Our Simple Swaps series continues with a focus on your bathroom. There are many many ways for you to reduce your plastic pollution and the amount of waste you generate in your home, but when it comes to the bathroom there are so many items to choose from, be it shampoo bottles, cosmetics, sanitary items and many more. So with this entry we bring you 5 simple swaps to get you started on your path to a zero waste bathroom.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
We all use toothbrushes, and it is recommended that we use a new brush every 3 months or so, when you spread that out over a life time we will use between 300-400 brushes in our lifetime. Multiply that by the 7 billion people on the planet and that is a lot of plastic toothbrushes going to landfill. There is the choice of going electric, but that still requires new brush heads that go to waste. Step forward the bamboo toothbrush, completely biodegradable, can go straight into the compost bin and rot away within the year. There are also no chemicals and the bristles are made of charcoal meaning no plastic there either. Once you are done with it you can bury it in your garden, use it o clean your toilet and bathroom, or just put in in the compost bin. A simple swap that you don't even notice, its still a brush with bristles, just with no plastic involved. Get one now at our store - HERE.
2. Make your own toothpaste
Along with toothbrushes we all buy toothpaste, at least one tube a month or maybe more often depending on the size of your family. That's at least 12 tubes per year going to landfill per household. But, did you know that it is super easy to make your own toothpaste? Us too, but since we have been using it we would never go back. Not only does it do a great job of actually cleaning your teeth, but it reduces the amount of useless plastic you buy and send to landfill, and it removes a lot of other chemicals from your daily routine. All you need are coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint extract. See the full how to HERE.
3. Shampoo bars
Shampoo bottles are another item we go through a lot. Weather you are washing your hair daily or more or less we will typically go through a bottle every few weeks, maybe more if you share it with others. That's a lot of plastic bottles building up in our bathroom and bins. Yes it can go in the recycling bin, but more than 90% of plastic bottles are not currently recycled and 99% cannot be recycled more than once, so sooner or later those bottles end up in landfill as well. But you can switch this for a bar, just wet it and rub in on your hands and then wash your hair. They often come in paper or cardboard packaging which is recyclable or compostable, and when you are finished with them there is no waste left to manage. A simple swap that you barely notice.
4. Cotton Buds
Cotton buds come in 2 main forms, some with a white or blue plastic stick, others with a paper or card stick. If you are using plastic sticks they can never be recycled and will never fully biodegrade and so continuously get sent to landfill. The sad reality is however that many people across the UK flush these down the toilet. Why? I'm honestly not sure, but they do, and we find hundreds of them at beaches all over Northern Ireland where they wash up on the shore, often tangled in seaweed. However if you are using paper cotton buds they do exactly the same job, but don't last forever, breaking down in a few months and could be buried and composted. Even if you did flush them, (please don't) they would still biodegrade in a few months. So switch to paper and manage responsibly.
5. Soap Bars
Washing your hands, or using body wash when showering or in the bath used to mean a bar of soap, now it means a plastic bottle. As mentioned above 90% of plastic bottles are not recycled and 99% cannot be recycled more than once. So ditching plastic for a bar of soap is the best bet here. Like many of the items on this list you will use at least one bottle a month, 12 a year and 100+ in your lifetime, multiply that by 2-3 if you have a bottle for your hands and a second and third bottle for your shower and gym bag. Instead you could use a plastic free bar of soap that disappears as you use it and comes in a cardboard box, completely recyclable and compostable. You can also get completely vegan friendly, and antibacterial versions if you require them. And for around the same price too. Its a simple swap, but another great way to reduce your waste.
If you have some other great tips for us then please share them with us in the comments section below. We are always looking for more ideas and willing to learn. Our you can check out our facebook and instagram pages both with the name - Clear Ripple Projects on Facebook and @ClearRipleProjects on instagram.