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Essentials for a Zero Waste Bathroom – How to Get Started

  • 7 min read

Just getting started on your zero waste journey? Welcome – you’re in the right place. 

One of the biggest challenges when transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle is knowing where to start. But tackling the bathroom is one of the most effective steps you can take to reduce waste in your home. 

So today, we’re sharing our easy-to-follow approach to achieving a zero waste bathroom, and the zero waste essentials stocking our own cabinets. Ready? Let’s spill the tea.

Why Should You Create a Zero Waste Bathroom?

Most of us spend as little time as possible in the bathroom – and don’t spare it many thoughts, either. But after the kitchen, the bathroom could just be the room in your home producing the most waste.

See, bathrooms are full of products that need regular refills. New shampoo bottles, deodorants. Another disposable razor, used and discarded. Empty the bin, and– oh! There goes the last toothpaste. Sigh.

The bathroom could just be the room in your home producing the most waste.

And while most of us are good at recycling paper and empty cans, the same can’t be said for bathroom products. In fact, about 40% of Americans don’t recycle any bathroom products at all– there’s just no habit in place to do so. 

But as you well know, there’s another way – a better way. And turning your bathroom zero waste is easier than you’d think. There’s a wealth of zero waste products made specifically for the bathroom, ready to replace your current non-recyclables and tackle some of that trash.

So, if you’re looking for the next room to transform for your zero waste lifestyle? Your bathroom is a great candidate.

How to Create a Zero Waste Bathroom: 

And it’s all good news today, friends. Because you can get started on your zero waste bathroom in just two simple steps:

1. Declutter

The first step to a zero waste bathroom is getting rid of stuff you no longer need or never use. All those samples you’ve collected over the years, or those almost-empty moisturizers at the back of the cabinet? Au revoir.

Now, don’t skip this step! Because the truth is that products wasting away at the back of your cabinets are also waste, or getting there fast. And your zero waste bathroom deserves a clean slate.

About 40% of Americans don’t recycle any bathroom products at all – there’s just no habit in place to do it.

So be ruthless. Turn your cabinet inside out, if you have to – everything needs to come out of hiding. Perhaps you can give that unopened body scrub to someone who will actually use it? 

Make an effort to use up what’s still in date, and then put the containers and bottles to rest in the recycling bin. 

2. Find Zero Waste Products

Now that you’ve cleared out everything you no longer need, you should have a collection of bathroom products in front of you that you use on the regular. Products you just don’t wanna be without… like, ever.

In other words, you’ve just narrowed down your bathroom essentials. 

Well done – now, it’s time to end the use-and-discard cycle and find zero waste products to replace the non-recyclables crowding your bathroom. And this, my friends, is the fun part.

Our Top Zero Waste Essentials for a Sustainable Bathroom:

Since you now know what your bathroom essentials are, let them be your guiding light as you begin to look for sustainable alternatives. After all, zero waste is all about buying what you actually need.

But we wouldn’t leave you without some inspiration – so without further ado, here are the zero waste essentials stocking our bathroom cabinets right now.

Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Yup – you guessed it. Most of us wash our hair multiple times a week, or at least once. So while a shampoo bottle can last a while, it’s bound to regularly run out, leaving a plastic trail in its wake. 

Not to mention the environmental damage shampoo itself makes. Most conventional shampoos contain silicones, which is a type of plastic, and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfates), which is toxic to aquatic life and not safe to go down the drain.

Enter: shampoo bars. These zero waste shampoos are a gift from the hair gods: they come in entirely biodegradable packaging, are 100% natural and color-safe, and are both vegan and cruelty-free. Even better, they’re made right here in the US.

It’s true – it can take a few times to get used to washing your hair with a solid shampoo bar. But the HiBAR shampoo bars feel like quality, salon-shampoo in solid form, which is why we love them so much! If you want to read an honest review before trying them out, we’ve got you covered right here.

HiBAR has five formulas, for different hair qualities and those with sensitive scalps. And there’s matching conditioner bars too! Give them a go – you won’t regret it.

Psst… Want more tips for a zero waste hair routine? Check them out here.

Sustainable Cotton Swabs and Rounds

The LastObject products could be our absolute favorites of all essentials listed. Why? ‘Cause until they came along, there was a gaping hole in the zero waste market, leaving us stranded with “best we can do” options. 

