When it comes to reducing our personal waste, most of us are pretty aware about our food choices. We can make the conscious decision to NOT use a plastic bag and opt for the bulk potatoes that aren’t covered in more plastic.
However, how often do you think about the other waste that you are creating? For me it took quite awhile until I had a true “ah-ha” moment. I was practically zero waste when it came to the kitchen BUT I was still buying so much plastic.
Over the past few years I have experimented with and tried more zero waste shower products than I can remember. There are some truly wonderful products out there…and then there are some that have good intentions but just don’t seem to get the job done.
So, what do you need to make your shower time more eco-friendly?
Well the first step is to be conscious of your water consumption. Ever though I live in one of the rainiest climates in the USA, does not mean I should take hour long showers. The truth is, the climate where you live may not reflect the climate of our planet at large. While there may be a few less inches of rain each year, other areas of this country (and planet) are in severe droughts. By using water more efficiently we can help maintain overall water supplies at safe levels. Doing so protects the health of fellow humans as well as the environment.
One of the simplest ways to create a low waste shower routine is to swap out your bottles for plastic free shampoo and conditioner bars. Bars? Yup, you heard correctly. It’s like a bar of soap…but for your hair (pretty wonderful right?). Not only are bars plastic free options, but they often contain less harsh chemicals. This means less harsh chemicals on your skin and less going into our drains and back into the water.
I can proudly say I have fallen in love with LUSH products. What was once a fragrant store I went into with my grandma to find the latest bath bomb, has blossomed into one of the leading cruelty free and low-waste body shops. They have a WIDE range of shampoos, conditioners, face washes, body scrubs, soaps, toothpaste, and literally everything else that has to do with keeping our bodies clean!
The best part? Most of their products are package free. Those that do come in plastic containers can be brought back to any store so that they can be reused. If you are vegan, be sure to double check that the product you are buying is vegan. While LUSH proudly does not test on animals, some of their products do contain honey. Simply check the ingredients or ask a member of their team to be sure.
When it comes to washing your body, many people use body wash and a loofah. What do they two products have in common? PLASTIC. And we don’t like plastic.
Perhaps the simplest swap, involves trading in your shower gel for a bar of soap. It may take some getting used to if you have always used shower gel, but I guarantee that you’ll grow to love it. As for a loofah, you can swap it out for a bamboo scrub brush. These can be found at most grocery stores in the shower/beauty section. These brushes don’t contain plastic, last longer, and can often be composted when you are through with them.
My final low waste shower essential is my safety razor. At first this type of razor seemed intimidating to me; I was worried that I would slice my skin off. But if you’ve been using a razor for years, it’s not that much different. It only took me 3 showers to get the hang of it. When taken care of properly, these razors can last YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Yes, you heard me correctly. However, the blades themselves do need to be replaced. You can usually find razor blade refills at the grocery store (I often find them in the men’s razor section).
One important thing to note is that razor blades CANNOT be recycled in your regular recycling bin. Check your local area to see where you can bring them to properly be recycled. I usually wait until I have MANY used blades before I make the trip to recycle them. I store my used blades in a small container to keep both me and the blades safe.
And there you have it! Eliminating plastic during your shower doesn’t have to complicated. It may take a few showers to get used to your new products BUT just think of how many plastic bottles, loofahs, and razors you are saving! Alone, you may just be one person, but let your sustainability journey inspire those around you. Ask your friends or family to try new products with you, buy a loved one a zero waste gift, and together we can all shower plastic free.