This is my thoroughly tested, less-waste travel routine: Plastic-free toiletries that are mostly gender-neutral and feel like a treat to use – not a sustainability obligation. I actually prefer these eco-friendly items to the traditional versions, and I’ll never be going back.
I’m calling this my “travel” beauty routine because it’s travel-friendly, but really it’s what I use everywhere because I love the simplicity. And I call it “less-waste” instead of the buzzword-y “zero-waste” because zero feels impossible. (And it probably is.) There’s no reason to strive for perfection; let’s just work on better, instead.
This list has been a long time coming: For almost every item on it, I’ve tested multiple sustainable options and these are the ones that came out on top.
And I’ve spent a long time looking for sustainable beauty products and toiletries that are just easy. I want them to do what they claim, not cost a fortune, not be overpackaged, and simplify my life – so if you have suggestions beyond what’s on this list, let me know!
Plus, finding high-quality products that work lets us stop buying stuff that doesn’t. In addition to the expense, every extra beauty product is another bottle to dispose of. This routine has allowed me to stop that seemingly endless cycle.
Why Do I Keep Writing About Going Plastic-Free?
I’ve been writing about plastic-free brands a lot this year – maybe that’s because, in an out-of-control year, this feels like a decision I can dominate.
The other reason is that plastic recycling just doesn’t work.
Plastic wasn’t designed to be recycled. And you know those little triangular recycling symbols with the numbers? They were actually invented by oil company marketers, not by recyclers. Essentially, it’s just greenwashing to make us believe there’s an environmentally responsible (and economically feasible) way to recycle plastics, when there actually isn’t.
So recycling is a band-aid solution at best. The only solution is to stop depending on recycling plastic. Give a listen to this episode of Planet Money (one of my favorite podcasts). It explains the whole thing.
That’s why everything on this list is either plastic-free and refillable, or designed to use minimal and/or recyclable packaging. (Some offer recycling or up-cycling programs that the companies sponsor, which is a more long-term solution: When companies pay to recycle the waste they create, the economics of recycling are no longer a burden for cities and towns.)
- Discount Codes!
- Plastic-Free Hand Sanitizer
- Best Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
- All-in-one Hair + Body + Face Bar
- Plastic-Free Hair Ties
- Less-Waste Face Wash Options
- A Plastic-Free Mouth!
- Plastic-Free Lip Balm
- Reusable “Cotton” Swabs, Cotton Rounds & Tissues
- Plastic-Free Deodorant Two Ways:
- Acne Treatment, Serums & Moisturizer
- Period Care Sans Disposables
- Next Step: Shaving with a Safety Razor
These are sprinkled throughout the article, but to make things simple, I’ll put them all together here:
- Use the code TILTEDMAP10 for 10% off on:
- Save 15% at Earthling Co. (shampoo + conditioner bars, plus other plastic-free toiletries) with TILTEDMAP15 .
- This referral link for 100 Senses will save you $15 off a $50 non-subscription order. (eg. two Ultimate Body Bars, their only product I use.)
- This referral link for the Package Free shop saves you $10 off a $40 order (there’ll be a pop-up right up away with a discount code to copy).
- Save 15% on PAPR deodorant with the code MAP15 .
- Use the promo code LENALOVE for $5 off a Lena Cup (whether you order or on Amazon or straight from Lena.)
- Shop through this link to save $10 off Thinx menstrual underwear (including Thinx BTWN for teens and tweens, or Speax for bladder leaks.)
Plastic-Free Hand Sanitizer
byHumankind, a New York start-up that’s completely carbon-neutral, makes lot of high-quality, plastic-free, refillable toiletries. I’ve tried almost everything they make, and I think their hand sanitizer is one of their best products.
The small bottles come in three-packs with optional plastic pumps – meaning that if you already have pumps at home, you can order without and save the plastic. Once you have enough travel-size bottles, just order the larger (8-ounce) refill bottles.
It’s all packaged in highly-recyclable aluminum bottles, instead of plastic, and their formula contains hyaluronic acid – an ingredient used in skin care for hydration (below, you’ll find a face serum I use with hyaluronic acid). So it doesn’t dry out your skin like other hand sanitizers. It feels smooth and silky, not sticky or chemical-y.
In my opinion, both the Grapefruit and Eucalyptus scents are pleasant and not too strong, but when you’re using hand sanitizer constantly throughout the day, their unscented option is great: It truly doesn’t smell like anything. No alcohol fumes; no industrial cleanser after-smell.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
This is a tough category.