Both Q-tips and cotton rounds are staples in most bathrooms – it sure was in ours. And these single-use items are hugecontributors to bathroom waste! 

LastRound comes in a set with 7 reusable pads, made from a mix of 30% cotton and 70% Scandinavian wood fiber. The results are soft, durable cotton pads that can be machine-washed with the rest of your laundry, and used up to 1750 times! Want even more details about this sustainable cotton round? Check out our deep-dive here.

LastSwab is the sustainable version of a Q-tip. The ends of the swab are made from a pliable and durable TPE material, and each can be used up to 1000 times. After each use, it’s super easy to clean it with water and gentle soap. An easy, eco-friendly alternative!

All the plastic used in LastObject’s products (such as the cases) is recycled, ocean-bound plastic that’s BPA-free. And the cotton is sourced from the textile industry, to upcycle the scraps that would otherwise go to waste! 

In other words, these are products you can feel really good stocking into your cabinets.

Zero Waste Tooth Products

There’s no escaping it – those fangs need cleaning. And no matter your personal hygiene routines, we’re willing to bet you’re gonna need some sustainable tooth cleaning products in your new zero waste bathroom. Here’s our favorites!

Wooden Toothbrush – a zero waste swap can be as simple as switching your plastic toothbrush for one made of wood. This toothbrush is made from FSC-certified beechwood, and the bristles are made from BPA-free nylon. Easy-peasy-sustainable.

Zero Waste Toothpaste – next up is toothpaste that doesn’t come in a plastic tube. These tablets are super convenient – just pop it in your mouth, chew thoroughly, and add some water with your toothbrush. Brush as normal and spit! Comes in five fresh flavors. 

Zero Waste Mouthwash Tablets – here’s your chance to keep your breath fresh without chemicals, harsh alcohols, and plastic bottles piling up. These mouthwash tablets are made with simple, clean ingredients that restore the pH balance in your mouth. Just dissolve in water and gurgle as normal!

Zero Waste Dental Floss – as the dentist will happily remind you, flossing is important. But if the planet is important to you too, you might not want to buy plastic floss at the closest convenience store. Luckily, the Dental Lace floss is made from 100% biodegradable silk! Each roll replaces 7 traditional floss rolls, and once you’re done? Just toss the floss in your compost.

Zero Waste Deodorant

We like staying fresh as much as the next person, and that starts with a quality deodorant – one that’s notpackaged in plastic. 

Not to mention, one that’s not packed with aluminum that prevents you from sweating naturally, or silicones and parabens. Sweating is your body’s way to regulate heat, and believe it or not, you canactually sweat naturally without leaving a stinky trail. You just need the right type of deodorant.

PĀPR’s natural deodorant is an obvious staple in our zero waste bathroom. With an all-natural formula that contains odor-fighting ingredients, it keeps you smelling fresh all day long. It comes in six unique scents, including a scent-free one for those with sensitive skin. We’ll never look back.

Want to learn more about the experience of using the PĀPR deodorant? Check out this post.

Sustainable Safety Razor

Finally, there’s the safety razor, which has made a beautiful comeback after being tossed aside for the plastic razor over the past few decades. Not sure why we ever detoured there – these razors are both easy to use, durable, and gives a great shave. 

We have two different safety razors here at Lochtree, made entirely from metal. And we love both of them! 

The first is the Leaf Razor, which is the zero waste alternative to the modern, disposable razor. The experience is very similar to what you’re used to, with up to three blades and a razor head that moves to follow the curve of your skin. If you want even more details, check out this post where we review the experience of using the leaf razor! 

Then, there’s the Twig Razor – a simple and elegant safety razor in the classic design. The single blade makes it easy to get a precise, clean shave, without a single cut – and once you try it, you’ll never go back.

One more thing. When switching to a safety razor, we wouldn’t recommend going without a cream or shaving soap. It does really help to smooth out the shave. Our favorites are the Gentlemen Farmer’s Shaving Cream, or the Mountain Time Shaving Soap, if you prefer the sudsy feel!

And there you go! Our essentials for the ultimate zero waste bathroom. Any products you’re curious to try? Browse all of these and even more in our zero waste shop, to find your ultimate sustainable switches! 

Psst… In a learning mood? Check out our top tips for reducing your food waste!