Today, we feature a guest column from Jessie Stokes of tinyyellowbungalow.com. Jessie is a blogger who focuses on sustainable living and today she tackles reducing bathroom waste - a topic near and dear to our hearts. Enjoy!
When I began reducing waste in our home years ago, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of a zero waste bathroom. Plastic shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, lotion bottles, deodorant and more filled our cabinets.
I desperately wanted to get rid of all the plastic containers in our bathroom. However, on top of all of the plastic packaging, I found myself facing another obstacle. All of the zero waste bathroom swaps I wanted to implement wouldn’t come easily to me. I experimented with DIY recipes, and I tried several different shampoo bars and natural deodorants. Thankfully, my strong will persisted, and I continued my zero waste challenge. Regardless, what if I had given up after feeling defeated?
Oftentimes, I think people give up on reducing waste in their homes because the magnitude of the task intimidates them.
While reminiscing on the difficulties I had when beginning my zero waste journey, I recognized how much more easily I could have transitioned my bathroom if someone had introduced small and easy changed to me first. Oftentimes, small wins in the beginning help to motivate me in taking on more daunting challenges later.
So today I’m sharing 3 super simple swaps for a zero waste bathroom with you. If you or a friend have recently begun working towards a more zero waste lifestyle and have struggled to know where to begin, this post is for you!1) Bamboo Toothbrush
I’ll introduce our simple swaps for a zero waste bathroom with my first sustainable swap – the bamboo toothbrush. I bought my first bamboo toothbrush almost 4 years ago. Apparently, I’m not the only one who appreciates this one! I asked my Instagram friends about their easiest zero waste bathroom swap, and around 70% of them answered with bamboo toothbrush as well. This small investment should get used every single day. For most people, this simple fix reduces plastic use with zero effort. It’s a great first step in the journey to zero waste.
2) Recycled Toilet Paper in Plastic Free Packaging
I’m so thrilled to share this hidden gem with you! Up until last fall, we bought toilet paper from the grocery store in plastic packaging. I hadn’t found any better option. Of course, I heard some households used “family cloth” or “cloth reusable toilet paper.” However, honestly my family and I didn’t really want to try that method. Nonetheless, all of the grocery store toilet paper, including recycled toilet paper, came wrapped in plastic.
Fortunately, I learned about Elemental Recycled Products last year though, and we’ve been using their toilet paper ever since! This sustainable toilet paper subscription service delivers plastic free and recycled paper toilet tissue straight to your door. Genius, right?!
The Nashville, Tennessee, based company has an incredible business model that promotes and upholds significant sustainable values. They have their chlorine free toilet paper made in the US from 100% recycled fibers with 80% post consumer recycled fiber. Recycled paper uses 64% less energy, create 74% less pollution, and uses 50% less water.
Typically, we order the 48 rolls box of toilet paper. It competitively comes to just under $1 per roll of toilet paper which is actually cheaper than Charmin toilet paper. Each roll contains 400 2-Ply sheets which is 4 times bigger than a standard roll of toilet tissue.
The toilet paper from Elemental Recycled Products is affordable, plastic free, and conveniently delivered to our home. Such a smart and easy zero waste bathroom swap!!
3) Bar Soap
Finally, using bar soap instead of body wash fell right behind using bamboo toothbrushes among my Instagram friends. You can make this simple swap for a zero waste bathroom conveniently because you can often find bar soap locally. I have spotted local soap makers at our town’s farmers’ market, and I’ve also seen bar soaps available at the grocery store. If you can’t find natural handmade soaps in your town, you can always snag some from the Tiny Yellow Bungalow shop. The ones in the shop are palm oil free, chemical and preservative free, and vegan. They also come wrapped in flower seed paper you can plant to grow wildflowers.
Like the bamboo toothbrush, the soap bar switch affordably reduces plastic, and you will use it every day! It’s a simple change but one with a significant sustainable effect.
Baby Steps Towards Zero Waste
Bamboo toothbrushes, Elemental recycled toilet paper, and bar soaps are 3 really simple swaps for a zero waste bathroom to help you get started! I hope you will see zero waste as a journey rather than a destination. So, enjoy the little wins and keep at it!
Jessie Stokes, Tiny Yellow Bungalow
Follow Jessie on Instagram @tinyyellowbungalow