Go Zero-Waste. Starting with your Daily Routine
Going zero-waste is becoming easier than ever before. New eco-friendly brands are popping up everywhere, making switching out plastic products for environmentally sustainable ones a breeze!
Ready to head towards zero-waste yourself? Take a moment and look around your bathroom, what do you see? Likely a lot of plastic. A great place to start pivoting to zero-waste is with your daily routine. Every day, we shower, brush our teeth, wash our hands and shave. Switching to zero-waste doesn't mean throwing out everything you have and replacing all of your items. But instead, when you need new items, transition to more eco-friendly options. We've compiled a list of zero-waste alternatives to help guide you in the right direction!
SWITCH OUT YOUR PLASTIC RAZOR FOR A STAINLESS STEEL SAFETY RAZOR
One of the first products you can consider transitioning out, is the razor you use. Whether it's a single-use, throw-away razor or the kind with plastic replacement blades, it's estimated that over two billion razors end up in the landfill each year! That’s about one million pounds of plastic waste. So, what's the solution? Stainless steel safety razors.
Plastic razors have a much shorter life cycle than safety razors. The average disposable razor cartridge is estimated to be used 6-9 times before being thrown away. And the bulk of a disposable razor is non-biodegradable, leading to billions of pieces of hazardous waste ending up in landfills each year.
Safety razors aren't completely biodegradable, but they’re still a major improvement over disposable razors. Blades are one aspect of razors that will need to be disposed of, which means a safety razor isn't completely zero waste, but it's a step in the right direction. You can find one of our favorite safety razors here.
SWITCH OUT YOUR BODY WASH FOR NATURAL SOAP
Most body wash comes in single-use plastic container. In addition, there are a lot of unnecessary chemicals in body wash. Chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and sulfates, can disrupt the way your body produces hormones and the way your cells replicate, which can cause cancer. And body washes often alter their colors which means even more chemicals.
Natural soaps don't use chemicals. So consider switching to one of our all natural bar soaps! A great recommendation is our Calendula bar. Like all of our soaps, it's extra gentle with lots of skin-loving properties!
BUY A STONE SOAP DISH INSTEAD OF A PLASTIC ONE
If you already have an existing plastic soap dish, tossing it out to replace it with a more eco-friendly dish does contribute to landfill waste. However, we do understand if you do. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used in the production of plastics since the 1960s. A 2015 study published in Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny shows that BPA interacts with estrogen receptors and plays a role in the pathogenesis of several endocrine disorders, including female and male infertility, early puberty, breast and prostate cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
As stated, the colors in our soaps are all natural. We don't use any dyes or pigments. But even with the use of natural colorants, our bar soaps can leave a bit of residue in your bathtub. For example, our Patchouli Orange bar soap which contains activated charcoal, may leave gray residue around where the bar soap has been sitting. Sometimes the natural coloring from the herbs and clays can also run down the side of your sink, shower or bathtub but will not cause permanent staining. We suggest using a stone soap dish in areas where you keep our bar soap for use. Stone soap dishes help to keep your bar soap it’s driest in between uses. Extending the longevity of your soap and aiding to lessen any color residue left behind. Here's a link to a stone soap dish we love!
SWITCH OUT YOUR PLASTIC LIQUID SOAP FOR REUSABLE BOTTLES + BUY LARGE REFILLS
When buying liquid soap, there's three things to keep in mind to pivot towards zero-waste. One is the packaging of the liquid soap you are buying. Is the bottle reusable or is it a single-use plastic? Consider how often you go through liquid soap, how many plastic bottles are you going through and is there an alternative or refillable option available to you?
The second is the material of the sticker on the bottle, which is much harder to identify. To find the material of the sticker on the bottle, you often need to ask or research it on the brand's website under their environmental sustainability page. A lot of companies don't have this, but those who do are ahead of the game, and demonstrate ethical practices by being so transparent.
Thirdly, check the ingredients in the liquid soap. What is the liquid soap made of? Is it all natural, or does it have chemicals used in the product? Choose a liquid soap that is anywhere between 95-100% natural, to have the lowest impact on the environment.
Lastly, ask yourself if liquid soap is absolutely necessary for what you're needing. For those that choose liquid hand soap for example, maybe consider switching it out for a stone soap dish and a bar of our Rosemary, Bergamot & Lime bar soap. A wonderful alternative to getting those hands squeaky clean, smells amazingly fresh, and it looks 'oh so pretty' next to your sink.
SWITCH OUT YOUR SHAMPOO FOR A NATURAL SHAMPOO BAR
The majority of shampoo and conditioners come in single-use plastic bottles. Ever notice those numbers on the bottom of single-use plastic and aluminum products? Those numbers are used to identify what's in the packaging to know which plastics you can recycle. Based on the 2018 study in Pediatrics, researchers suggest steering clear of plastics with the recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7. Those numbers directly correspond to the chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system (phthalates, styrene, and bisphenols).
To pivot towards a zero-waste routine, choosing eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic shampoo and conditioners is one way to make a significant impact. Shampoo bars can replace the 552 million shampoo bottles thrown out annually. Shampoo bars are often sold with little to no packaging and are made with natural ingredients. Two key aspects that make a big impact! Follow this link to one of our favorite Minnesota natural shampoo bar soap companies, and stay tuned in the future as we add our own shampoo bar to our lineup of strategically crafted soaps.
SWITCH OUT YOUR PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH FOR A BAMBOO ONE
Toothbrushes bristles wear and tear, and we need to replace them every few weeks to months. The handle on plastic toothbrushes are made from polypropylene and the bristles from nylon. These materials are both sourced from non-renewable fossil fuels. Both polypropylene and nylon are basically indestructible.
Bamboo is a fully biodegradable material, renewable and sustainable. And as a plant is one of the fastest growing plants with certain species of bamboo growing 3 feet per day! Bamboo toothbrushes make a great alternative to plastic ones. Next time you’re in the market for a new toothbrush, consider this bamboo toothbrush and make the switch.
SWITCH OUT YOUR SYNTHETIC LOOFA FOR A NATURAL ONE
There are several types of loofahs, the natural type which are made from the fibrous skeleton of the loofah fruit and unnatural loofahs made from plastic and synthetic material. Synthetic loofahs do last longer than natural ones, but when it comes to your impact long term on our planet, natural loofahs biodegrade versus clogging up the landfill or harming ocean life. If pivoting to a zero-waste lifestyle, the natural route is the one you'll want to take.
New to using loofahs with natural bar soap? This Etsy shop has lots of great varieties to get you started.
SWITCH OUT YOUR COTTON MAKEUP REMOVAL PADS FOR REUSABLE ONES
If you wear makeup, cleanse or use toner on your face, or even remove nail polish, you may be using cotton pads in both your morning and evening routine. This is a considerable volume when you think about how many you may be throwing away each week. Some cotton rounds and cotton balls aren’t even made from cotton, but from synthetic fibers that don’t break down easily in the landfill.
An excellent alternative to synthetic cotton balls are reusable pads. They're washable, reusable, soft and gentle to the skin. They can be used to remove makeup, lipstick and mascara or for minor wound care in lieu of disposable wipes and pads. We love this set from MidnightShoppingFind, which includes 10 bamboo pads, a bamboo storage "jar" and a bamboo/mesh laundry bag to wash the pads in with your laundry!
These are just a few simple steps you can take today to begin to transition to a more zero-waste lifestyle. Here at Nature's Embrace Soap Company, we're always looking to improve our business operations and practices. We want to do our part, and we hope you do too!