All of their bars smell just the right amount like key lime pie. They lather and rinse really easily, and leave my hair shiny and totally indistinguishable from when I use really good bottled shampoo.
I’d say the Maintain bar is a little easier to travel with, because it stays harder, while the Moisturize is a slightly softer formula that might come apart more easily while stored in a washcloth in your suitcase (which is how HiBAR recommends storing their bars for travel).
(I wrote a more in-depth review of several plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars, including HiBAR, which you can read here.)
I still think HiBAR is a great option, especially if you’re looking for a formula specific to your hair type, but now I’ve been using Earthling Co.’s bars, and they’re the only brand I’ve found that really gives HiBAR a run for their money.
Honestly, I’ll probably keep ordering both brands and alternate between them.
Both are 100% plastic-free. Earthling’s hair care bars are vegan, as are most of HiBAR’s (except for their Maintain bar, which contains a trace of honey).
Save 15% on any Earthling Co. order with the discount code TILTEDMAP15 .
Ordering HiBAR: Why I recommend Earth Hero
There are lots of zero-waste shops online, but Colorado-based Earth Hero has the best sustainability credentials of any I’ve found: They’re a B-Corp that’s certified carbon-neutral, and a member of 1% For The Planet. (All excellent certifications that I always look for in sustainable companies.)
Plus, you can use the discount code tiltedmap10 for 10% off an order of any amount from Earth Hero.
Plus, Earth Hero has the best prices on HiBAR and other brands, even before the discount for reading Tilted Map!
All-in-one Hair + Body + Face Bar
When I travel, I use the Ultimate Body Bar, from California-based 100 Senses, as the company intended – for everything. For me, it works wonderfully to replace not only shampoo and conditioner, but also body wash. It lathers easily (more so than any other bar, besides HiBAR) and works great for shaving my legs. Plus, I don’t need conditioner when I use it.
I even use it for my face wash when I’m on the road (or in a hurry at home), which is saying a lot because I have sensitive skin that often doesn’t react well to new face washes.
I’m on my third bar of the Wild Lavender scent, which smells luxurious and light. It’s not sweet, and not too herbal either – I’d call it a modern scent. They also offer Green Tea (the most subtle and gender-neutral option) and Citrus Neroli, which is fruity and bold and reminds me of this luxe perfume, which I plan to eventually treat myself to. I love them all! (And there’s unscented, too.)
HiBAR and Earthling are completely plastic-free (even down to the paper packaging tape they use), and so is the Ultimate Body Bar (although other products by 100 Senses do come in plastic bottles).
100 Senses and Earthling Co. are vegan; some HiBAR formulas contain honey.
Tie breaker: Of the three brands, Earthling Co. is the only one that’s a member of 1% For The Planet.
Plastic-Free Hair Ties
Most hair ties are made of synthetic, petroleum-based rubber – so every time you lose one, it’s another piece of plastic pollution. But these hair ties from Terra Ties have become my absolute favorite! They’re made of organic cotton and natural rubber, which makes them biodegradable.
But most importantly, they don’t cut off the blood flow when I keep them on my wrist!! After years of putting new hair ties around my fattest lotion bottles to stretch them out, these have been such a welcome discovery. They’re just a tiiiny bit bigger, instead of being designed for a child’s wrist, as others apparently are.
I’d still use them even if they weren’t the more sustainable option.
Less-Waste Face Wash Options
This was the hardest category for me to get started with, because… it’s my face.
I’ve had such trouble with persistent (though moderate… but still annoying) acne and dry skin that I was reluctant to mess with changing my face wash. But I’ve come up with three options:
- A surprisingly great face wash bar,
- a refillable glass bottle and,
- a recyclable plastic bottle from a company that actually makes sure its packaging can be recycled.
… And one philosophy: We don’t have to be perfect. Even if you use a plastic-free option in the morning and your go-to face wash in a plastic bottle in the evening, that’s great progress! It’s 50% less plastic, so start with that and feel good about it.
1. The Face Wash Bar
Even thought they’re the most sustainable option, I was really reluctant to try face wash bars – I guess because I assumed they were either heavy, home-made formulas that would just clog up my pores, or regular soap that would dry out my skin.
But Ethique sent me a sample of their Deep Green bar (a “solid face cleanser for normal to oily skin”) and after a couple weeks of use, I’m really impressed! It lathers well, smells subtly orange-y, is not drying, and isn’t making me break out.
