How to: 5 ways to reduce bathroom plastics with The Ground Rules
Being more conscious about what we bring into our homes ultimately helps us reduce the amount of waste that comes out.
Daily we rely on an endless amount of products in the bathroom and with a few simple changes this is where we could make one of the biggest transformations to become more sustainable.
To help guide you to more eco-friendly rituals I’ve partnered with The Ground Rules who’s put together a collection of seriously actionable advice!
Born out of a desire to simplify and be better with less, who better to team up with than a brand who aims to clean out the bathroom clutter and reconnect to effective, traditional and sustainable body care.
Plastics have become so central to our everyday life. And yet, data on the environmental impact of our plastic consumption is confronting. On average, Australians produce 3 billion tonnes of plastic each year, but only 12% is recycled. More frightening still, by 2050 it's estimated that there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight)! Don’t even get me started on the potential adverse impacts on human livelihoods and health…
Reducing our plastic use is critical and will require determined social and behavioural shifts. But the good news is that even the smallest switches can make a positive impact. No more yeah-buts! Here a five actionable changes you can implement today and banish those bathroom plastics:
1. Buy less
The simplest solution to many of our environmental challenges is of course, to consume less. I’ve never been good at maths but as I understand it: no plastics coming in = no plastic waste going out.
It’s easy to be seduced by the marketing but I’m certain you don’t really need all those ‘insert latest must-have miracle products here’. In fact, using too many products is probably doing your skin more harm than good. Time to get back to the basics of skincare just consume a handful of effective products made using high quality ingredients.
It could be useful to have a proper skin assessment at a reputable facialist, to find out exactly what skin type you have and exactly the ingredients you should look for to address your skin concerns. There are so many wonderful natural facialists popping up across Australia, try Little Company (Melbourne and Byron Bay), Tribe Natural Beauty (Sydney) and Kindred Toxin Free Facials (Brisbane).
Although there is an upfront cost, you will save time and money in the long run by not buying products that may not be right for you and end up sitting on the shelf.
2. DIY at least one product
Maddy’s purpose behind the Essentials Club really resonates with me: ‘make what you can and ethically source the rest’. The thought of DIY can be overwhelming and invoke memories of disasters from your teenage years (lemon juice hair lightening, anyone?). There are also some products, like serums and sunscreens, which are best left to the professionals.
But for everything else there is usually a simple DIY alternative made with easily sourced ingredients. Try one of these simple face scrubs, or this three-ingredient face mask or if you’re feeling more adventurous try making your own toothpaste (this one can take a bit of getting used to, but in my experience once you do, there is no going back!).
If you try to make just one product, not only will you save money, reduce plastic waste, but you can also rest easy knowing exactly what is in your products.
3. Use bar soap
Dodge plastic packaging altogether by switching out your shower gel/body wash for bar soap. Look for natural, locally-made options as they significantly reduce the carbon footprint that comes with international transportation. Most soaps will come with a recyclable/compostable wrapper or a packaging free option.
4. Switch plastic tools for sustainable alternatives
For every plastic item in your bathroom, guaranteed some nifty designer or manufacturer has come up with a sustainable, non-toxic and reusable alternative: Plastic shower puff? Try a soft sustainable sea sponge. Plastic toothbrush? Try a bamboo version. Plastic razor? Try a safety razor (you can switch the canned foam for some natural oils too). Given Australians throw out around 30 million toothbrushes per year, not only are these options better for the environment, but they look pretty spesh too.
5. Refill and buy in bulk
One five litre bottle uses a lot less plastic than five one litre bottles, so refill your bottles with bulk shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
When all else fails, and as you transition plastics out of your bathroom don’t forget to recycle!
‘the smallest switches can make a positive impact’
Photography by @darcy_swain
Creative Direction by The Essentials Club
Hope this was helpful! As always, let me know if you give this tutorial a go and how it turns out. Hashtag the outcome #essentialsclub on social media.