7 Budget-Friendly Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps

Along with the kitchen, the bathroom is probably one of the key rooms in the house where we can create the most waste. 

If you go into any bathroom, it seems to be full of brightly coloured toxic plastic items like toothbrushes and hairbrushes, disposable items like razors and cotton pads and then there’s toilet paper. 

All that waste before we’ve even started thinking about our water waste or cosmetic products. But let’s just tackle one thing at a time.

There are some really simple, and budget-friendly, zero waste bathroom swaps you can make, which we have listed below.

Try to implement these on a one-in-one-out basis to reduce the number of products you use overall, and retrain your brain to a more minimalist approach.

Toothbrush

It’s estimated that the average person uses 300 toothbrushes a year. That equates to billions of toothbrushes lying in landfills and oceans which never break down. 

Swap your plastic toothbrush for a brush made from biodegradable natural fibres like bamboo instead. Even if you’re a lover of the electric tooth, there are some eco-friendly bamboo electric toothbrush heads out there.

Cotton Pads & Buds

Another easy swap you can make is to ditch the face wipes and cotton pads and swap to eco-friendly, sustainable cotton pads and buds.

We use these reusable pads every day and think they are more luxurious and effective than regular cotton pads. Just pop them in the washing machine when you’re done and they’re good as new (even after that green face mask we’ve just applied!).

Hairbrush / Comb

Another plastic product that can be easily swapped for natural material alternatives is your hairbrush or comb.

A plastic-free bamboo bristle hairbrush will add a lovely natural tone sat on your bathroom shelf and can also improve the condition of your hair and scalp. There’s plenty of options out there that are available in a few different sizes for the needs of every mane.

Soap & Shampoo

Somewhere between our parents’ generation and the present day, soap got a really bad reputation. It’s probably because when you imagine soap you think of horrible mass-produced bars that seem to take forever to lather up and do absolutely nothing for you except dry your skin to the bone. Well, not any more people!

If you’ve got a pump bottle sitting in your shower, make it your last and put ‘plastic-free soap’ on your shopping list. There are some fantastic, and eco-friendly, soap and shampoo bars which are nourishing, cleansing, free from any nasties and include zero-waste packaging, like our Vesica Shampoo Bars.

Razor

If there’s one thing we recommend you do this year, it’s to stop throwing away a plastic disposable razor. Instead, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact (and take it easier on your skin!) with sustainable shaving tools. By making the switch to safety razors that remain durable over time, you’ll cut down on your razor and refill usage for years to come. Pair that with sustainable shaving oils or bars, and both Mother Earth and your skin will thank you in the long run.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is full of chemicals that are terrible for our water systems, but there are some really easy swaps you can make. Instead, choose tree-free alternatives like bamboo toilet paper or 100% recycled paper for your bathroom. 

Recycled toilet paper is absolutely better for the environment when you consider the amount of paper that is re-used to make the toilet paper. It also takes less water and energy than making paper from timber. Plus, it creates less pollution.

Cleaning Products

Not only are your bathroom cleaning products full of toxic chemicals harmful to our waterways, oceans and ourselves but they also usually come in chemically coloured plastic packaging.

One of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to cut this waste is to go all-natural and use a warm water and white vinegar (1:1) solution in a glass spray bottle or buy non-toxic eco cleaners.

How zero waste is your bathroom? Head to our blog HERE for more at zero waste home ideas.

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Easy Ways To Go Zero Waste At Home

Zero waste living aims to minimise the impact of modern life by reducing the amount of waste we produce. It’s said that the average Australian produces 540kg of waste per year so it can seem daunting to imagine not producing any waste of any kind.

Going zero waste is definitely not going to happen overnight but if there’s one thing we can do for the planet, it’s to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Especially in our own homes. There are some really easy steps you can take to move towards a zero-waste home, so we’ve put together a list of some easy and budget-friendly ideas below to get you started.

Remember, it’s not about being perfect. Small changes which we make collectively can make a big impact so pick a couple that is achievable for you and implement these in your home today.

EASY WAYS TO GO ZERO WASTE AT HOME:

  1. Separate your rubbish

The first step to zero waste is separating your rubbish properly. Without this, you might be sending waste to landfills which could actually be recycled or composted or contaminating your recycling so it has to be sent to landfills. Contaminated rubbish affects what will and won’t be sent to recycling.

An easy way to do this is to install four bins at home. One for landfill (e.g. non-recyclable plastics, household waste), one for recycling (e.g. paper, glass, cans, card), one for soft plastics (e.g. any plastic your can fold in your hand) and one for compost (e.g. food waste). Your number one goal at home is to use the landfill bin the least. 

It’s always a good idea to give any glass jars, can or packaging a rinse and let dry on your dish rack overnight to remove any food which might contaminate your recycling.

