Your Guide to an Eco-friendly Shower

How planet-friendly is your shower? Some of the conventional items we use when we lather up could definitely use an eco-boost. Whether it’s eliminating plastics, harmful chemicals or animal cruelty, we can all make choices more beneficial to our health and the planet.

In case you might feel overwhelmed finding substitutes for your old standbys, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you create an eco-friendly shower.

Think outside the plastic bottle and you’ll find many earth-friendly options to replace your plastic-packaged shampoos, conditioners, body washes and soaps.

For haircare, try one of these approaches:

  • Shampoo and conditioner bars wrapped in recycled paper make for a healthy haircare option. Sustainably minded Ethique, Lush and Meow Meow Tweet all offer low-waste bars (and a wide variety of other products) made from natural ingredients.
  • If you just can’t live without that liquid-lather, try products with a refillable bottle system that cuts down on waste and plastics. Plaine Products’ system closes the waste loop by having you send the empty aluminum product bottles back to them — for free! — to be cleaned and recycled.
  • You can even make your own haircare products. Recipes range from simple baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse treatments to those targeted to specific hair types.

Body wash can be a double-plastic offender, between its bottle and microbeads, which are actually tiny pieces of plastic meant to exfoliate your skin. The trouble is, those particles go down your drain and eventually make their way into our waterways, where animals ingest them. Instead, wash up without causing environmental damage by making your own no-plastic shower gel or sugar scrub (in a glass or metal container). Check Pinterest for endless recipes and ideas.

Even regular bar soap could use an eco-boost. Look for recyclable packaging (plus natural ingredients). Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap has been a trustworthy, cruelty-free staple for decades and comes wrapped in 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

We often use plastic liners on the inside of our showers because it’s a cheap, waterproof option — but most are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This compound consists of phthalates, lead, bisphenol A (BPA) and other materials you probably don’t want in your bathroom.

Switch out that plastic liner for an eco-friendly shower curtain liner made from cotton or hemp — stat! You’ll be improving your environment, plus you can easily toss a fabric liner into the laundry for a long-lasting, less wasteful option.

Many traditional razors are made of plastic and need to be replaced periodically, and that’s even more true for disposable razors. A safety razor made from stainless steel is a sustainable — and economical — swap. When taken care of, this type of razor can last more than 50 years, and its blades can be recycled. West Coast Shaving offers a wide selection of safety razors and blade refills to keep your shave both close and sustainable.

Even though loofahs grow naturally, many sold in stores under the same name are actually made from synthetic plastic fibers. Even worse, they shed microplastics. Get back to nature with a real, sustainable shower loofah that will leave your skin feeling smooth and the planet feeling clean. Natural Bath and Body stocks various sizes, or you can even grow loofah plants in your own garden!

Obviously, don’t throw away perfectly good towels — that’s the opposite of zero waste! But next time you’re in the market for bath or hand towels, opt for those made with the planet in mind. Pact offers towels made from organic cotton, which contains no toxic chemicals and is produced using 81% less water than conventional cotton. They’re also Fair Trade CertifiedTM, which guarantees safe working conditions, environmental protections and community empowerment.

Additional resources

For more information related to cultivating an eco-friendly shower — and entire home — check out these links:

Shower even more sustainably with 100% clean electricity at home. Since 1997, our customers have avoided 98.2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s like recycling enough plastic bottles to wrap around the earth 3,890 times!* Check out our renewable energy plans today.

*Impact statistic based on Earth’s circumference and metrics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.