30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

While others are conducting Spring cleaning, or changing over their wardrobes from Winter darks to Summery light colors; I went about an overhaul of my second bathroom. The goal was a spa-like look. My bathroom was begging for elevated accessories, and a more natural look and feel. Mainly, I wanted to eliminate all plastics.

When we went on a dive trip to the Florida Keys, my desires really intensified. We were attempting to eliminate single-use plastics from our vacation and also planning how to do the same in our daily life.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
Can you spot all the plastic in the “before” photograph? There are at least ten items.

While fashionistas now eschew “fast fashion” for more durable, timeless alternatives, I also wanted to invest in quality items. I sought useful pieces that would not only last longer, but when they did wear out, they would be far more recycle-able.

We should be surrounded by beauty as we bathe – not by plastic! Since this is my second bathroom, I had the luxury of researching and selecting items slowly as they wore out.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
Sharp eyes will notice at least four plastic items just around the basin “before.”

With a vision of how a really nice spa appearance, I decided to use a combination of items I already had, and order some new.

“Use what you have decorating” is one of my mottos, so several items were gathered from around the house. Some were found at my local grocery store, and some I ordered.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
I was saving this for “good.” When is “good?”

A gift basket full of bath accessories that I had been saving “for good” was begging to be broken out and used!

I stockpiled my new ecoconscious finds and selections for one big, dramatic, 30 minute changeover. A gradual turnover would work just as well.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
My luxurious upgrade on the right. Ooo la la!

My Initial Inspiration: Unattractive Plastic Disposable Razors

The items that really started to really bother me first were plastic disposable razors. They just seem to be the epitome of throwaway items. Plus, they looked cheap jumbled on a shelf.

My boyfriend’s razor is great. With five blades, it gives me the best leg shave ever. I knew I wanted something like that, with changeable blades. Although there still is waste with the cartridges; it’s much less waste than throwing away an entire razor.

His razor has some added features, so it’s a bit heavy for frequent use. So, I started searching online for an attractive alternative.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Search for Special Pampering Piece

It took me about three days of lunchtime research to determine I really wanted a razor that could take five-blade cartridges, and I wanted one that was wooden handled.

While I really like the shape of the handle on my lightweight plastic razor, I was unable to find a wooden-handled one with that easy-to-grip shape.

I found one that was similar, and it came in a lovely presentation box all the way from London. Buy less, buy better, and buy long-lasting items became my goal. No more disposables! I thought about it for a few weeks, then ordered it.

The razor looked like it said “Harrod’s,” a favorite shop of mine, but it actually says something completely different, “Harayli.” But it looks as lovely as if it had come straight from Harrods. The gleaming metal and polished rose wood handle blend beautifully in the shower. It comes in a Gilette Fusion or Gilette Mach 3 option, and even a safety razor design.

My Harayli razor definitely produces an elevated experience in the bathroom, and reminded me of the silver dresser sets of years gone by. I imagine somewhere, there is some company producing antique mother of pearl-handled refillable razors with matching dresser sets. I’ll invest in one of those for the other bath…

For the razor cartridges, I meticulously did the calculations until I found the best Gilette Mach 5 option with 12 razor cartridges. That supply will last us two years. I read several reviews and spent a lot of time researching if I wanted the Gilette Fushion 5 or the Mach 3. The “5” won – smoother shave.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
“I love that new back scrubber!” my boyfriend said the other day. I had no idea he would even notice all the new amenities in the shower, but he did – immediately!

Exfoliation and Scrubbing

Loofahs are a great body scrubber, so I found a long-handled loofah brush that could hang and dry easily.

For really pampering showers, I invested in a soft-bristled, Long-Handled Bath Brush from Earth Therapeutics after reading several good reviews. After sailing school, it feels so nice to really get all the salty sweat and sunscreen off my body. It also can hang and air dry to avoid any warping of the wood handle.

Next, I sought a loofah back brush, and I found a great one, again from Earth Therapeutics. The Earth Therapeutics Loofah Back Brush had a reasonable price, and attractive handle design. I liked the hanging rope so it would stay tidy and not lying around in the shower.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
Pumice on a rope – no more dropping it, and it dries thoroughly between uses.

Pumice Stones and Skin Care

In the presentation basket, I augmented the scrubbing items with a few more options and selections. Since it was a gift, I didn’t have the option of conducting any research to discover which items were ethically sourced or all-natural materials.

Although these might not have been my first choices, they were a gift, and I might as well get my use out of them and enjoy their natural looks.

Counting in disbelief, I found that I had five separate grater-like plastic implements in horrid shades for removing dry skin on the heel. Deep blue, hot pink, and even purple foot scrapers and scrubbers. In fact, they are so ugly, I didn’t even take a comparison photo of them. I moved them to the recycling bin immediately. I hadn’t even used them in months!

