One of the hardest places to reduce waste is in the bathroom. Almost everything in there is wrapped in plastic or disposable.
Start by looking in the bathtub or the shower. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, razors, mesh sponges, everything generates waste! Most bath products can be replaced with low waste or zero waste products. If you like soaking in the tub, try Epsom salts and add essential oils to help you relax or become invigorated. Epson salts can be purchased in gable topped cardboard containers or sometimes even in bulk. They are full of magnesium and good for you.
Shampoo can be purchased in bar forms as can conditioner. If build up occurs from these products, apple cider vinegar is an excellent conditioning rinse that makes hair feel soft. Instead of bath gel, try some locally made conditioning soaps or make your own. Disposable razors can be replaced with safety razors, instead of replacing the whole razor, you can just replace the blade, which rusts away to nothing eventually.
Try replacing your plastic sponges with natural products such as loofahs or sea sponges. There are some concerns about bacteria in these natural products, but they can be easily disinfected using hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil.
How about tooth care? The whole dental industry seems to produce plastic. When you leave the dental office, the goodie bag contains plastic floss, a plastic toothbrush and sometimes a tube of toothpaste. These items can be replaced with corn based floss in a glass tube, a bamboo toothbrush and tooth powder or natural toothpaste in a glass jar. Some of these take a bit of adjustment. Tooth tablets and natural toothpaste have different tastes and textures that most people are not used to, but people do like them after a while. Another good dental tool to try is the water pick or water flosser to replace or supplement dental floss.
The next puzzle is how to reduce waste with lotions and creams. It isn’t rocket science to make your own lotions and creams, but these can also be purchased in refillable containers. At the very least to try to reduce waste, buy these in the biggest packages that you can get.
The medicine cabinet is the hardest cupboard to practice waste reduction in the entire house. Most medications come in plastic jars or bubble packs. The only tips that can apply here are to buy the biggest jars you can and if possible reuse them or if not recycle them. You can get your medication jars refilled at the pharmacy.
Please feel free to email me at Golden@wildsight.ca to give me feedback on this article and share your ideas and questions regarding Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.