26 zero waste bathroom swaps

In my own experience, it’s been easier to access eco-friendly bathroom products than food. Because we typically don’t need to shop for toiletries or personal care products as often as food, I find it easier to choose those products with care: sourcing them from local small businesses or even ordering online if access is proving challenging.

These days, zero waste food is even more challenging—I get it! Please don’t feel guilty if you’ve found yourself relying on more foods with plastic packaging. If you’d like to make some swaps elsewhere in your home, the bathroom may be a good place to focus on. As always, please take all of these suggestions with a grain of salt: not every tip will work for every person. That’s okay.

  1. First things first: use what you have!
  2. DIY bathroom cleaning products (or buy refills).
  3. Buy recycled or bamboo toilet paper (order online to avoid plastic packaging).
  4. Consider a bidet to cut down on TP use.
  5. Choose unpackaged bar soap or refill soap.
  6. Try shampoo and conditioner bars (or get liquid refills).
  7. Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  8. Use compostable floss instead of plastic floss.
  9. Try toothpaste powder or tabs.
  10. Have a Zero Waste period: use a menstrual cup, period underwear, or cloth pads.
  11. Switch to handkerchiefs instead of tissues.
  12. Switch to a metal safety razor with recyclable blades.
  13. Use plastic-free cotton swabs (or forgo them entirely!).
  14. Invest in a biodegradable toilet brush when you next need one.
  15. Invest in natural fibre towels when you next need them (such as organic cotton, linen, or hemp).
  16. Invest in a (sustainably harvested) wooden brush or comb when you next need one.
  17. Consider biodegradable exfoliating tools: a hemp exfoliating mitt, scrub brush, dry brush, etc.
  18. Make some of your own products (lip balm, lotion bars, and exfoliating scrubs are fun and easy).
  19. Minimize your skincare/makeup routine—you may need less than you think.
  20. Look for unpackaged solid products, or products packaged in paper tubes, refills, glass jars, or metal tins for skincare/cosmetics/haircare (deodorant, lip balm, moisturizer, and so on).
  21. Choose sustainably sourced and packaged cosmetics—and support local small businesses when you can!
  22. Use cloth makeup removing cloths/rounds.
  23. Donate your used mascara wands to wildlife rescue organizations.
  24. Recycle packaging correctly (read your municipality’s rules).
  25. See if your contact lens company has a take-back program.
  26. Use a bucket in the shower to trap excess water to water your plants.

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