As replacements, I sought out several various “grit” of pumice stones. I have one on a rope, so it can hang and dry. Also, I invested in a couple palm-sized ones, and a few various sizes and textures of loofah pads for the body as well.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Comb and Brush

For my wavy hair, I wanted decent comb for working in my leave-in conditioner. I found a lovely Body Shop Detangling Comb, read all the reviews, and decided to order it even though many reviews said it had a sticky label. When it arrived, however, I found that the sticky label was removed quite easily.

There were a few warnings about leaving thecomb sitting in water and the result would be a warped comb. I’m not worried; it will get wiped and replaced on the counter or in the basket after every shower.

My current comb is still in great shape. It was a gift from a friend a swag bag from a promotional event sponsored by Stream2Sea that says, “PADI WOMEN’S DIVE DAY.”

No worries; it is still in great shape and will now move to my dive bag where items might not be able to be dried immediately. It’s a perfect use for that, and it works so well with my Stream2Sea leave-in conditioner.

The brush was in the gift packet, and looks rather attractive next to the comb. I’ve been looking at some wood-handled hair brushes. This link takes you to a nice selection, and there’s one with boar bristles and a butterfly engraving that might look nice in my main bathroom.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Soap Dispenser and Soap

Next to the bathroom basin, there was a plastic liquid soap pump. Although rather elegant, as plastic bottles go, I was tired of any plastic in the bath.

From the hutch in the dining room, I rounded up a couple antique green glass “spooners.” To those, I added some large shells I found around the world years ago. I picked them up on the beach myself – they did not come from a shell warehouse that kicks millions of animals out of their shells to harvest them.

Then, I added some pretty soaps I have picked up in various countries. Instead of something so impersonal – a plastic bottle – I have something much prettier, so much more personal, and more ecoconscious.

Elegant liquid soap dispensers are radily available, with ceramic, glass, and even shell or bamboo exteriors. Plenty of natural organic bar soaps are produced these days, so the most difficult part will be choosing just a few.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
“Before” I was feeling surrounded by plastic!

Quieten “Noisy” Bottles – Just Eliminate Advertising

I’m already one of those people who pulls the labels off of any packaging that I can. You should try it – your life will be so much calmer without that incessant advertising “yelling” at you constantly. Long before mindfulness blogs and organizational specialists began suggesting to do this, it already was my habit.

While I shoer, I’d prefer not to have “shouty text” around. I don’t like my deodorant announcing to me it’s name, and I don’t want to feel driven to read the labels on my shampoo while I am bathing. I’m there to get away from the constant influx of information!

I prefer a completely “noiseless” experience, with no distracting intrusions other than the sound of the water. In my bathroom and shower is the last place I want to be subjected to constant advertising.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
“After” – I reduced bottles by one third, and these are completely biodegradable from Stream2Sea. On the left is shampoo/body wash in one, and on the right is leave-in conditioner that smells incredible like fresh oranges.

Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Soap

In the shower, I had three containers, one for shampoo, one for conditioner, and one for body soap.

Using the Stream2Sea shampoo and body wash 32 ounce completely biodegradable container produced from sugar cane resin, I reduced the number of bottles in the shower from three to two! One for a combination of shampoo/body wash, and one for Stream2Sea’s leave-in conditioner. It smells lovely, like fresh citrus, and leaves my hair feeling wonderful.

Each dispenser has a pump mechanism, so no more juggling wet slippery bottles in the shower, or accidentally dispensing twice as much as I need without the ability to replace it. Portion control! (Use code “KimW” for 10% off your Stream2Sea completely guilt-free products!)

The two bottles rest on small wooden soap dishes that ensures no standing water will linger under the bottles.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
Considering metal containers for bathroom use.

Anticipated Bottle Options

Briefly, I considered one of those streamlined multi-port dispensers for the bath, but they all were plastic. While they would coordinate well in someone else’s bath, I really was set on all wood, glass, pottery, and natural fibers. You even must scrutinize metal-looking dispensers, as many of them have a plastic bottle inside. More plastic.

Online, I did find some metal wall-mounted soap dispensers with glass containers. I haven’t decided about those just yet. I still am looking for an attractive solution. In a further search, I also found some bottle hanging brackets that would accept my Stream2Sea shampoo and body wash and conditioner bottles. Or, these all-ceramic white dispenser bottles would look clean and attractive.

Recently I read something about companies considering metal bottles and some type of exchange system, like the old milk bottle system. If it becomes available, I definitely would subscribe to that service.

Refill Pouches or Jumbo Bottles

Puracy, L’Occitane, and Method offer several refill pouches for body and laundry purposes. I wish I knew which was worse – a large jug for refilling smaller dispensers, or a refill pouch.

