I would like to start off by staying I know Amazon is not the most ethical company or environmentally friendly, but, the reality is it is easily access to many people. At another point in time I will try and create a list of places to find these products or similar that is not amazon. I can say for sure that checking your local grocery store or farmers market is a good place to start!
Earlier this year Mama Eco wrote a wonderful piece on how to reduce your order’s packaging waste on amazon I highly recommend giving it a read before you make your next purchase.
I would like to also add that before you go out and buy all these zero waste items, try and use what you have and then purchase items that can be reused (or are at least a little more sustainable and eco-friendly).
With that being said, let’s get into the topic at hand.
Recently (the last year I would say) I have been trying my best to lessen the amount of trash I created on a daily/ monthly/ yearly basis. When I began looking into where most of my trash comes from I found that a large amount of it spouts from things I would categories as “bathroom” or “cosmetic” items. For myself, breaking down these items into categories has helped me create less waste. The subcategories are Oral Hygiene, Shower, Toilet and Other. These are the categories I will be organizing my recommendations under but if anyone out there has any other subcategories I would love to hear about them!
While not everything I talk about is reusable, I aimed for items that are less-wasteful.
(I also want to add that I have saved SO MUCH money not buying disposable items!!!!)
- I personally have been using the Radius Repurposed Materials Toothbrush and I LOVE it. I was unsure when I first purchased it since the shape of the head is not what I amused to but I have found I actually feel like my teeth and gums are cleaner than when using the typical toothbrush. The head of thee brushes are replaceable which is much less waste than throwing away a whole toothbrush.
- A (possibly) better option is to purchase a Bamboo Toothbrush. These can be composted and often bought in bulk! A good deal on amazing is the Bath Blossom Medium Bristle 8 Pack
- If bamboo is just not your thing, Preserve has recycled toothbrushes that you can send back to them to be recycled again! I personally love Preserve brushes especially if I am traveling! If you are used to the traditional plastic toothbrush this is a great transition brush.
- If you don’t know, your floss is likely plastic. A good alternative is silk floss! While it is not a vegan option, it is much better than using plastic. I personally would recommend Dental Lace Silk Dental Floss with Natural Milk Flavor (refillable floss and recyclable dispenser!)
- A Water Dental Flosser is not only a vegan option but also great for environmental reasons. For some this is not enough but I personally have never had a problem with a water flosser.
- BUY IN BULK! This is not the best option but it is better than buying smaller plastic bottle. If you can find a glass bottle buy the glass! If you can find any other recyclable material that isn’t plastic, its likely that is going to be better for the planet. I find myself still buying the Alba Botanica 32 ounce Shampoo, and when I finish the bottle I clean it and recycle it.
- Shampoo bars! Shampoo bars are not only easy to use but there is (usually) no plastic involved! While it cannot be bought on amazon, if you can get your hands on a Lush shampoo bar, do! There are many option on amazon and instead of going into too much detail I am just going to link a few I would recommend
- None! While this doesn’t work for everyone (including myself) you may not even need a conditioner. If you can to try going conditioner free I would recommend distributing your hair oils before showering. This is done by brushing your hair for 3-5 minutes. This actually has a lot of perks beyond distributing oils (one example is it exfoliates and unclogs sebaceous glands!).
- A conditioner Bar! Again, Lush has some amazing options! On amazon I recommend Ethique Conditioner Bar for Normal-Dry hair
- Coconut oil. While I don’t do this method myself I have hear SO MANY people rave other this! Defiantly worth looking into.
- Body Soap
- Face wash
- Face wash is very tricky. while it is not the best option, I still use the Acure Brightening Scrub and Caudalie Foaming Wash. I am trying to stop using this but it has been difficult. One of the best alternative I have found is oatmeal bar soaps. Pretty much all of them are gently exfoliating and often hypoallergenic. Two good oatmeal soaps are the Vanessa Honey Oatmeal Soap and the Dason Shea Honey Oatmeal Bar Soap
So disclaimer: the BEST option is going to depend on your hair type. I am just going to provide some options and would recommend looking into what your hair responds well to and then make your purchase. I have wavy to curly hair and these options all work fine in my hair. This applies to skin care options as well! My skin is very sensitive, acne prone, combination skin.
For the toilet category I don’t have too much to say. I would say make sure you pick up compostable and biodegradable items. I don’t ever see myself fusing reusable toilet paper but if you choose to do that you do you!
