I have been desperately trying to apply more environmentally friendly techniques in my life for the last decade and let’s be honest, it’s hard! Especially if you have a family and a busy day that doesn’t allow for much flexibility or research into the newest trends in plastic substitutes. On top of that, if you do get a minute to sit down and research, there is so much contradicting information that you feel more overwhelmed than before you started. Thankfully, I have taken next steps toward using less plastic in my bathroom and I want to share it with you because not only are these methods environmental impact minimalist, they also take up less space!
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Locating your biggest plastic problems
There is not denying that each of us are going to have our own problem areas when it comes to plastic. However, I think it’s safe to say, for the most part, that women tend to have the same plastic consumption problems:
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Hair products
- Face products
I have put together 5 of my favorite ideas for how to reduce or completely eliminate your plastic waste in these areas and also…just maybe…clear your space a little bit too. Read: Small bathroom makeover on a budget.
Finding your clutter spots
Of course, just like we are all going to have bigger plastic problem areas, there will, of course, be spots in our house, in our bathrooms, where more clutter tends to gather. These sneaky little clutter-suckers might be:
- Under the sink
- The edges of the bathtub
- On the counters
- In the cabinet
For me the biggest area I wanted to tackle was the side of the bathtub since I’ve done a pretty decent job of decluttering and organizing inside the cupboard and under the sink.
This worked out perfectly for creating space and eliminating some future plastic waste.
1. Go no-poo
Just like my first tip for organization is to declutter, my first tip for less plastic waste, is to require less of the products that are usually contained inside plastic. You can do this by going “no poo” AKA eliminating the use of shampoo.
Did you know washing our hair more than once a week has only been popular over the last 50 years? And consider how beautiful hair was back in the 60’s and 70’s. Mayyyybe our excessive use of products (and poo) has something to do with it.
That’s why, in the last few years, the no poo method has become popularized as a way to encourage people to wash their hair less. 5 Natural Hair Care Treatments and 5 to Avoid.
2. Opt for no-plastic bath products
Of course, along with using less shampoo, there are now a variety of no plastic products that you can use for your hair, and body wash!
My favorite space saving system that is also low plastic waste is the Mikayla’s Ultimate Shower Bundle from KITSCH. Use code: RENEEBENES15 to save 15% on your purchase. This bundle comes with:
- Shower caddy
- Shampoo bar
- Conditioner bar
- Sugar scrub bar
- Detox body wash
There is a bit of an up-front investment, but I committed to it, because I am so sick of constantly buying, rising and recycling plastic bottles. You can also set up a pre-order for all of your bars so they will ship to you every 2 months.
Each bar is only $12 which I figure was about what I was already spending on my other bathroom products.
Here’s a quick video of me getting it all set up. Click here and use code: RENEEBENES15 to get 15% off your purchase.
3. Get organized
Ok, get organized sounds super vague. Here’s what I mean…
Chances are you have a few unfinished bath products lingering around that bathroom of yours. Am I right? Before you head to the store for the newest and best smelling products, make sure you take the time to finish up those last few drops of the ones you currently have.
Now, if you’re like me and hate when your shampoo and conditioner run out at different times, here are a few things you can do with each of them on their own so that they are not going to waste.
- Use as a makeup brush cleaner
- Add to a foot or hand soak for an at home mani/pedi
- Wash your bod (it might actually be gentler than your normal soap)
- Shaving cream (my personal go-to — and my bald hubby’s!)
- DIY detangler (just mix with water in a spray bottle)
4. Give DIY a try
For your other big plastic uses, like face masks, and hair products, consider looking into alternatives. I found this amazing DIY face mask a few years ago and it still is one of the best ones I’ve ever tried. 4 Ingredient Yogurt and Turmeric Face Mask
Doing this can help reduce the number of products you are bringing into your home by using things you already have on hand. Read: 60 Cleaning and Beauty Hacks That Cost 99 Cents
5. Go for low-waste soap options
Another good option is to think simpler by choose smarter options for your hand-washing. We have been re-using a foaming hand dispenser and replacing it with a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Pure Castile Soap and water. While this still requires us to use plastic, because we use so little of the soap itself it lasts a very long time. My favorite to use for hand soap is Dr. Bronner’s lavender.
Another good option might be to go back to traditional hand soap for your low traffic bathrooms. (Ya know, if you’re not a big fan of a bunch of people rubbing all over your soap.)
Another good option for this to avoid constantly buying a new plastic jug of soap is to search refill stations in your area. This is a place where you can refill things like shampoo, conditioner, soaps and detergents without having to buy a plastic container!
What do I do with my plastic?
The question still remains about what to do with remaining or leftover plastics. Before you go making swaps, the best thing to do would be to gradually finish all the product you have left in the bottles, make sure to rinse and be sure to recycle.
I know it can feel like a sucker-punch every month when you have to toss another plastic bottle into the recycling all while crossing your fingers that it will actually be recycled. Remember, take baby steps where you can, and be patient with yourself during the transition. (I know I have been.)