Plastic Free Bathroom!
Written by Tiare Hoegerman (Co-Founder of SeaBlue Collective)
In honor of Plastic Free July, we at SeaBlue Collective are diving deep into the most plastic-ridden corner of the house… the bathroom! In Forbes’ report of the “World’s Worst Offenders for Plastic Pollution,” 3 in 8 top polluting brands are likely to be found in your bathroom routine.
Now, we get that your alone time in the hot water temple is sacred, so please take these tips as merely enthusiastic suggestions. In the end, adopting ocean-friendly changes to your daily routines shouldn’t feel like you are sacrificing the small joys. Rather, we hope you feel you’re cutting out old habits to make room for new, bluer sources of daily joy.
If every consumer took just two or three of these modifications to heart, we’d still see a decrease in the plastic parades that flow from river mouths to oceans worldwide. After all, the health and beauty we squirt out of our bathroom bottles doesn’t have to come at the expense of the health and beauty of our oceans!
9 Modifications for a Bluer Bathroom Routine:
1. Hair Squares
Let it be known that one good thing did come about in 2020: plastic free shampoo and conditioner pushed its way into the broader market. At SeaBlue Collective, we onboarded Dani, founder of Green Room, who creates silky and sudsy solutions to tackle both your surf hair AND the plastic pollution problem. Shortly after meeting Dani, we noticed plastic-free shampoo bars popping up everywhere, even at our local Trader Joe’s. Finally, shampoo goes blue! (Though, it must be mentioned that none of the other bar shampoos we’ve encountered have Dani’s special touch of seed-laced paper packaging. Hello, happy hairs and happy gardens!)
2. Old School Suds
Nothing beats an old-fashioned soap bar for ocean-friendly sudsing. Not only are you ditching the plastic bottle necessary to transport new-school body wash, but you’re also taking a stab at carbon pollution when you opt out of added water, therefore decreasing shipping weight & volume. What’s more, traditional soap bars are cheap, easy to find in ocean-friendly wrapping, and last longer when kept dry between uses.
3. For All You Hairy Honeys
I, for one, am one sixteenth wooly mammoth, so I'm so excited that SeaBlue Collective has found plastic-free razors. If you are reading and have already braved the territory of a no-plastic, no-safety-guard shave… I salute you! There are certainly options out there to keep you hair-free and plastic-free without losing a limb in the process. Until I put my big girl panties on and buy one of Sagano's razors here’s how I manage: A. Opt for reusable handles rather than single use plastic razors. B. Keep razor heads dry between uses, so they remain sharp longer. C. Take advantage of the winter months and shave less altogether. If Mother Nature gives us the gift of pants weather every year, why not use it?! (This one is my personal favorite, and it should be noted that, while I am a summer shaver, there’s nothing wrong with strutting cactus legs all year long!)
4. Blue Breath
Of all the ocean-friendly bathroom hacks, tooth tabs may be the most fun. They look like little breath mints, but when you chew them, they overflow into a cloud of minty fluff. SeaBlue vendor, Huppy, makes them in both charcoal and peppermint (and, yes, the charcoal ones turn into black froth ideal for acting like a zombie and terrifying your household). Aside from the obvious benefit of no toothpaste tube to trash, swapping paste for tabs means no nasty toothpaste tube mess and no end of tube struggle (you know, when the toothpaste just never ends, and every time you brush you take 5 minutes to squeeze out just one more quarter inch?). Another reason I’m a big fan of these sustainably packaged tabs: Both major name-brand toothpastes (Crest and Colgate) are subsidiaries of brands on Forbes’ polluter list.
5. Better Brushes
I’ve had the same wooden hair brush for what feels like forever. Three countries, two boyfriends, one car and countless showers later, she’s still showing no signs of giving out. When she finally does meet her end, though, I can rest assured that at best she’ll be compost, at worst driftwood. The same goes for plastic-free toothbrushes like one of SeaBlue’s newer vendors, Sagano (although, for sanitation reasons, hopefully you don’t stretch your toothbrush’s life as long as my hair brush). For an even bluer hack, when done with your bamboo toothbrush, you can reuse the stem in the garden. Pull out the bristles (and recycle) then reuse the wood to label garden veggies or support leaning plants.
6. Classy Glassy
Confession: when it comes to my post-shower face routine, the minimalism I enjoy in the rest of life has no place. The whole day is off unless it starts like this: Step 1. Exfoliate, Step 2. Tone, Step 3. Moisturize, Step 4. SPF, Step 5. Coffee. The coffee beans are easy to find in ocean-friendly paper packaging, but the rest takes some commitment. While my current routine is by no means perfect, switching to products that come in glass containers has been the easiest way to turn my AM routine blue. Our girls Josette of JMA Organics and Kristen of Betty Butter are two prime examples of this. While plastic containers are cheaper in the short term, they choose glass every time because they 1. Understand the long term environmental price of plastic pollution and 2. Are dedicated to being part of the solution with every business choice.
7. DIY, DIB (Do It Blue)
Contrary to what you may have assumed, blue-ing up your shower routine can also help you save some green. While I stick with the professionals when it comes to products like shampoo or deodorant, there are plenty of bathroom products that any amateur can concoct. Start with something simple like a DIY sugar scrub. All you need is: 1. A reusable container (think mason jar), 2. White sugar (note the ocean-friendly paper packaging) 3. Coconut oil (extra points if it comes in a glass rather than plastic container) and 4. Essential oil of your choice (SeaBlue’s Perfect Blue Alchemy has you covered). Mix up et voila!! You’ve helped yourself save money, helped us all save the ocean, AND your post-shower legs are radiant!
8. Shower Less
Quarantine life lent itself well to this one! If you’re like my boyfriend (who insists salt water is a legitimate substitute for shampoo), you’ll likely welcome this last ocean-friendly shower tip. After all, who doesn’t want to save water, save product, and save time? However, if you’re like me (a natural greaseball, as well as reluctant dabbler in natural deodorant because I haven't yet found one that works), don’t beat yourself up over your daily shower habit. Just maybe take a few of the other 8 modifications above to heart. At the very least, get to the point once the water’s hot. The last thing Mama Ocean needs right now is a bunch of post-beach-day divas spending twenty minutes singing and sudsing their pandemic-fueled woes down the drain each rinse.