One theme that keeps occurring within Earth Month’s Zero Waste Bathroom Series is that switching to eco-friendly options saves money. This zero waste shower routine is no different and is far easier than you may imagine.
Most of the swaps I’m offering to create an eco-friendly bathroom are things that many don’t realize are an option. This was the case for me and many people I know.
You’ll see as we go through this list of zero waste shower products just how easy it is to go plastic-free and even completely zero-waste just by swapping a few things for more sustainable options.
Zero Waste Shower Routine
When starting to look at more sustainable options, it is important to look at what you have in your shower already.
For example, I have shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a razor. These are the four products I need to make sure are sustainable products in my routine.
So look at what you have in your shower to see what you can swap. You may have everything I’m going to offer in this post in your shower, but you may have more or less.
It is not a good practice to buy zero waste products that you don’t intend to use just because they are trending. Of course, if you want to truly try these products, do that. But don’t buy them just because I’m offering zero waste options for you to consider.
With that being said, let’s get into plastic-free options for your zero waste shower routine!
1 // Soap
I love liquid soap, but it is often really hard to find it in plastic-free packaging and recycling isn’t so easy where I live.
The great news is that soap bars are the perfect zero waste option and I have a few things for you to consider when choosing the right bar soap for your shower.
Option 1 // Bar soap
Regular bar soap is a great option compared to liquid bath soap. It is easy to find in zero waste packaging and often times costs less than liquid bath soap.
There are a lot of great small business soap shops you can support in lieu of big box stores, which is another reason I love this zero waste swap so much!
Little Seed Farm is a solar-powered farm that is one of the soap shops I recently found that makes all kinds of body care products, including bar soap. I have the Geranium Rose soap [shown on the bottom in the photo above] and it smells amazing, as well as comes in zero-waste packaging.
They have many scents available, but the Geranium Rose is a clear winner for me!
Option 2 // Soap Ends
I’m obsessed with soap ends for a few reasons:
- They allow soap shops the ability to use all of their soap, so nothing goes to waste.
- Many shops, like Citrus Tree Shop, offer a variety pack to allow you to experience different scents, which is perfect for people like me who love using new soaps all of the time.
- It is often a little cheaper than a regular bar of soap because they are considered seconds by many shop owners.
Soap ends are thinner than a regular bar of soap, so you can sample different soaps to find the one you truly love before committing to a full-size bar.
They also make really fun gifts!
I chose Citrus Tree Shop’s soap ends because of her strict standards for clean soap. If you want soap without mica or fragrance, I highly recommend her soap ends [and regular soap, too]! This shop includes a lot of different scents and they all smell amazing!
Option 3 // Soap Ends Bar Soap
When I found Nancy’s Soap Harvest on Etsy, I immediately got excited! She has taken the soap ends bar soap to an entirely new level!
Her soap bar is soap odds and ends to ensure that all of the soap she creates is used. These bars are fairly large, which impressed me when I received them.
These bars are made with eco-friendly lovers in mind because Nancy uses all the materials she can to not waste anything. She’s created a very unique soap bar as a result, and I highly recommend them!
Soap Ends Warning
Just want to put this out there for anyone who is sensitive to certain scents. Soap ends are often randomly selected or contain a few different scents, depending on which soap end option you choose.
If you have sensitivity to scents, I would recommend you stick with regular soap bars, unless the shop owner verifies that you’ll be safe or will cater to your needs.
All three shops I’ve shared have regular soap bars, so check them all out and consider supporting all three!
Why I love soap ends for a zero waste shower
I think it is obvious as to why I love bar soap for a zero waste shower, but I wanted to explain why I love choosing soap ends when I’m feeling adventurous.
As I mentioned earlier, soap ends allow soap makers to use all materials created so that nothing goes to waste. By choosing to purchase soap ends, I’m helping meet the demands for their soap in general.
If we only choose regular bar soap, then they are left with a lot of soap ends and no customers for them, which can result in a lot of wasted materials. By choosing soap ends for my shower routine, I’m helping them go the extra mile to ensure as little waste as possible is created in the soap making process.
Also, soap ends make really great gifts! They allow you to introduce friends and family to the soap shops you love and use by giving them a variety of soaps to try.
2 // Loofahs
Plastic loofahs are some of the most wasteful things in our shower, because you cannot recycle them.
