6 zero-waste personal care/beauty swaps you can make today
If you're not sure where to start on your zero-waste journey, it might help to do a little checklist around the house. One great place to start is the bathroom. Here, you'll find beauty/personal care products galore (or perhaps not, depending on your lifestyle). Luckily plastic-free personal care items are becoming must easier to find. We thought we'd share with you our top 6 swaps to help make your journey a little less overwhelming.
The impact of personal care items on our oceans
Even if you’re beauty routine is a simple face wash morning and night, and dapping on a little deodorant, it’s hard to ignore the plastic that piles up from this daily regime.
The plastic waste from personal care items has a massive environmental impact.
Here’s a scary fact - beauty companies around the world are responsible for 120 billion units of plastic packaging produced each year. Sadly, most of this packaging is not recyclable and ends up in landfill and our oceans. I won't fill you in on the sad stories here, all you need to do is google 'plastic impact on marine life' and you'll see the detrimental effects it has.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. As consumers become more aware of the negative impacts of plastics, they're driving up the demand for zero-waste and sustainable alternatives.
So here are our top 6 zero-waste personal care and beauty swaps you can make today.
1. Bamboo toothbrush
Ponder on this for a minute. Every plastic toothbrush that you've ever used still exists somewhere out there. Even for one household, that is a hell of a lot of toothbrushes. And globally, well it’s pretty much a disaster. I dare not imagine how many are sitting on the ocean floor, directly impacting marine life. In Australia alone, we throw away around 30 million toothbrushes a year...eeeek!!
Safe to say, the oceans are drowning in our plastic waste!!
Toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon, which come from fossil fuels. Unfortunately, they can't be recycled through your council bin. So, if you want to start reducing your environmental impact – it’s time to ditch the plastic toothbrush.
Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is an easy and simple swap! When the toothbrush is no good anymore, cut off the bristles and throw the handle in the compost. There are even brushes with compostable bristles, however, they don’t last quite as long – but worth investigating if you're looking for a 100% plastic-free option.
Our Brush it on bamboo toothbrushes are all designed with Mother Nature in mind, and each has its own unique design. Even the kids will love them!
2. Cotton Buds
Oceans are drowning in our waste!
Yes, I’m repeating myself but without hearing the truth, how will change ever come about?
These small little cotton tips that do come in handy, unfortunately, are not recyclable. Basically, they're too small! I doubt there are any stats on how many of these we use in a lifetime but even the smallest thing can wreak havoc in our oceans.
For a waste-free option, these bamboo cotton buds are made from sustainably grown bamboo with organic cotton tips. Once used, they can simply go in your home compost. An easy switch you can make today!
If buying these cotton buds elsewhere make sure you check first to see if they are certified compostable. Certified means they can go in your organics green bin, if not certified they need to be home composted.
3. Facial soaps/cleanser
Let’s talk beauty routines!
I’m not much of a make-up person myself. I do however always wear a soft cover of foundation and mascara that needs removing at the end of the day. There are a few personal care products at play here: Make-up removal pads, facial cleansers and the moisturiser to finish it off (as I said, my routine is pretty basic..)
Your standard store-bought make-up removal pads are designed for single-use. So firstly - extremely wasteful, and secondly - they all come wrapped in...you guessed it plastic!
Next, your facial cleansers. Walk into any chemist or supermarket and the selection here is overwhelming. One thing that stands out though is the number of plastic bottles. Now, I'm no skin/health expert, but I know a little about low-tox living and you really need to check the ingredients on some of these store-bought cleansers.
Sustainable alternatives here include reusable cotton make-up removers, which are compostable at the end of their life and come with a handy cotton storage bag. Plus, they're washable so you can use them over and over again and you're not having to continuously replace them (saving money!).
There are so many beautiful all-natural facial cleansers around, which means you can find one to compliment your skin type. Here at Diminish, we have The Naked Soap Company Oatmeal Facial cleanser, Avocado Facial Cleanser and The Facial Scrub. Plus, one of our latest additions is The Australian Natural Soap Company's Macadamia Facial Cleanser.
You'll find switching to a zero-waste facial cleanser is not only better for the environment, but you'll also be buying products that are all-natural, cruelty-free and toxin-free. So it's a win-win all round!
4. Dental floss
Let’s be honest, are you a daily flosser, or more like a weekly/monthly whenever I remember flosser?
Either way, no doubt you have some little containers of floss somewhere in your bathroom drawer that you might occasionally use.
Dental floss is another of those small yet ‘big’ problems. The floss is synthetic and is not recyclable, neither are the containers they come in (only through Terra Cycle). So basically dental floss is a real problem.
Luckily there's an ocean-friendly option here too. Our Brush It On dental floss is made from corn starch, so is vegan-friendly and can be home composted once used. These also come with a gorgeous little glass jar and a refillable option. It was the little glass jar that won me over, not only for its cuteness but the fact that it's reusable and refillable.
I must admit, I was quite hesitant to make the switch to a plastic-free shampoo bar. I’ve always struggled to find a shampoo that leaves my thin volume-less hair looking and feeling great. Not to mention one that’s vegan, cruelty-free and low-tox.
Hair can be a tricky thing, and I wish I could tell you I was thrilled by the results when I tried my first shampoo bar. But I wasn’t. I didn't let this put me off, instead, I tried a few different ones and have since found my favourites! Moral of the story is, not one size fits all. All hair types are different and just like your bottled shampoo you need to find the one that's right for your hair.
You can check out our range of shampoo bars here. The Naked Soap Company shampoo bar gives my hair so much volume, so I love this one but will let you try it for yourself.
Oh and yes shampoo bars do lather up! Plus, you'll find some of them last much longer than your bottled shampoos as they aren't watered down. One of my last shampoo bars lasted almost 3 months!
6. Body soaps
Tell me without telling me how much you love body soap bars (ok doesn’t quite work without the visuals).
But honestly, you can’t go wrong here. There are so many beautiful handcrafted body soap bars out there that don’t come with the plastic packing, there’s really no excuse for not making this switch.
If you’re worried about the longevity there are storage options like a cotton soap bag, or simply your soap bar holder in your shower (just make sure there’s no water lingering in there).
As an added benefit, all of our soap bars here at Diminish are toxin-free, cruelty-free and vegan friendly. You’re getting a product that is both environmentally friendly and nourishing for your skin without the nasties. Plus, you're eliminating hundreds of plastic bottles from potentially ending up in our landfills (think about it over an entire lifetime...).
You got this
If you’re not sure where to start when switching to plastic-free living, just make one switch at a time. Zero-waste is not about being perfect, it's about taking small steps towards a lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable!
If you're keen to do even better for the environment then you could try our 10 day zero-waste challenge. You'll start to see huge improvements in your weekly waste, plus you'll feel better about your environmental footprint.