Making the switch to eco-friendly options in any room can be really tricky, but for me, the bathroom was the most obvious place to start. The main reason being that there’s loads of alternative options available that are really easy to find, and it can almost feel like a quick win which gives you the impetus to keep finding more! If you’re looking for some ideas but are not sure where to start, let me share some of my faves.
Losing the shower gel bottles and switching to soap bars was the first thing I did for my eco-bathroom and since then I’ve become obsessed with them! There are some amazing options available and when I can I like to support local makers too. Recent faves include Genie Soaps, Tanaka (who offer a soap subscription service) and Beauty Kitchen. If you want to stick to the absolute basics or are on a tight budget, you can even pick up soap bars off the supermarket shelves. The common theme of them all is that they’re generally wrapped in cardboard/paper that can easily be recycled, or some come with zero packaging at all which is obviously even better. My top tip for using up every single scrap: stick the last of your used soap on top of your new one – once it dries out it’ll stay firmly glued and means absolutely zero waste.
You’ll also find shampoo and conditioner bars readily available in loads of places now. I’m still trying to find the perfect one for my hair, as I have scalp psoriasis and need to be really careful what I use near my scalp. Eco Warrior is my latest use and so far, so good. If you have a similar scalp situation and have found the perfect one, I would be really interested to know.
Let’s face it, 2020 is the year we’ve all washed our hands more than ever before, which means going through a lot more hand soap. I first discovered Fill via Plastic Freedom, but since then I’ve also ordered directly from Fill’s website – where they offer a massive refill option in a box – and local zero waste shops where you can fill up. The glass bottles are definitely very pleasing to the eye and the Fill fig scent is deelish. I’m really excited as a refill shop is opening in the next village to me soon and I can’t wait to be able to walk over and fill up my soap!
Reusable make-up pads/Face Halo
If you’re still using eye make-up removers or micellar waters to take your make-up off, stop right now and immediately switch it out to a Face Halo! Made from what seems to be magic, the sponge removes all traces of make-up with JUST. WATER. I’m still shook! After use, pop it into a net bag and then at the end of each week, or whenever you do your washing, pop them in your washing machine and they come out shiny and new. I wash mine with my towels and they’re still soft as can be. Genius product!
I also use reusable make-up pads for toner or removing face masks, which I wash in exactly the same way. If you’re firmly attached to your make-up removers and micellar waters, the reusable pads are a great option rather than single use cotton wool pads. You can buy them from so many places now and if you’re looking for cute options, try Etsy as loads of makers are using up scraps of pretty material to create beauts ones! Plastic Freedom also have some fab design options if you fancy adding some as a stocking filler for someone.
Mouthwash and toothpaste
So far, I’ve only ventured into mouthwash, but I do know there are toothpaste options out there so have a good look around. Once again Plastic Freedom is my go to for this type of product. I’ll admit that I’m still getting used to the mouthwash tablets – they seem to take a really long time to dissolve and you almost have to plan ahead for when it’s teeth cleaning time! But I will carry on as I like that I’m no longer adding an empty mouthwash bottle into my recycling every couple of weeks, especially as so many of them seem to come in yet another layer of plastic that acts as the bottle wrap, ugh!
If you’re obsessed with lip balm like me and pretty much have one in every single draw/pocket/bag, it can definitely be hard to find a good alternative that is right for you. From my experience, this is the type of product that can be the hardest to replace, as I find the eco-versions are often ineffective and can sometimes make dry skin feel even more dry, which is obviously less than ideal. The Valley Mist Restore is nice and I like that you push the product up from the bottom of the tube so you also have an idea of how much is left. What I don’t like, and I would love it if they could find a solution to this, is that the cardboard tube around the top becomes soggy quite quickly and it feels a bit icky to have wet cardboard so close to your mouth. TMI? Possibly…
And there you have it! 5 easy alternatives to an eco-bathroom. I’ve made so many more switches in the last 18 months and will be back with more soon. If you like this, I’m happy to turn it into a series with more switches I’ve made in the house as I continue in my mission to reduce my single-use plastic. Thanks for reading!