However, I have two alternatives to these that are superior zero waste options that will also save you money!
Option 1 // Washcloth
That’s right! A washcloth is a great alternative to loofahs because you likely already have more than enough on hand anyways. [I know I do…]
By using 100% cotton washcloths, you can cut them up at the end of their life and compost them or turn them into cleaning rags, which is what I do.
Option 2 // Loofahs
Confused? Don’t be, because loofahs are actually vegetables that can be grown in your backyard!
That’s right! They aren’t from the sea, and are fairly easy to grow and beautiful.
Because a loofah is a vegetable, you can use them for about 6 months [with proper care] then compost them when done.
I love using a loofah because they exfoliate the skin far better than anything else I’ve ever used, and eliminate the need for any kind of scrub, like a sugar scrub.
Option 3 // Your hands
If you really want to be zero waste with a plastic loofah alternative, the truth is that you can simply use your hands to wash your body.
A loofah is an optional piece in your shower, regardless of how you see it. The truth is that we can get just as clean without it.
I will say that I do prefer my loofah, but I want to be sure you know all of your options.
3 // Razor
Disposable razors create a lot of unnecessary waste. Even if you choose a razor that only needs the head replaced, you’re tossing out plastic each time you replace it.
While there is the traditional safety razor to suggest, I have found one I like better!
The Leaf Shave safety razor is the first to combine a traditional safety razor with a modern shape. To me, it is far less intimidating to use.
The benefit of it is that after the initial cost of the razor, you only need to purchase the blades, which are metal and recyclable.
The blades cost a tiny fraction in comparison to any kind of disposable razor, so you’ll save a lot of money with this zero waste swap!
4 // Shampoo & Conditioner
Shampoo and conditioner bottles create a lot of waste, and there are two ways to change that.
Option 1 // Shampoo Bars and Conditioner Bars
Swapping out your bottles to bars is a great plastic-free swap! The truth is that bottled products are wasteful in many ways, and bars work to correct that in these ways:
- They eliminate the need for plastic bottles
- Bars reduce the amount of water needed to create the product because they are a concentrated product that needs water added to make it work.
If you’ve read the ingredients label, most shampoo and conditioner have water listed as the main ingredient. Concentrated bars don’t use nearly as much water to be created, so you’re saving far more than just plastic with this swap.
I really like what KealiaOrganics has to offer, so be sure to check them out and swap out your plastic bottles for bars!
Option 2 // Plaine Products
While Plaine Products isn’t my favorite idea, they do offer a solution to creating a plastic-free bathroom that I think is worth mentioning.
Plain Products ships you the products, you use them, then send back the empty container for new ones. The packaging is aluminum, which can be sanitized and reused or is 100% recycled versus downcycled like plastic.
The reason I’m not the biggest fan of this option is due to the shipping of products back and forth. While I understand it, I do think they could come up with something that doesn’t involve so much shipping.
5 // Shaving Cream
Shaving cream cans are hard to recycled, because of the built up pressure in the can. There are a lot of options to consider as an alternative that work just as well and are cheaper.
Option 1 // Conditioner
By using the conditioner you already have on hand, you can create a wonderful shaving experience! It truly leaves your legs feeling so soft and smooth.
Plus, it is one less product you need on hand.
Option 2 // Shave bars
If you love having a dedicated product to shaving your legs, give shave bars a try. Just rub the bar on your leg and shave!
Option 3 // Water
If you don’t have sensitive skin, water is your best friend! I’ve used water to shave my legs for years and have never had any problems.
While I realize this isn’t the best zero waste option for many people because of skin sensitivity, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. You never know! It could work great for you!
Bonus! // Lotion
While you don’t necessarily use lotion in the shower, you most likely use it right after you get out of the shower, which is why I’ve included it as a bonus.
Lotion bars are a great zero waste swap because they are very moisturizing and last a long time! I personally like them, because they aren’t as greasy as regular lotion seems to be. That could be a me problem, but that’s my opinion.
Hopefully, this post has helped you see that creating a zero waste shower routine is fairly easy.
Yes, you’ll likely have to try a few different products to find the ones that work best for you, but start with the recommendations I provided. You won’t be disappointed!
I’d love to know your thoughts about a zero waste shower routine! What are you going to swap in your shower? Have you already made changes? Let’s connect below in the comments.