Enviromensch: Zero Waste Bathroom Items

Fun fact: I haven’t taken a bath in years! That is until I moved into my new apartment…and it was glorious.You see, I have always lived with at least three and sometimes four or five other people.
Amanda Lindner

So, getting ready in the mornings or evenings has always been a rush. Someone else always needs to use the bathroom while you’re in there. Which is why for the past five years, I’ve only taken showers. That’s a good thing since showers use less water anyway.

However, I had nothing when I moved into my new place. No seating, no pots or pans, no decor, I didn’t even own a fork! I also didn’t own a shower curtain. So, to avoid drenching my new bathroom, I took my first bath in years.
And. It. Was. GLORIOUS. Wow! It felt like heaven…if heaven is warm and steamy, smells of chamomile, and is void of anyone knocking on the door saying “Are you almost done?!” that is. I’ll continue taking showers as my normal routine, but I do recognize the self-care aspect of a super relaxing bath that I may have to indulge in every now and then.
I have long, thick, curly hair and I always thought that because of that, I needed about a dozen different kind of hair products in my shower. However, in this zero-waste journey, I’ve come to realize that I really don’t need this much stuff. In fact, my natural hair is starting to look a lot better now that I’m not  And I really, really don’t need to be contributing more plastic to our oceans and landfills just so I can try out the latest hydrating shampoo or lightweight conditioner.
My shower/tub now has just 5 zero-waste items to replace at least a dozen plastic products. Here they are!
Bar Shampoo and ConditionerI bought this vegan, cruelty-free, bar shampoo from Lush and it’s magical. It’s made from moss seaweed, and Japanese nori seaweed, sea salt, and a few other natural ingredients. Bar shampoo uses far less water than bottle shampoo, comes package-free, and works better than any other shampoo I’ve used! I just hold it under the water for about 5 seconds to lather my hands and work the shampoo into my scalp and hair. It suds up perfectly and my hair feels squeaky clean. The conditioner works the same way and doesn’t leave my hair weighed down. I also really appreciate the metal containers so I can avoid plastic altogether while keeping my bathroom tidy. Thanks, Lush!
Safety Razor

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I used to go through probably 50 very expensive razors a year that couldn’t be recycled due to being made of multiple materials. I’ll have this safety razor forever and the blades are totally recyclable (wrap them up in paper or stick in a soda can before putting directly in the recycle bin so avoid a scary situation for the recycling crew!). The blades are just 10 cents each, which saves me hundreds of dollars a year too.

Bar Soap 

For the same reasons as bar shampoo, using bar soap saves a ton of water and manufacturing. Plus, it works better since the product is more concentrated than a watered down liquid soap. I use an almond/oatmeal bar which helps to moisturize my skin. It also works great as a shaving “cream” so I can avoid aerosol cans or plastic containers. Haven’t experienced a razor burn with it yet!

Wash Cloth over a Plastic Loofah

I used to love a new loofah…for about a month before it all unraveled and had to be tossed. Those plastic loofahs also filled with grime like dead skin cells, bacteria, and other things you really don’t want to rub all over your body. With a plain washcloth, you can just toss it in the wash when you’re done and reuse over and over for years. When it gets worn down enough, you can just add it to your rag pile. You can also turn the washcloths over to a textile recycling center. You might find one at your farmer’s market.

Any favorites or other shower swaps you’d recommend? Let me know! 🙂

Composting my bamboo toothbrush. The bristles can’t be recycled or composted, so just easily take them out with pliers and then compost the handle! The bristles will go in my trash jar, which is pretty full thanks to packing tape from my move, but...

Composting my bamboo toothbrush. The bristles can’t be recycled or composted, so just easily take them out with pliers and then compost the handle! The bristles will go in my trash jar, which is pretty full thanks to packing tape from my move, but there’s still some room and I’m proud of that! ??

Amanda is a former Huntington resident and an organizer for Vegan Long Island. Follow her blog on reducing waste and living an environmentally aware life at Enviromensch

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https://huntingtonnow.com/2018/06/04/enviromensch-quit-wasting-food/

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