Standup pouches are the topic of “How ‘greener’ plastic packaging became a problem – and how to fix it.” The article says plastic pouches are more environmentally friendly than other kinds of packaging, however, fully recyclable would be even better.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green
“After” with not a bit of plastic; all natural experience.

Bar Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Soap

And yes, we have been toying with the idea of bar shampoo, bar conditioner, and bar body wash.

I haven’t figured out if they would work on my long hair, and if they will be completely different colors so I can tell them apart. Does anyone know?

A quick search for bar shampoo for hair yields so many lovely choices! These would be great for carrying through customs when travelling.

It’s hard to believe, but bar conditioner for hair is a thing! I’m eager to give this a try, since the ability to travel without worrying about liquids spilling in my luggage would be a benefit.

So many natural, organic bar body soaps are available in dozens of wonderful scents and combinations. Taking those on a flight would be so easy. No more worrying about how many ounces of shampoo I carry.

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please share below!

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Toothbrushes, Holder, Toothpaste

These are the Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Natural Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush – Pack Of 4 by Isshah. They look so much more high-end than plastic types. The ones I ordered came with numbers on them so you know whose is whose.

They were inexpensive enough to stock a few extras for guests, who will undoubtedly feel pampered by your inclusion of all natural implements.

Features of these are a biodegradable handle, carbon treated bristles, BPA free nylon, cruelty free, eco-friendly, antibacterial, and vegan friendly. They include an all-natural bamboo handle, and even come in recycled biodegradable packaging.

It took a bit of research to learn about the carbon treated bristles; apparently these whisk away food particles better than their plastic counterparts. I spent several hours researching, and found the highest recommended were the Bamboo Toothbrushes by Isshah.

Then I swapped out a plastic toothbrush holder for a much more elegant piece of pottery created by an artist friend of mine. Much, much more personal, and SO much more attractive.

Coming soon; my favorite bamboo charcoal brushing powder.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Soap Dishes

We do use bar soap, and you know what bar soap does if it can’t drain properly. Really, we were way overdue for decent soap dishes. A pack of four seemed almost too many, however, I put these Natural Wooden Soap Holders from Awpeye all over the bathroom and even one in the kitchen.

A couple years ago, I had taken the last plastic soap dish in a box of other plastic household goods to consignment. They got swept up along with plastic colanders, a few stray mixing bowls, and a few plastic cups. It was The Great Plastic Sweep of 2012, and not much plastic survived.

Online I found sets of one, two, three, four… I did my best to coordinate wood colors for the house, and took a leap. I figured at this price, they would be terribly flimsy.

In addition, I anticipated that whatever I ordered would be holding wet soap, and would wear out rather quickly, so the recyleable aspect was most important. Surprisingly, these soap dishes are perfectly good quality.

In the future, if we switch to bar shampoo and conditioner and body wash, we proabably will need some soap dishes made specifically for those sizes.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

Saving for “Good” – When IS That?

The habit of saving for “good” is pretty odd. We receive something nice, and we are afraid we will never get something that nice ever again, so we “save it.” I have heard a lot of women do this.

For Christmas your before last, I had been given a basket of lovely spa-type implements. They were so pretty, I didn’t even open the plastic wrap on the basket, and instead just talked them away for “good.” Does anyone else do that? And when will “good” arrive? I decided every day is time for “good,” so I broke out the basket for this bathroom overhaul.

In it were several natural material items, and even a few non-natural. Again, as a “use what you have decorating” fan, I’m not going to throw away items I already own just because they are plastic. I’m going to use them until they are unusable, then recycle them.

More Upgrades to Come

One more change probably will come as soon as I locate some attractive metal or ceramic shampoo and conditioner dispensers. I can’t use glass or pottery in the shower unless it’s screwed to the wall.

Plus, I really want to totally eliminate all synthetic-looking items in the shower, though I know Stream2Sea’s bottles are completely biodegradable and ecoconscious. However, another drawback is they are blue. I had been purposely refilling a set of clear bottles in that shower with blue and teal-colored shampoo and conditioner since they blended in better.

, 30 Minute Ecoconscious Bathroom Makeover // Eliminating Plastics and Going Green

The bathroom theme definitely is ocean-y, full of antiques, shells, and nautical tchotchkes and items too whimsical for the rest of the house. My bathroom now is very inviting, and looks like you will undergo a spa experience when you step inside. I want it to bring to mind an outdoor shower.

Do your part in protecting our oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams! For instance, treat yourself to Earth-friendly Stream2Sea shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and sunscreen this season. Here’s a 10% off discount to reward you for being environmentally conscious; just use “KimW” at the checkout.

What to Read Next: How to Dispose of Toxic Sunscreen Banned in Several Vacation Destinations

What to Watch Next: Trying & Applying Reef Safe Mineral Sunscreen – Tinted and White // Deep Water Happy

Another good read: Sunscreen Bans: Just How Bad are Oxybenzone and Octinoxate?

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