Some councils will take away your soft plastic but, if not, there are soft plastic drop-off bins at both Coles and Woolworths.

  1. Recycle glass jars

Glass jars can be used for so many things around the house and that’s not just making your own jam. Save and wash all of your empties and use next time you head to the bulk food store, regrowing your food scraps, pickling food for long term storage, storing leftovers in the fridge or taking to work, new cocktail glasses and food storage. Plus, the right jars can make your kitchen shelves and pantry look beautifully coordinated and organised.

  1. Invest in reusable food and drinks containers

One the easiest ways to reduce your waste is by storing your food properly, so it’s important to invest in reusable food and drink containers. Glass jars can be great for storing your coffee, nuts, smoothies, dried foods and pulses, but it’s a great idea to also invest in some natural, reusable containers like Pyrex-style glass dishes,  stainless steel bento boxes or silicone lids which you can use for meal prepping or saving your leftovers.

  1. Compost your food waste

A compost bin is a great addition to your kitchen or garden. There are some really good options out there for cheap and easy to implement composting options for your garden, and there are also clean, tabletop versions which you can keep in your kitchen available or community bins in your local area. Worm farms are ideal for those with limited space as they fit neatly on a balcony. 

  1. Use food scraps to make your own cleaning products

Food can be used for really effective cleaning products. Ingredients like distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and sugar can be used to polish kitchen worktops, clean windows and remove stains whilst killing that pesky bacteria. Combine these with essential oils for a beautiful smelling home.

  1. Swap tea-bags for tea leaves

I don’t know about you but we average upwards of 5 cups of tea each per day, every day. That equates to almost 2,000 tea bags in our landfills per person in a year! Some teabags are made from, or sealed using plastic which not only sheds billions of particles of microplastic into each cup you drink but also end up in our landfills. To reduce this, swap your tea bags for tea leaves in a metal strainer instead. The tea leaves are often better quality too, so it’s really a win-win.

  1. Repair holes in clothes

It may sound obvious, but too often clothes are thrown away for having small holes, a broken zipper or a lost button even though these can be sown up very easily, without the need for any seamstress skills. Make an excuse to visit an older relative and ask them for tips if you’re really stuck, it’ll be a great bonding experience which you’ll find therapeutic.

  1. Ditch disposable for natural materials

There are some really great natural fibres on the market which provide brilliant and budget-friendly alternatives to disposable products like bamboo cotton pads, metal razors, natural loofah’s, plastic-free q-tips, natural tampons, cloth face wipes.

  1. Save food scraps for homemade stock and natural dyes

Food scraps can be used in a whole heap of ways like turning root veg stalks into homemade stock, apple cores and skins into apple cider vinegar, regrowing your roots, baking old bread into croutons and french toast, using banana skins for cleaning…I could go on…but one of our favourites is natural tie-dying. 

Simply using your food scraps and water, turmeric can be used to create yellow tones; red onion for pink; red cabbage leaves for purple and avocado skins for dusty pinks and browns. Plus, it’s a great way to bring life back into that white t-shirt you split red wine on!

  1. Request for no junk mail to be put through your letterbox

Another easy one, add a small sign to your front door or letterbox requesting that companies do not post you junk mail. Chances are you’re probably not interested in selling your house right now or need another plastic tradie magnet for your fridge. But when you do, you’ll open a web browser not your letterbox to find the best options.

  1. Use cloth nappies instead of disposable

A staggering 3.75 million disposable nappies are used each day in Australia and New Zealand, and it takes about one cup of crude oil to make each nappy. This is a lot for landfills, with conventional disposable nappies estimated to take up to 150 years to break down. Making a switch to cloth nappies is the more environmentally-friendly option, and is easier than ever with the modern cloth nappies currently available. You might also like to consider a cloth nappy washing service, but bear in mind the energy and emissions associated with transportation.

  1. Swap to rechargeable batteries

Never again find yourself hunting around in that draw you dump everything from pens, foreign coins, remote controls, keys that you have no idea what they open, letters you’re saving for…what was it again, random cards and pairs of glasses, for batteries again and switch to rechargeable types. Keep your batteries in two small glass jars, write ‘Flat’ and ‘Charged’ on the lids. Invest in quality rechargeable batteries and a charger. Charge a group of batteries and store in the ‘Charged’ jar, put the rest in the ‘Flat’ jar and charge as needed. When the remote goes flat, you know where to go. Thank us later.

  1. Prep!

Making meals instead of buying takeout or ready meals is a great way to reduce waste and save on all of those disposable take-away containers. You’ll use all the food you purchased at the supermarket, cut down on packaging of food items, and reduce the carbon footprint of your food while you’re at it. Dehydrators are great too for healthy snacks to store in your cupboards. Keep it really easy, and save time, by cooking food in bulk and eating it throughout the week.

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any other steps to add?