If you’re taking steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle, the bathroom is a great place to start. Lots of beauty products and toiletries are plastic wrapped, single use, or disposable, and many of them can’t be recycled, so introducing some eco-friendly bathroom swaps is an easy way to make a big difference to your plastic clutter.
Start by reducing unnecessary products, avoiding impulse buys, and using what you already have in the cupboards. Then, next time you use up a bottle of shampoo or finish a tube of toothpaste, you can try out a greener alternative.
Here are seven simple swaps for a more eco-friendly bathroom:
Switch to solid soap
Liquid soap dispensers can be quick and convenient, but they also come with a LOT of packaging. Even buying refills means extra plastic containers, and the pumps themselves are made of mixed materials so can’t be recycled.
Swap to a bar of soap – many are packaged in paper, and you’ll find some with no packaging at all at zero-waste shops or makers’ markets. A bar of soap is just as effective as liquid soap for washing your hands, plus it gets a good rinse each time it’s used (and honestly, how often do those pump handles get cleaned?)
Choose toilet paper that isn’t plastic wrapped
Standard toilet paper comes wrapped in non-recyclable plastic, and the paper itself is usually made from brand new materials, even though it will be flushed away moments later.
Look for alternative materials like fast-growing bamboo, and opt for products wrapped in paper (or even ‘naked’.) By buying in bulk when you can, you’ll also cut down on packaging and the carbon costs of multiple deliveries.
Swap to a biodegradable toothbrush
Toothbrushes aren’t exactly single use, but we should still be replacing them fairly frequently – every 3 to 4 months for effective cleaning and good oral health. Between all of us, that means a LOT of plastic toothbrushes being thrown away each year.
Try a bamboo toothbrush for a sustainable option. Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, and once you’re done it’s biodegradable and compostable. Just bear in mind that most bristles are made from nylon, so they won’t break down; pull them out using pliers and dispose of them separately.
And remember that you can reuse your old toothbrush for household cleaning before recycling it!
Choose an eco-friendly toothpaste
Every year over 1 billion single-use toothpaste tubes go to landfill because those soft plastic tubes can’t be recycled.
Happier Beauty tubes are made from aluminium: one of the easiest and most efficient materials to recycle, and able to go through the recycling process over and over again without losing quality.
Our lids are made from a type of plastic which is widely recycled, but they can also be returned to us for free. Once we’ve washed and sterilized them, they’ll be reused on future Happier toothpaste orders.
Try solid shampoo and conditioner
Just like soap, switching to a solid bar for hair products cuts down on plastic bottles, and often lasts longer. There are lots of options available for all hair types and preferences.
You can also experiment with washing methods… understanding your hair type and learning about different approaches could lead to washing your hair less frequently, or even getting rid of products altogether!
Switch to reusable face cloths
Single-use cleansing face wipes and makeup pads may be convenient, but they all go straight in the bin. If you cleanse your face once or twice a day, choosing reusable options will cut down on a lot of waste, both from the products themselves and their plastic packaging.
Plus, many skincare experts recommend using washable cloths because they’re better for your skin, so switching to sustainable materials for your face is win-win. Invest in 5 or 6 so you’ll have clean ones ready to use while the others are in the wash.
Use a safety razor
Standard disposable razors are only designed to be used a few times, and because they’re made of a combination of materials, they can’t be recycled.
Try switching to a steel safety razor. It may take a little time to get familiar with using it, but the handle should last a lifetime, and when the blades are no longer sharp, they can usually be recycled. You may find your skin feels better too – safety razors have fewer blades, which is beneficial for sensitive skin.
Phasing out any kind of single-use plastic from your bathroom is brilliant, and every change adds up. By developing new habits gradually, you’ll be able to create an eco-friendly bathroom routine that’s sustainable for the future. What will you start with?