How to Reduce Waste in Your Hygiene Routine

How to Reduce Waste in Your Hygiene Routine

Have you ever given a thought to how many products you make use of when getting ready for your day? The list can become quite extensive: toothbrush, toothpaste, shower products, skin and haircare, fragrances, make-up. Many of these products are packaged in plastics and may contain ingredients that are harmful to both you and the environment. Here is a list of practical ways to reduce waste in your hygiene routine.

Four Tips to Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine
When we think of how to reduce waste at home, preventing wastage of food is usually one of the first things that spring to mind. However, there are many other ways in which we can reduce waste in our daily routines.

1. Opt for Plastic-Free Packaging
There are several ways in which we can avoid plastic packaging. Choose reusable over disposable products. Choose environmentally kind packaging options rather than plastic.

2. Make Your Own
A quick online search will yield so many recipes and how-to’s for making your own soaps, shampoos, lip balms, etc. This is a great way to have more of a say over the chemicals that you expose your body to. Making your own skincare products is also an effective way to reduce the amount of plastic packaging that you send to the landfill.

3. Use Just Enough
Use what you need and no more. For example, when you are washing your hair, start with a small amount of shampoo. If it is not enough, add a little more.

4. Check the Ingredients List
While palm oil is a natural product, it is one to avoid when choosing personal hygiene products. The demand for palm oil has had devastating effects on the world’s rainforests.

Another ingredient to look out for is microbeads. These are often found in exfoliating gels and soaps. These tiny plastic beads are particularly harmful to the environment. They wash into our water systems and are extremely difficult to filter out. Because these microplastics do not decay, they end up in our oceans, polluting and poisoning marine life indefinitely.

Many personal hygiene products may contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and triphenyl phosphate (TPhP). Not only are these harmful to the environment, but they can also be bad for us. Opt for products made with natural ingredients. Or, better yet, certified organic ingredients where you can.

Environmentally Responsible Products to Green your Hygiene Routine
One of the most efficient ways to affect less harm to the environment and reduce waste at home is by substituting plastic-packaged products for more kind solutions. Here is a list of products that you can swap out for environmentally friendly ones.

1. Hair Care
The next time you need to buy a new brush or comb, opt for products made with Bamboo handles rather than plastic. To further reduce the amount of plastic waste generated, try a shampoo bar instead of bottled shampoos. Shampoo and conditioner bars are highly concentrated soap bars. Additionally, they are usually made with natural ingredients that are better for your hair. Besides being great for the environment, they are super convenient for travel too, as they aren’t in liquid form.

2. Dental Care
Plastic toothbrushes are nearly impossible to recycle. If they end up in a landfill, it will be centuries before they break down. Make the switch to Bamboo toothbrushes. Toothpaste tubes are another plastic pest. An environmentally friendly option is toothpaste tablets. Toothpaste tablets are toothpaste made without water compressed into a pill shape. They are usually packaged in glass jars or recyclable metal tins. Take your dental hygiene routine to the next level with environmentally friendly dental floss. Made from products like corn or mulberry silk, these products also often come with refill options.

3. Razors
Cut your plastic consumption without compromising on a clean shave. There are a bunch of splendid safety razor options to choose from. Non-plastic razors are quite an investment upfront. However, they do last considerably longer than their ocean-sabotaging counterparts, saving you money down the line. Typically, they produce a better shave too. Swap out your shaving foam from a can for shaving soap that you can lather up with a brush or your hands.

4. Feminine Hygiene Products
Worldwide, an estimated 45 billion menstrual products are used every year. Most of these products either contain plastic or are packaged in plastic. There are several more environmentally kind options.

  • Menstrual cups are a hygienic and environmentally friendly alternative to tampons. Menstrual cups, or moon cups, are made from medical-grade silicone. With proper care, reusable menstrual cups can last up to ten years. So, while one cup may cost more than a box of tampons, you will save loads of money in the long run.
  • Washable pads and period panties. Period underwear comes with built-in layers of highly absorbent materials to absorb menstrual blood. Simply rinse in cold water directly after use and pop in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Washable menstrual pads work in the same way. They attach to your undies, much in the same way as a disposable pad. With the correct care, washable menstrual pads can last for years.
  • Washable and reusable feminine hygiene products might not be your thing. Opt for plastic-free, plant-based, or cotton-based pads or tampons instead of products with a heavy plastic footprint.

5. Q-tips and Make-up Remover Pads
This is one of the easiest swaps to make. The next time that you stock up on Q-tips, look out for products made with paper or bamboo stems and organic cotton buds.

Instead of using disposable cotton pads for removing your makeup at the end of the day, invest in a set of washable cotton pads. You can find reusable make-up pads made from cotton or Bamboo, or even cute, crocheted ones!

6. Environmentally Responsible Scrubbing
Nylon shower poufs or bath sponges made from petrochemical-based plastics take ages to biodegrade, if at all. Make the switch to a terry cloth or natural loofah sponge. These items are usually no more expensive than their plastic counterparts, and they are kind to the planet!

How to Reduce Waste: Save Water
All the packaging and products aside, one of the largest components of our daily cleaning rituals is water. Potable water is a scarce commodity that we should treat with respect.

  • Take shorter showers. By cutting your showering time down by just one minute per day, you can save over 900 gallons of water per year!
  • Turn the tap off while washing your face. Rather than have a running tap while you are soaping your face, fill the basin with the bit of water that you need to wash and rinse your face.
  • Change your showerhead to one with a low-flow.
  • Shower instead of taking a bath.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Making lasting changes to your hygiene routine can be a long journey. Do not lose heart if you can’t make all the changes immediately. In fact, small lifestyle changes made over time are better in the long run. With just one environmental kind act of change at a time, you are taking a big step towards minimizing your personal impact on our planet.