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Plastic Free July: Bathroom Edition

Jasmine Venditti

Using less plastic is a constant work in progress, here are some ways I've reduced plastic in the bathroom over the years. 

Toothbrush - The one bamboo I first tried the bristles fell out fairly quickly, so I wasn’t sure this was a switch I’d be making. However, I persevered and somewhere along the way I tried Bam Brush and haven’t looked back. I pick mine up locally at Second Nature Home Boutique on Commercial Street.

Floss - Dental floss is single use and typically plastic, however there are more and more compostable options available which can likely be found at your local soap refill shop or health store. Canadian companies include: KMH Touches’ Flosspot (silk floss in refillable jar) and Flosspot Gold (corn thread floss in a refillable jar) 

Toothpaste - Crush & Brush Mint & Charcoal toothpaste tablets are easy to use, effective, and refillable. Produced in Nelson, British Columbia. Also to note, other non plastic daily rituals for oral hygiene, I use a stainless steel tongue scraper after brushing to remove any build up, as well as oil pulling with coconut oil for 20 minutes each morning. 

Soap - No surprise, but I use my own bar soap in shower and at the bathroom sink. I do switch it up regularly, but currently have a bar of Pink Clay & Florals in the shower, and a bar of Lemon Eucalyptus & Litsea at the sink, the refreshing scent is a bonus motivator for all the extra handwashing.   

Shampoo - Bottled shampoo & conditioner was one of the first ‘packaging free’ products I distinctly recall trying to give up back in the day, though not necessarily because of the plastic, I kept reacting to the contents. This led me to try shampoo bars, though also with mixed results. Fast forward many years later, I personally use the Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar and a bar lasts me approximately 3-4 months. And then follow with the Rosemary & Nettle Hair Rinse, currently only about once or twice a month for maintenance. Though if switching to shampoo bars from conventional shampoos, I recommend using Hair Rinse after each wash for a few weeks as your hair & scalp weans off being stripped of its natural oils and adjusts to its new shampoo bar life. 

Exfoliation - Starting to sound like Wild Jasmine infomercial, however I will say my personal love of good regular exfoliation originates from the mitts used in Jimjilbangs in South Korea, so body scrub production did replace plastic. To note, for safety reasons (to avoid risk of broken glass in the shower), our scrubs are packaged in PET recycled plastic jars, please refill or reuse. 

Razors - One common plastic item in the bathroom is disposable razors, a safety razor is the plastic-free replacement. While they are an initial investment, it yields a closer, cleaner shave and ends up being more affordable than disposable counterparts. While completely recyclable, the used blades cannot be added to curbside pickup, thus a blade bank to safely collect and recycle or return to company if an option. Canadian companies include: Well Kept and Kent of Inglewood

Face & Make up - The plastic free swap of my facial care line is the Face Polish powders, which can effectively replace plastic microbead cleansers and exfoliants. Canadian makeup companies, including Pure AnadaElate and Cheekbone Beauty all offer low waste or refillable packaging. Reusable fabric rounds and cloth tissues replace disposable cotton pads and rounds and wipes. And LastSwab is a reusable q-tips available in basic and beauty, I have yet to try, but on to-do list for the month. 

Menstruation - Menstrual cups are much more popular than when I was introduced. First I’d ever heard of them was when Mom discovered and 'gifted' Diva Cups to my sister and I. Years later I did the same to one of my best buds :D. A learning curve indeed, but its been well over a decade since my last tampon and can't really imagine using one now.  If menstruation cups aren’t your thing, there are period panties (Revol) and reusable fabric pads (Aisle - formerly Lunapads)


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