Welcome to Week 2 of our Plastic Free July Journey! If you haven't already, be sure to check out our Week 1 guide on Reducing Plastic Waste in the Kitchen. Otherwise, let's dig right in to reducing plastic waste in the bathroom!
1. Use Plastic Free Hair Products
Conventional shampoo and conditioner are one bathroom product that continually need replacing, and are therefore continually producing plastic bottles! This week, have a go at using a product that doesn't produce more single-use plastic waste and see what you think.
Shampoo and conditioner bars are the perfect completely zero waste alternative that come in compostable paper packaging and are full of natural, nourishing, and toxic-free ingredients. See the video below for a quick tutorial on how to use shampoo and conditioner bars!
If you feel more comfortable sticking to the familiar liquid shampoos and conditioners, most bulk stores now offer refills! Next time you're at the bottom of your hair care bottles, simply give it a quick rinse and take it to your nearest bulk store for a refill. As a bonus, these products are almost always toxic-free alternatives that are much better for your body than some of the conventional concoctions.
2. Use Single-Use-Plastic Free Soaps
Along similar lines to using shampoo and conditioner bars and refills, do the same for soap! Instead of continually buying liquid hand soap for bathroom (and kitchen) sinks, instead invest in a good quality soap holder and buy naturally packaged soap bars (that don't come wrapped in single-use plastic), or simply rinse out your liquid soap containers and refill them at bulk stores. Check back in next week for our Week 3 guide on Reducing Plastic Waste in the Laundry to see a video tutorial on how to make your own liquid hand soap from soap berries!
Another awesome way to get and use soap is in refillable bags! These soap savers allow you to wash your hands through the hand-knotted hemp rope or upcycled towel bags, the texture of which increases the cleaning power of the soap.
3. Clean with Natural & Compostable Products
The bathroom is usually the room in the house that needs the most regular cleaning, meaning that these products usually need replacing the most, and therefore produce the most plastic waste. Here are some suggestions of more natural and compostable alternatives that you could choose the next time your bathroom cleaning chemicals, brushes, and other items need replacing!
There are so many natural cleaning products available today that have minimal impact on the Earth at the end of their life. Things like cleaning gloves (made from natural rubber and cotton that are completely biodegradable and compostable), scrubbing brushes, dustpans and brooms, long-handle brooms, microfibre cloths, toilet brushes, toilet brush holders, and more can be found made from eco-friendly, natural, and compostable materials that reduce your single-use plastic and overall plastic waste.
As for cleaning chemicals, there are many natural cleaning products on the market that are made from naturally antibacterial, antiseptic, and non-toxic ingredients that are not only better for you and your family's health, but also the health of our waterways and greywater systems. Many conventional cleaning products contain highly toxic chemicals that end up getting washed into our waterways and ultimately contaminate the Earth's water table. Be sure to choose an environmentally friendly cleaning product, or make your own! Vinegar and bicarb soda are really useful ingredients in your natural cleaning routine.
Next week's video tutorial will show you how to create your own easy cleaning product from soap berries so make sure to check that out!
4. Make Your Own Beauty/Body Product
Making your own products like face scrubs, body scrubs, bath bombs, moisturisers, toothpaste, and deodorants eliminate those hard single-use plastic containers and means you can just keep reusing the same container or jar! Even better if you get these ingredients from bulk stores without single-use plastic packaging. Have a go at making a DIY product this week - you might be surprised how easy, cheap, and fulfilling it is!
The quick video tutorial below shows you how to make your own deodorant with just three ingredients:
5. Use a Bamboo Toothbrush
Not only are plastic toothbrushes made from fossil fuels and a very common item found to be polluting oceans and killing marine animals, but they are also very difficult to recycle. Electric toothbrushes are especially harmful at the end of their life if the battery has not been disposed of properly as it may leak acid and toxic chemicals.
Bamboo toothbrushes are all the rage at the moment and many people are turning to this easy and cheap alternative. They last as long as a plastic toothbrush but are almost entirely biodegradable!
At the end of their life, simply remove the plastic bristles with pliers (they come out very easily after months of use) and place them inside something in your landfill bin so that they don't blow away. Pop the bamboo handle in the compost, or simply bury it. This brings your usual whole toothbrush waste down to just the bristles - a huge improvement!
Remember to keep your old plastic toothbrushes even when you switch to eco-friendly alternatives as you can keep using them as cleaning tools and get more use out of them!
If you want to take your oral care to the next level without plastic, toothpaste soap is an awesome new product that allows you to brush your teeth without the plastic toothpaste tubes! It does come in a plastic tub, but one which you reuse by simply refilling with toothpaste soap refills whenever you run out. Silk or cotton dental floss (with refills) is also a great swap instead of the conventional plastic floss.
Thank you and good luck!
Thank you for continuing your Plastic Free July Journey and we can't wait to see how you go!
Remember to photograph your new bathroom swaps (whether it be a toothbrush, DIY deodorant, or toilet brush) - check in at Urban Revolution Australia on Facebook or tags our @urbanrevaus page on Instagram.
We would love to see you in our Vic Park store in Perth if you need any eco-friendly supplies or would like to chat to our knowledgeable team. Feel free to email or message us any time if you have questions of feedback.
Thank you and good luck!