by Taylor Bratton, Rise Above Plastics volunteer 

Video produced by Eliette Singleton

Did you know that almost every plastic product in your bathroom can be replaced with something zero-waste (or homemade)? 

A common apprehension to moving away from bathroom plastic is that it’s too expensive. While some products are a little pricy, most things can be made from common household products. In converting my bathroom to a plastic free space, I’ve actually saved money.

The first step is to get a bamboo toothbrush. A billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the US alone. Due to the durable nature of petroleum based polymers, every plastic toothbrush ever made still exists. Bamboo is much more sustainable and renewable. When you’re finished with them, you can remove the bristles and compost the handle.

Toothpaste tubes are often seen as a necessary evil. They can’t be refilled and they can’t be recycled. The good news is that there are tons of options for switching to more sustainable alternatives. You can find them in metal tubes, but those often have plastic caps. There are also options to get toothpaste in metal or glass refillable jars, or tablets that you bite into. Personally, I like to make my own out of baking soda and coconut oil. It’s the cheapest option and really effective. Here’s a RECIPE I like! 

Switching to bar soap is one of the easiest ways to cut down on some plastic. The same goes for shampoo and conditioner. They usually come in paper boxes and they last much longer than liquid soap.

Local Surfrider supporters Sand Cloud and Worthy Picks both produce great bamboo toothbrushes! 

Switching to bar soap is one of the easiest ways to cut down on some plastic. The same goes for shampoo and conditioner. They usually come in paper boxes and they last much longer than liquid soap. If you’re really into pumping soap from a bottle or having liquid hairproducts, San Diego has a bunch of refill stores where you can reuse your bottle. Here are a few:

Go see Katrina at Earthwell Refill in Kensington!
Go see Marissa at Sonora Refillery in Oceanside!

I opt for sunscreen, lip balm and lotion in metal tins. They can all be made from scratch as well!

Raw Elements is my favorite waterproof sunscreen in a metal container, but there are several great options to choose from! 

Lush is also a great resource for other plastic free soaps, shampoos, lotions and lip balms. Their stores tend to be in malls, and there are several here in SD County (Fashion Valley, UTC, Escondido, and Temecula).

This all may seem overwhelming to start, but remember that going plastic free is a process. Any little effort you make towards reducing plastic use is a huge step. Good luck on your zero-waste journey!