My sustainable journey actually began in the bathroom of all places, odd because bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in a home, however, if we are not careful the number of plastics and other waste created in our bathrooms can be quite substantial over time.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I became slightly obsessed with making sure I was constantly making healthy choices. Thanks to Google and Pinterest, I started to become more informed about the harmful chemicals that enter our bodies through our lotions, shampoos and even lipstick! I didn’t want my baby girl to be exposed to harmful chemicals because of my choices, so I started to really think about the products I used on a daily basis and I started to adopt more natural products.
Going clean, and green with my daily routine was tricky at first, I was living in Thailand and my natural options were slim. One of the best ways that I cut down on putting harmful chemicals on my body was by simply using fewer products. By making the shift towards more natural products, I also started to notice that I cut down on the general waste in my bathroom, fewer plastic containers heading to a landfill. Now that I am a mom of two, my morning routine has to be done in just a few minutes, having less time has also encouraged me to use fewer products.
Previously, before becoming a mama, going through a pharmacy used to bring me excitement. So shelves filled with so many products with big promises. Cosmetics claiming that they would make my skin younger, my hair thicker and my eyelashes longer. How could I resist? When I used to organize my bathroom shelves, I would be amazed by the number of products I didn’t finish using because I either got bored with them or stopped using them as they didn’t fulfill their promises. These products would sit under the sink in a basket collecting dust. I usually ended up throwing them away. When I think back I feel ashamed. I wasted so much money on products I didn’t actually need, or use, while at the same time harming our planet, all of those products I barely used are still sitting in a landfill somewhere.
I am still very new to my zero waste journey and I have certainly not perfected all my daily routines so that all the materials I am using do not cause any harm to my planet, but when I look back to even a couple of years ago I am proud of the little changes I have made and the garbage I have reduced. You can do the same, one small change at a time.
Here are a few simple changes I made that helped me make my bathroom routine more sustainable. Perhaps you will find that one or two of these ideas inspires you to adopt a greener routine too.
- First, use up all the products you already have before starting to buy more eco-friendly toiletries.
- Purchase a menstrual cup. Find more information on this topic here.
- Use bars of hand soap in your bathrooms.
- Use household items as bath toys instead of buying special plastic toys for your child’s bath, or use toys they already have in their playroom.
- Less is more beneficial for our planet. Not everyone in your family needs different shampoos conditioners and lotions, buy or make natural products that everyone can share.
- Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars, this is an easy switch to make which cuts down on your plastic use.
- Buy liquid castile soap in bulk and make your own body washes reusing containers you already have. Dr. Bronner’s soap is also free of palm oil (which is a topic for another blog).
- Make your own lotions and perfumes using essential oils and coconut carrier oil.
- Support companies who are making an effort to be green. Ones that are actually creating eco-friendly products or recycle their containers. (Lush is one company that encourages you to return their containers and they give you a free product).
- Start to feel comfortable in your own skin. Remind yourself daily that you are beautiful the way you are, marketing companies have you believe you need all of these beauty products that you don’t actually need. Hopefully, the future of cosmetics is greener.
- Use food scraps and other kitchen items to treat yourself to an at home, free, spa treatment (avocado face masks, coffee grind face masks, sugar exfoliating scrubs, coconut oil, and egg white hair masks).
- Use your houseplants for at home remedies. I would be lost without aloe vera.
- Next time you buy a new toothbrush make sure it is compostable (bamboo).
- Use silk floss rather than floss picks, the floss, and the plastic are terrible for our environment. I am currently investigating the idea of a water pick (oral irrigator), however, I am not sure if their production, electricity and water usage would make them a greener choice. I will let you know what I find out.
- Download an app to keep you informed about the environmental impact and health concerns for the products you use on a daily basis.
If you have any ideas about different kinds of sustainable children’s toothpaste, or eco friendly mascara, I would love to hear them. These are two areas I am still working on.