Purchasing a luxury grooming accessory is always a pleasant experience: the smooth feel in your hands, the striking visual design. But it’s also rewarding because you’ve just invested in a tool that’s built to last. With environmental urgencies at the fore of our collective conscience, it feels good to foster low-waste habits and to live with an eye toward sustainability. And well-manufactured grooming accessories, like double-edged safety razors and straight razors, are just the tip of the iceberg. Below, we’ve drafted a step-by-step guide on how to transform your bathroom into a low-waste space.
Think about how much toilet paper you go through in just one week. Now picture all your friends, family, and strangers on the street doing the same thing, and that’s somewhere near the grim state of reality. It’s hard to even conceive of it. The switch to 100% recycled, unbleached toilet paper still produces waste, but at least it capitalizes on waste we’ve already created. It’s not hard to find either: Seventh Generation is a brand that offers a variety of environmentally clean products, and they’re available at most grocery stores.
On top of all the dubious chemicals you might find in your local pharmacy’s deodorant stick, there’s a lot of plastic waste being produced with each deodorant bought and consumed. For lower-waste and more health-conscious options, you have alum blocks or baking soda. Both effectively cancel out odours, and there’s no plastic left over once you’re done with them. We suggest:
For starters, it’s high time you break the habit of running the tap while you brush your teeth: this running water is being wasted for no good reason. Secondly, you’ll want to invest in a wooden compostable toothbrush—or at least one that lasts longer than a typical plastic one. Below, we’ve linked you to bamboo toothbrushes sold at a store called The Soap Dispensary in Canada, as well as badger bristle toothbrushes that we sell here at Fendrihan:
You might already be familiar with the environmental and economical benefits of using a safety razor or straight razor, but we’ll reiterate: these razors last much longer, and so, over the long run, they produce significantly less waste. Another trick to consider is trying a cold-water shave: it wakes you up, saves water and energy, and helps tighten your skin post-shave. Below are two excellent razors, one a classic double-edged safety razor and the other, a traditional Japanese straight razor:
While this tactic might better suit those who shave their legs, taking a staggered shower saves on a lot of water. A staggered shower is one wherein you turn the shower on only for an initial rinse and intermittently to rinse out shampoo or soap, but you keep it off for the rest of the time. For those who shave their legs, this method might even be to your advantage: too much water running can wash away the layer of shaving soap applied to your legs, reducing the effectiveness of your shave.
If you want to keep the water running throughout the course of your shower, you can always catch excess water in a bucket, and use it to rinse your dishes in or to water plants in your garden later on.
As for shampoo and conditioner, try to buy in bulk: this way, you can fill and refill a standard sized bottle with product, creating less plastic waste and fewer trips to the store.
It’s incredibly simple: you can use vinegar and baking soda to clean your entire bathroom. If you want to go that extra step, you can create an all-natural ambiance by making your own air fresheners. You’ll need an empty glass spray bottle, essential oils, water, and a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or olive oil. Place 10-20 drops of your preferred essential oil into the empty glass bottle, then fill with water and shake vigorously. If you want an air freshener that continues to emit scent, mix in a carrier oil, and find a jar or vase that has a narrow opening, then take reed scent diffusers and prop them in the aperture.
Try out any or all of these waste-reducing solutions: once you make a habit of it, you’ll be scolding yourself for not starting earlier!