These reusable ear cleaners replace conventional cotton buds.
These reusable ear cleaners replace conventional cotton buds.
Know-how

How to give your bathroom a sustainability boost

Natalie Hemengül
Zurich, on 28.03.2019
Translation: Eva Francis
Over the last few months, I changed my daily beauty routine in the interest of Mother Nature. And you could do the same.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My journey began when I visited Carla Opetnik, who is devoted to a zero waste and plastic-free lifestyle. Her lifestyle made a lasting impression on me, although – or maybe precisely because – it couldn’t be more different to mine. Carla’s advice to me was to start small. That’s exactly what I did.

Natural alternatives

It needn’t always be an expensive cream. Sometimes natural alternatives work wonders, show better results and are even more versatile, often free of packaging and less cost-intense. But keep in mind that especially exotic beauty products often imported from far away and are shipped long distances, which isn’t good for the environment either.

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Hairbrushes made of natural materials

Plastic hairbrushes aren’t only environmentally harmful, they’re not good for you, either. Why? They can contain plasticisers that are harmful to your health. You’re better off with sustainable brushes made of wood or natural bristles. They might cost a bit more, but they’re of superior quality and last longer than plastic ones. On top of this, their bristles absorb excess fat from your hair and spread it over the entire length of your hair up into the dry tips.

Shampoos and soaps without plastic packaging

They might appear a bit old-fashioned at first, but I couldn’t go without anymore. Shampoo bars aren’t only fun to use, a bar also lasts longer than a bottle of liquid shampoo.

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The same applies to bodywash and hand soaps:

All-One Natural Soap Baby-Mild 140g (Hand Soap & Liquid Soap)
Hand soap
8.70
DR. BRONNER'S All-One Natural Soap Baby-Mild 140g (Hand Soap & Liquid Soap)

My search for zero waste make-up removers

I throw away piles of used make-up remover pads each week. On my search for a reusable alternative, I stumbled across a microfibre cloth, which unfortunately turned out to be a microplastic trap: when you’re cleaning your face, small fibres are released and then end up in the waste water. Luckily, our Community shared great ideas such as cotton facecloths or an oil cleansing method in the comment section of the article below. If you prefer to use washable make-up remover pads, make sure they’re made of natural plant fibres.

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Cotton buds with a twist

I didn’t only get rid of remover pads, I also I replaced my plastic cotton buds with these reusable ear cleaners. If you don't want to go without cotton buds (some use them when putting on their make-up), bamboo buds are a good alternative. They are 100% biodegradable.

Make your own deodorant

I haven't touched a deodorant can since I was told to try out mixing coconut oil with baking soda. This aluminium-free alternative works better for me than any conventional product ever has. How to make your own deodorant? Find out here:

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Refrain from products that contain microplastics

Something I should have banished from my beauty routine years ago is microplastics. Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that are added to beauty products such as shampoos or peelings to make your skin and hair feel smoother in a cost-effective way. Unfortunately, these particles cannot always be filtered out of the water, resulting in pollution of our oceans. The following article will help you find out if your beauty products contain microplastics:

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Use a safety razor

We use them a few times until the blades aren’t sharp anymore and then we chuck them: disposable razors are handy but not in the slightest environmentally friendly. Multi-blade safety razors are better but still not as good as safety razors that only require replacing the actual blades. I tested a safety razor. The outcome? I threw away all my disposable razors.

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Use multi-purpose products

Multi-purpose products save space in your cupboard and produce less waste. I love Dr. Bronner’s products. Their 18-in-1 soap, made with natural ingredients only, can be used for just about anything.

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Give the menstrual cup a try

When it comes to sanitary products, I’m not as consequent as I’d like to. I’ve been wanting to exchange sanitary pads and tampons for a menstrual cup for a long time, but still haven’t had the courage to give it a go, although I've heard so much good about it.

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Have tips and suggestions for me? Into the comment section with all your inputs! If you’d like to accompany me on my way to making more environmentally friendly decisions when it comes to care and beauty products, click the «Follow author» button next to my profile.

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Natalie Hemengül
Natalie Hemengül
Editor, Zurich
As a massive Disney fan, I see the world through rose-tinted glasses. I worship series from the 90s and consider mermaids a religion. When I’m not dancing in glitter rain, I’m either hanging out at pyjama parties or sitting at my make-up table. P.S. I love you, bacon, garlic and onions.

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