The UK alone uses over 7.5 billion plastic containers a year. The US uses a further 35 billion. On average, as few as a quarter of these containers get properly recycled. The rest end up in, and all over, the earth and won't break down for at least 450 years.
Want to help tackle this issue, but have no idea where to start? Changing the products you buy, especially when the sustainable and long-lasting option isn't as cheap as what you know you like, can be daunting. But don't worry, I'm here to help with that.
In this article I'll list my favourite brands and products, so you'll have my word that they're reliable and high-quality. They are all eco-friendly, low- or zero-waste, and (at least majority) vegan alternatives for everything you could need for your bathroom and personal hygiene.
The best part? Contrary to what you might assume about going low- or zero-waste, these won't feel like sacrifices at all. We get so caught up in associating 'disposable' with 'convenient' that we often don't realise how much of our time, money, and effort goes into constantly purchasing wasteful items.
These replacements and alternatives are all longer-lasting and higher in quality than their disposable counterparts. Over time you'll definitely come to find that you've saved both the planet and your bank account, while also getting a better product.
For those with reading difficulties, or for anyone who simply prefers to listen to audio, the following video is a recording of the article being read. The audio does have a bit of an echo, but hopefully it serves its purpose.
Here are my top eco-friendly brand and product suggestions:
Miniml provides customers with reusable glass or plastic bottles for their products. Once the bottle is empty, you can either purchase a 5 L or 20 L refill, or you can go to your local zero-waste store and have them refill it for you.
How does this count as zero-waste? You keep your personal container, and Miniml takes back the refill containers, sterilises them, and ships them out again to someone else who needs a refill! Plus, it's all made in Yorkshire.
Here's just some of what you can buy from them:
Anti-bac surface cleaner
Body wash and bubblebath
Miniml has a store locator on their site, here, which will help you find a store near you that stocks Miniml products. I'm sure you'll be surprised to find one closer than you think!
Peace With the Wild
Peace With the Wild is an eco-living site with a seemingly endless selection of products for every kind of need. Though not every product is vegan, the vast majority of them are and it's a great site for a one-stop shop. You'll be able to find almost everything you need for not just your bathroom, but your entire home.
Because Peace With the Wild is focused on providing so many choices, some of the products aren't the most sustainable options due to plastic packaging or occasionally being single-use. But they're all better than the typical options and certified sustainable, so it's up to you to decide how much of an issue you take with it.
The site sells all bathroom and kitchen products, as well as loads of vegan and refillable makeup in sustainable packaging. It's also a great place to find all your skincare products.
Potty About My Planet
Potty About My Planet is a bamboo 3-ply toilet paper. You can buy 12 rolls for £15, and both the packaging and inner roll are compostable.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable options out there, and (rightfully) puts paper products to shame. And don't worry, it's even softer and more absorbent than the toilet paper you have now.
Not convinced about the price? All the customers, including myself, are of the opinion that each roll lasts far longer than the average paper rolls do. Plus, 50% of all profits go to charity! It's not every day that your toilet paper supports clean water and sanitation worldwide.
Edwin Jagger Metal Razors
My first metal razor was from Edwin Jagger, and I'm still using it years later. If their prices don't impress you, you can find a massive selection of metal razors from other brands on Amazon.
Most metal safety razors can be taken apart and cleaned. The blade can then also be replaced as often as you like with any standard double-sided razor blade.
Personally, I use four or five blades a year, and a pack of 10 from Boots costs £2. That means all I need to worry about is going to spend a couple pounds on some new razor blades every other year.
What do you think of when I say "all-natural deodorant"?
Like most people, you probably think of something that doesn't work. And who could blame you? Most of the early attempts at organic and eco-friendly deodorants didn't hold a candle to the specially-designed chemical concoctions produced to stop your sweat.
Thankfully, Wild is reviving the reputation of all-natural deodorants. Once you pick a case in the colour of your choice, you can order deodorant refills that come in compostable inserts. There's a whole range of scents to choose from, with enough variety to ensure there's at least one you'll love.
My DivaCup is by far the most sustainable, and astonishingly convenient, feminine hygiene product I've ever found. I've saved this topic for last because it's not for everyone, so don't worry about missing anything if you don't feel like reading further.
Although it's not a fun subject, we generate a lot of waste when we use disposable feminine hygiene products every month. My go-to for over two years now has been my DivaCup, a reusable silicone cup. Though they may seem intimidating to use at first, I'm a total wimp and even I can assure you it gets very manageable very quickly!
These can be used for up to 12 hours, only needing to be emptied out and rinsed or wiped before being reinserted. They last for many years, can't cause toxic shock syndrome, and save you a lot of money in the long run.
In between cycles, you can clean your cup by simply boiling it in water, soaking it with Milton sterilising tablets, or even buying a special container to steam it in the microwave. If those options aren't convenient enough, DivaCup also sells a special sterilising wash.
Though DivaCup is the most commonly used brand, there are loads of other brands out there. Take a look around and see what might suit you best.
Hopefully this article gives you the resources you need to start on your eco-friendly and zero-waste journey at home. There are so many options out there! If you love a brand or product that didn't get mentioned, let us know down below.
Still not sure where to find a replacement for your favourite product? Leave us a comment and we'll help you find something eco-friendly in no time.