How to Transition to a Zero Waste Lifestyle Room by Room - The Bathroom

Updated: Jan 10



Last year I invested a lot of time in research into the zero-waste movement and made good progress towards reducing my carbon footprint in my day-to-day life. If you're interested in doing the same I can tell you from experience that it's not an easy road and is a very slow-and-steady process.


It's ironic really because when we find out that we want to reduce our plastic use we jump into all these channels that show all the adorable and great zero-waste things we can buy, BUT if you're truly doing the process correctly you'll need to use up everything you already have until it's life is done before you can embark on your next iteration. I'm still very much in this process myself, but because I didn't read anywhere in the books about zero-waste the best ways to actually transition each part of your life, I wanted to do a quick outline below of how I tackled all my plastic use and give you the truth about how long it took me before I actually was able to make that transition!


Skincare



The Bathroom

The bathroom is the top 2 biggest places for plastic in your home and the first one I wanted to tackle when I first started my sustainable living journey. Ironically, it's an area that I'm still struggling with the most, but we'll get to that in a minute. The reason I was so excited about it was that I had read the book Essential Wellbeing by vitruvi founder Sarah Panton. The book talks about using essential oils to create your own skincare, cleaning products, and other products that really jived with my goals to live a zero-waste lifestyle AND know what was in my products. So let's start with that category!


Zero-Waste Skincare

There are a lot of brands out there claiming to be eco-conscious, sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free, etc. This isn't the blog to take a look at those brands, as I've never been a big skincare person, to begin with, and really went into this wanting to make my own products. I had visions of my own adorable apothecary with amber bottles all over and retro labels telling me everything is. I actually DID achieve that goal, but not without a lot of mishaps along the way!


Timeline - 8 Months

From the time I read that book to when I actually made my first "potion" as my partner, Nic, calls them was probably 8 months. That may sound depressing, but when you think about all the skin products you probably already have and need to use before you can move into the ones you want to make yourself, that is likely a realistic timeline.


How To Transition

After I used the majority of my products (I saved a lot of the mini ones for travel and with COVID travel restrictions I'm thinking it may be YEARS before I finish those off) I made a plan of the things I would need to make my own skincare products.

  1. 2 months before I finished my previous products I made a list of all the things I'd need to make them myself

  2. 1 month before I started searching for bulk versions of what I needed at Costco, local Co-Ops, and Amazon.

  3. Once I had what I needed I re-read my Essential Well-Being book and started making my own products.

I won't get into the details of how I make all of my skincare products, as you can easily buy that book and probably do a better job than I have been, but I will give you an idea of the costs and general products I needed to make this transition.


Cost - App. $250

I remember feeling like I was spending a LOT of money when I actually had to buy all the ingredients that went into my "potions." Below I will link the products and where you can find them online at the most affordable rates that also are either plastic-free or so bulk in size that I felt ok with the large plastic container.


It should also be noted that I haven't needed to rebuy many of these items since I first invested in this process aside from some of the essential oils I use most (lavender) and the ingredients that will go bad over time (coconut milk).


Products

From the time I read that book to when I actually made my first "potion" as my partner, Nic, calls them was probably 8 months. That may sound depressing, but when you think about all the skin products you probably already have and need to use before you can move into the ones you want to make yourself, that is likely a realistic timeline.


Amber Bottles

It's important that the bottles are amber and not clear so that the ingredients in them that don't have preservatives will keep for longer.


Essential Oils

You'll see a theme of essential oils throughout this guide, which is great because that means they are multi-purpose and used across the house vs just for one area. I love the vitruvi brand and really believe in what they stand for, but I will also many times pick up refills at my local co-op.


Coconut Oil

This is almost always the main ingredient in most skin care products. Again, I'm no beauty blogger so you'll know what's best for your skin, but this was a key part of most of my potions.


Other Base Oils

You'll need to decide for yourself which oils are most important to you. I have, over the past year, purchased all of them but only started with 2-3 of the key ones that I needed to test out my zero-waste skincare apothecary before I committed to bottles and bottles of oils.


I don't want to make my own products

FAIR! That's only my journey and if you don't have the time or desire to make your own products, below is a list of brands that I trust and my friends use that can do the work for you.

Zero-Waste Hair Products

Shampoo

Conditioner

Brush

Hair Oil


Zero-Waste Shower Products


Razor

Soap

Shower Cleaner

Bath Salts

Towels


Zero-Waste Teeth Care

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Floss


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