Zero Waste Bathroom

Zero Waste kitchen is taking some time. There’s still so much food we buy in plastic. I even tried going to the local butcher with a container but they used the bag to pick up the meat, a kind of makeshift plastic gloves… still better than styrofoam I suppose.

Zero Waste Bathroom, on the other hand, is almost a reality. Just a few days ago I made toothpaste. Toothpaste!

Toothpaste

1 Tbsp Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

  1. Mix together in a glass jar.
  2. If coconut oil is hard, place glass jar in hot water for a little bit.

I’m still getting used to the toothpaste. Even with the generous drops of Peppermint, the baking soda is what cuts through to my taste buds almost immediately. As for fluoride, I get plenty of it in my drinking water so that’s not a problem. My main issue seems to be the coconut oil that goes hard between uses. I don’t know if I fancy melting my toothpaste before every use!

Now, some people like Bea Johnson use “tooth powder” which is just sprinkling baking soda on their toothbrush. I’m not quite there yet! I’m still using my bamboo toothbrush which surprisingly has bristles still in great shape, even after a month of use. Though today I’ve had this weird taste & feeling in my mouth all day that I haven’t been able to shake. Either I’m craving that clean feeling from a strong Colgate toothpaste or I used a bit too much baking soda paste this morning. It’s a work in progress.

For the shower I’ve been experimenting with different soaps. Some I’ve had reactions to, so it’s been a process of trial and error. The main thing is turning away from body wash in plastic bottles. Shampoo and conditioner I don’t use very often anyway and I’ve been trying shampoo soap, but it just doesn’t have the same feeling as the lather you get from liquid.

I’ve been using shaving soap which seems to work well. I just need to invest in a metal razor. I’m still using my Gillete with disposable plastic blades.

Deodorant

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup baking soda
1/3 cup cornstarch
10-15 drops essential oil (I used frankensence)

  1. Mix together in a glass jar.
  2. If coconut oil is hard, place glass jar in hot water for a little bit

So now I have identical glass jars sitting in my bathroom with identical looking substances. Here’s hoping I don’t go to work one day with Peppermint armpits. The first time I used this stuff I did get a little red and sore in my armpits which was probably a reaction to the baking soda. I have since added more coconut oil and will hopefully see some change. My partner bought a deodorant stick in a cardboard tube for a whopping $18. I tried to put my homemade deodorant in there but because of the coconut oil it completely hardened and the stick wouldn’t raise.

Zero Waste really is an uphill battle. The conveniences we’ve found over the years are so ingrained it’s hard enough to change your own behaviour let alone others in your life. I’m perhaps creating more anxiety in my life by having to watch people toss recyclables straight into the trash. But there are things I’m enjoying, like getting more into composting and organizing jars in my pantry. Little by little I’m making life changes and eventually, this will culminate in my new and improved lifestyle that is simple, more efficient and of course, better for the planet.

Zero Wasted: Beginning my zero waste journey

Since Liam & Hannah from The Rubbish Trip came to town with their presentation on zero waste I’ve been looking into more and more ways of reducing my waste. I thought recycling was a good thing but from this presentation, I really learned it’s only making the most of a bad situation (plastics especially can only be recycled a number of times). Our consumerist single-use plastic culture is damaging our planet. Plastic is a non-renewable resource. We need to go back to the time before single-use plastic made such a dent in our lives.

Like any do-gooder I understand this zero waste stuff can come across as preachy. I can only speak from my own experience. You do what’s best for your situation. As zero waste isn’t the norm, it’s certainly not the easiest or the cheapest to get started. All we can do is the best we can. The more eco-friendly items we demand from the makers of the things we buy, the easier it will get.

I’m going to try and keep this blog updated with my journey and the discoveries I make along the way. As I’m going to be a parent soon I’m also feeling the moral quandary that is bringing a child into a dying world. Thanks, First Reformed!

Although I’m only one person I personally want to reduce the impact I make on the planet, and hopefully, as more and more people start to do so, we might get to see some real change. The banning of single-use plastic bags in New Zealand is a great first step but we have to do more than just bring our reusable shopping bags to the supermarket.

Upcoming posts:

  • Zero waste hygiene (toothbrush, soap etc.)
  • Buying bulk (eg. The Nude Grocer)
  • Zero Waste Kit (coffee cup, drink bottle etc.)
  • Food waste & composting
  • Bring your own containers (deli meats)
  • Book recommendations