53 million tons of plastic. Recent research shows that by the year 2030 with our current plastic reduction practices in place, there will be 53 million tons of plastic in our oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Let's get real, you and I alone are not going to change our plastic future. It's going to require governments making laws and corporations making large-scale manufacturing changes, but we can influence necessary change by voting - not just at the ballot, but voting with our dollars. Companies are going to make more of the products that we are buying. And if we're choosing to buy less plastic, they're going to figure out manufacturing with less plastic.
Already, manufacturers are getting on the low plastic or plastic-free bandwagon. Brands like Old Spice and Dove both have a deodorant that comes in a recyclable paperboard refill and fits into a reusable container. You can get sustainable brands like Grove Collaborative and Hey Humans at your local big box store.
In this blog post, I am in my bathroom to show you ten products that I use to help reduce my own plastic usage. This is not a sponsored post. Some of the links might be affiliate links or referral links, but these are all products that I have researched, that I use myself and that I can enthusiastically recommend.
We're in the bathroom so we might as well get it out of the way. Let's talk about the toilet first. First up is Who Gives a Crap toilet paper - kind of a silly name. It's three-ply. It's soft. It's very comparable to anything you're going to buy in the grocery store. It is not wrapped in plastic. And it's made out of 100% recycled paper. They also have a bamboo option as well. You can set up a subscription so that a very large box is shipped right to your home and you never run out of bum paper.
I will admit I used those little one-use plastic discs that you put on the stick to clean the toilet for a long time. Very wasteful. So when Blueland came out with their toilet cleaning tablets in their nice little metal container that you can refill, I made the switch right away. Drop a tablet in, watch it fizz up and foam, swipe a few times with your toilet brush and flush, and Voila! Plastic-free toilet bowl cleaning.
Castile bar soap and a good old-fashioned washcloth instead of shower gel in a plastic bottle and a plastic scrubby. Dr. Bronner’s comes in 8 scents. My personal favorite is citrus. It's certified cruelty-free, non-GMO, and Fair for Life. All of the certifications and plastic-free.
Four and Five: Ethique shampoo bars and conditioners
I don't currently have Ethique bars in my shower because I want to switch to Ethique’s concentrates and I needed a bottle to do that. I recently bought the Love Beauty and Planet shampoo and conditioner from Target so that I would have the refillable aluminum cans. When I'm out of those, I will buy the Ethique concentrates. I will just say I do not love the Love Beauty and Planet shampoo and I'm very much looking forward to being done with it so that I can switch back to the Ethique. I really do like the shampoo bars. I was concerned about using the shampoo bars because I have really long hair, but I really like them. In fact, I think I'm going to stick with the shampoo bar, but then use the conditioner concentrate. I did not love the conditioner bars for my long hair.
You can buy Hey Humans products at Target. They are made out of naturally derived and vegan ingredients without any harsh chemicals. And they have awesome scents. There's banana aloe, which I really like, lavender vanilla, apple matcha, and coconut mint. They are really nice lotions and come in recyclable aluminum containers.
Seven: Native deodorant
Native carries most of their deodorants in plastic-free packaging. I have tried several natural deodorants over the years and inevitably wound up going back to mainstream because they just stopped working for me. I don't mind sweating. I do not want to smell. But Native stands up to 10 days of scout camp every summer. It's awesome. Its plastic-free packaging is really good too. I recently tried the Hey Humans deodorant in plastic-free packaging. After the second or third use, the top of the cardboard started to get messed up and I can't put the lid back on it. I have not had that problem with Native and Native comes with really great smells. My favorite is coconut vanilla. I really love this product. It's one of my favorite plastic-free things that I use.
Eight: Hey Humans toothpaste
It comes in a metal tube with a 100% recycled plastic cap and a recyclable cardboard box. I've tried quite a lot of plastic-free toothpaste and tooth tablets. I really do like the tablets, but Hey Humans was the first one I found with fluoride in it. And I do like to have fluoride in my toothpaste product.
Nine: Bamboo toothbrushes
I don't currently have a bamboo toothbrush because the most frugal thing is to use the toothbrushes you already have. I still have a backstock of toothbrushes that have been given to me by dentists over the years, but I've used bamboo toothbrushes in the past. And they're really just as comparable. I like brands like Reach because you can buy them in more mainstream locations, but you can find plenty of options in stores like Thrive Market or the Grove Collaborative or even on Amazon and at Target.
I did try the Preserve toothbrush once, which is made out of recyclable plastic. I really wanted to like it because we do want companies who are attempting to reuse recyclable plastics. But it was a weird toothbrush. It bent backward instead of forward so it made the whole grip on brushing my teeth different. I didn't love it, but check out the bamboo toothbrushes. They're pretty nice.
Ten: Blueland hand soap
I really like foaming hand soap, but if you don't already know, foaming hand soap is mostly water. So it doesn't make a lot of sense economically to buy a new bottle every time you need it. Blueland hand soap refills cost about $2.50 each. I make the refill liquid in a Mason jar and then fill up bottles I already had around the house.
I hope this list of ten plastic-free items I use in my bathroom inspires you to find plastic-free alternatives in your own home. Leave a comment below if you'd like me to share my go-to plastic-free items for the kitchen. Be sure to signup to receive notifications when I post new videos and blog posts (I don’t send emails more than three times a month - we have to keep that inbox decluttered too).
Until next time, I hope your days are increasingly clutter-free and filled with the people and things that mean the most to you.