a toner, I use lavender infused witch hazel. I’ve resorted to more homemade masks that will help exfoliate my face. Sugar and coconut oil make for a very basic and easy exfoliant, but test out the coconut oil on your skin first. It can cause serious breakouts on certain types of skin. If it does for you, you can substitute any other oil, such as the avocado or olive.
Hair Shampoo & Conditioner
- JĀSÖN Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
- JĀSÖN Normalizing Tea Tree Treatment Conditioner
- Hask Macadamia Oil Moisturizing Conditioner
I’ve always been very minimal when it comes to my hair, so I didn’t have a bunch of different types of shampoos to get through. However, this year has been the year of dandruff for me. I’m still trying to figure out an ideal zero-waste hair situation that can help, but I think I’m getting closer. Part of the problem is that I’ve been using items like Head & Shoulders which only work if I wash my hair everyday, which I don’t. I’m currently using up Lush’s Montalbano shampoo bar. Before that I tried Lush’s Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar, but I feel like Lush’s shampoo bars don’t work for my hair type. So for the year 2018, I’m going to try a low-poo combination. And I’ve still got loads of styling products that will most likely be used up by next year.
- Bodycology White Gardenia Shower Gel & Bubble Bath (had for 5+ years)
- Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus Spearmint (had for 5+ years)
- Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel
This is another area that I didn’t have to work too hard to limit my plastic waste. I didn’t have multiple half-filled bottles of body wash. Once I was able to get through my bottle of body washes, I moved onto my bars of soap I’d stock piled over the years. I was concerned about my skin drying out when switching over to the bars, however, I pleasantly surprised. My skin would feel dry for the first 10-15 minutes after showering, but would go away once my body temperature leveled out. And on days when I was feeling particularly dry, I’d just use the many options of lotion I had available. Once the lotion is completely used up, I plan on using coconut oil as a body moisturizer.
- Tom’s Long Lasting – Unscented
- Schmidt’s Ylang-Ylang + Calendula Deodorant
Like my face, I’ve been pretty fortunate to not need a very demanding deodorant. Even though I’m a very active person, I don’t sweat profusely. Also, since going vegan, I’ve noticed my body odor has gone down significantly. I can use less deodorant which makes it last longer and less waste in the long run. I recently just got a couple more deodorants from a friend, so I’m still working on going zero-waste in this area. However, if it takes a whole year to get through 2 products, I’m not too upset about it.
- Tom’s Whole Care Wintermint & Spearmint
- Tom’s Enamel Strength Peppermint
- Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint All-One
- Nature’s Gate Creme de Mint
So while I am working towards a zero-waste lifestyle, I don’t want to force it on my husband. While I am working on making my own toothpaste, I still purchase it for him. I also wanted to include them, because while I use my homemade version about 80% of the time, the other 20% I do use a product in plastic. One of my goals for 2018 is to be 100% zero-waste with toothpaste. I didn’t collect all the floss and toothpicks I’ve used because that’s gross to me, but since those have been made of plastic I did feel the need to mention it. Once I get through those 10+ years of free floss from the dentist, I plan on using 100% cotton floss. This is a great example of refuse. When they offer those packages of toothpaste, brush and floss after a visit to the dentist, just politely say no thank you. Our oral health is very important, but it does require a lot of plastic. So start slow at going zero-waste in this department. It’s a big change to your everyday life-style and takes some discipline, so take your time.
- Blistex Lip Medex (had for 10+ years)
This chapstick has been with me for a long time, so it’s had quite the journey and story. The outside of the container shows it too. I first got it when I was a young teen on a ski trip. My lips were chapped and I needed a quick solution, so my dad bought me some chapstick. And that I promptly forgot about it, as most women do with their lip and chapsticks. I have a little bag I bought in Italy that I use to keep all my lip related items in. That little bag has helped me from losing any chapsticks for the past 9 years. So that’s where my blistex has been for the past 9 years. It takes a really long time for me to go through my chapsticks and lipsticks since I don’t use them often. This is another area that I’ve had to learn to refuse. There’s been so many times I was given free chapstick that I’m set for life. That’s one item that produces a lot of plastic that I have been able to really reduce.
My goal of this long ramble was to show that there’s a lot more plastic in our bathroom routine than I think people realize. Even if you can reduce the amount, it would make a big difference. So here’s to a more zero-waste friendly 2018.