I first learned about the "zero-waste" movement after reading an article about how Lauren Singer, founder of the blog Trash is for Tossers, managed to fit all the waste she had generated over the course of several years into a tiny mason jar. I was really inspired, and wanted to start my own journey towards zero-waste living. One of the first tricks I tried was to make my own toothpaste using simple household ingredients. It was really fun for a couple months, but ultimately I decided it was too time-consuming and messy for me to keep up regularly. I've introduced a number of low waste habits into my life over the past few years, and I wanted to tell you more about what products I've found helpful to minimize waste in the bathroom:
1. Organic Cotton Rounds
I use these 4" cotton rounds instead of disposable cotton balls to apply toner after washing my face. First, I get them wet with cold water, spritz on toner, and then gently swipe my face. I store them in a glass jar on my bathroom counter, and I think it looks pretty in an apothecary sort of way. Pros: They can be washed and reused, minimizing waste. Cons: The maintenance can be a bit of a hassle. I have enough to last me a few weeks, but then I have to launder and neatly restack them.
2. Wooden Boar-Bristle Hair Brush
I used to use hairbrushes made out of plastic, and never gave it a second thought. But plastic brushes can make your hair dry and staticky. While definitely not for vegans, I love boar-bristle hairbrushes. The boar bristles carry sebum (the oil produced by the scalp) and distribute it over each strand of hair as you brush, promoting a healthy scalp and lustrous locks. Made of wood and boar bristles, these brushes have a nice weight and feel to them, and minimize plastic waste.
3. Safety Razor
Drugstore and disposable razors are typically made with lots of plastic bits and pieces, and are not built to last. This Teflon-coated, stainless steel safety razor is durable, light-weight, and provides a clean, close shave. I love the cleanliness and simplicity of this, but to be honest, I'm still mastering the art of using a safety razor. I don't know why I find it confusing, but I managed to cut myself a few times while shaving my legs. Still, I'm determined to keep practicing. Zero-waste or bust.
4. Organic Cotton Washcloths
Did you know that cotton is one of the "dirtiest" crops in terms of pesticide usage? That's why I use these organic cotton cloths to dry my face after washing. Similar to the cotton rounds, I have a bunch on hand, and wash them every couple of weeks. They are a little small, and after many uses they seem a bit dingy, but that's ok. They get the job done, and that works for me.
5. Bar Soap
I've always been a huge fan of bar soap. I love the texture, and the different scent options. In my opinion, a nice bar soap makes every day feel like a spa day. Plus, it reduces a lot of waste compared to plastic-packaged loofahs and body wash. Check out a few of my favorites from Thrive Market.