Here are some items I would recommend:
- Seventh Generation Toilet Paper
- Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Toilet Paper
- Seventh Generation Unbleached Toilet Paper
- Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Facial Tissue Paper
- Octmami Bamboo Facial Tissues
- WholeRoll Organic Toilet Paper
- Simpleaf Flushable Wet Wipes
- 10 Inch Regular Charcoal Bamboo Reusable Pads
- Bambody Period Panties
- Intimate Portal Total Leak Proof Protective Briefs
- Diva Cup
- Intimina Lily Cup
- Intimina Lily Cup One (For Beginners)
- Intimina Lily Cup COLLAPSIBLE
- NatraCare No Applicator Cotton Tampons
- Seventh Generation Organic Tampons With Applicator
- NatraCare Pads With Organic Cotton Cover
- Eco By Naty Panty Liners
- Sustain Lubricated Latex Condoms
- Sustain Condoms Comfort Fit
- Toilet Tree Stainless Steel Toilet Brush
- Lola Ring Remover Bath & Bowl Scrub Brush
- Bowl Clearing Brush (Natural Coconut Plant Fiber and Beechwood Grip)
- (Not a necessity BUT sanitary for travel) Toilet Seat Covers Biodegradable
This list is a bit random but its things I have found have made a BIG difference!
- Reusable Cotton Rounds (The EASIEST switch plus I like them MUCH better than the disposable one) There are soooo many options on Amazon (etsy too!), here are some of the best ones I have found.
- Safety Razor or Epilator.
There are of course more options for hair removal than these two but I would say these options are the closet experience to using a disposable razor. I had a hard time getting used to a safety razor and defiantly nicked myself a few times but after yogurt used to it it is a much easier, closer shave than the disposables. Epilators aren’t for me but I do own one for when I don’t really feel like shaving but don’t want hair.
One option that you could never get on amazon is laser hair removal. I did this myself and it is one of the best decisions I have made. (Of course if you don’t remove your hair than you don’t even need to worry about this category!)
- Braun Epilator
- Global Shave Club 3-Piece Double edge Safety Razor for Wet Shaving
- Baili Wet Shaving Twin-Bladed Safety Razor
- Weishi Nostalgic Long Handle Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor (I will be buying myself this one! I lost my old one when I moved and this one has me very impressed!)
- Parker 99R Long Handle HeavyWeight Safety Razor with 5 Blades
To finish off this very long post, i have gather several products with more conscious packaging, better ingredients and an overall upgrade from your standard disposable products. I have done my best to find items that have reusable packaging as well. They are a but random but every little swap makes a difference!
- Sensitive Skin face Cream from Holistic Apothecary (as soon as I run out of what I am currently using I will be trying this!)
- Uncle Harry’s Face Cream
- Active Wow Teeth Whitening Powder
- Tooth Tabs
- Badger Argan Beauty Balm
- Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant
- Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deodorant
- Fat and The Moon Sensitive Pit Cream
- Primal Pit Paste Deodorant Jar
- PiperWai Deodorant
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
- Amber Glass Bottles (For liquid soaps!)
- HaloVa Toothbrush Case
- Bamboo Toothbrush Holder
- Bonivee Natural Bamboo Toothbrush with Travel Holder (this belongs in the Oral Hygiene category but since it is such a large bundle I have added it down here)
- Ethique Eco-Friendly Gradual Tanning Bar
- 3 Pack TSA Approved Toiletry Bags (With Zippers)
- Bamboo Cotton Buds
- Preserve Shave 5 Blade Refillable Razor (Made from Recycled Materials)
- Swisspers Organic Cotton Swabs
- Wood Cleaning Nail Brush
- As a brand RMS is clean beauty and they have fairly eco friendly packaging!
- Earth tu Face Organic Multipurpose Skin Stick (A Salve)
- Not the most zero waste product but I have decided to add a nail polish anyway, specifically, Honeybee Gardens WaterColor Nail Enamel
- EcoSafe Compostable 2.5 Gallon Bags
- 3 Pack Glass Bottles (For cleaning DIY & so on)
- Natural Wood Hair Brush (3)
- DIY Kit for Making Reusable Cleaning Wipes
- Bamboo Towels
- A BOOK! (Avaliable in Kindle!) Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste
- ANOTHER BOOK! (Also available in Kindle) Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash
I hope this was helpful! After I posted my first photo set on Instagram talking about zero waste living I got so many questions! This whole post is mainly off the top of my head so I am sorry if it is a little bit messy!
I would LOVE to hear about your favorite zero waste swaps! Feel free to comment or to reach out to me on Instagram! Also if you try/have tried anything I mentioned let me know what you think about the item!