Ethique is a longtime sustainability superstar: They’re completely carbon-neutral, plastic-free, and palm oil-free. And while they’re not an affiliate of mine, they sent me a few samples to review. Deep Green is the first of their face wash line I’ve tried, and it’s changing my attitude toward the “need” for a liquid face wash.
My favorite thing about the brand is that they sell sample packs, so that you can try a few of their products if you’re not sure which one will work for you, and minis – great for travel or for testing an individual product. Most of their products are also available on their Amazon storefront.
2. The Refillable Glass Bottle
If you want something liquid, this “superfood cleanser” from Youth to the People is on my list. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s very well-reviewed by oodles of beauty bloggers.
It comes in an 8-ounce refillable glass bottle – then you can order a 16-ounce refill size without the plastic pump. (I just wish the refills came in light-weight milk cartons, like my Cleancult products, instead of more heavy glass to ship. Not perfect, but progress.)
3. The Truly Recyclable Option
Finally, if bars and refillables just don’t do it for you, Paula’s Choice does better than most companies when it comes plastic packaging + recycling. When I’m not traveling, their Pore Normalizing Cleanser is part of my routine.
It’s formulated for acne, but it has a low .5% salicylic acid content – yet somehow that’s enough. (Higher concentrations of salicylic acid have never solved my acne problems anyway, and this isn’t my main solution for acne – that’s the niacinamide serum described below.)
This face wash is gentle, unscented, and lathers and rinses easily. I used to use a couple of different face washes from Clinique, but this is just as effective, costs far less and eliminates the need for multiple products in plastic bottles.
No, it’s not plastic-free, but at least Paula’s Choice makes all their packaging 100% recyclable (and pays to guarantee you can recycle it, no matter where you live – more on that below).
Why Paula’s Choice for Sustainability?
Paula’s Choice is cruelty-free, and all of their shipping materials are recyclable and minimal – brown paper cushioning instead of plastic, and most products don’t come with extra packaging like outer boxes (just the bottle with nothing else).
But they do use plastic bottles and, of course, my goal is to not buy products with any single-use plastic packaging.
But when I can’t find a plastic-free solution that does what I need, the next best option is to go with a company that takes responsibility for its plastic packaging.
And this one does. All Paula’s Choice packaging is recyclable through a mail-in recycling program that Paula’s Choice sponsors through a company called TerraCycle.
You just make a TerraCycle account (at the link above), print out a free shipping label, and drop your saved-up empties in the mailbox!
This is great because even in the best curbside recycling programs, not all plastic is recyclable. And even what is recyclable doesn’t always get recycled if the bottles aren’t clean, or aren’t sorted correctly.
A Plastic-Free Mouth!
Just like deodorant tubes, toothpaste tubes usually can’t be recycled, except through this TerraCycle program. But most people don’t know about that (myself included, until a week before publishing this) so most of them go to landfills.
And those indestructible little floss containers are too small to be sorted by recycling machines, so they can’t be recycled either. And why build such a solid package anyway, if it’ll only be used for a couple of months?? Plus, normal floss is itself made of plastic!
Luckily I’ve found completely plastic-free options from byHumankind and Bite that I actually prefer to the drugstore brands.
Bite and byHumankind both make refillable, plastic-free floss options. I tried both, and I prefer byHumankind’s floss because it’s smoother. (Both are waxed, but Bite’s doesn’t feel waxed – it’s more thick and rough. It’s just a matter of preference, but for me byHumankind was the strong favorite.)
Bite’s is unflavored, while byHumankind’s floss comes in peppermint, lemongrass, cardamom or unflavored. It does contain silk, so it’s not vegan (while Bite’s is vegan).
Toothpaste Tablets (even for sensitive teeth!)
I was skeptical about trying any kind of eco toothpaste, even if just to write a review and then quit, because I have such sensitive teeth. How sensitive? I can’t bite into ice cream without tears coming to my eyes, and I’ve had two oral surgeries attempting to fix it. So let’s just say my mouth is a good litmus test for whether something will cause sensitivity.
And it works! Bite has become one of my absolute favorite plastic-free toiletry finds. It foams just enough, and the flavor is minty but not overpowering.
I’ve been using the tablets twice a day for months, and my sensitivity has not gotten any worse. (For comparison, when I’ve used any normal toothpaste for even a day or two, I’ve noticed a painful difference.)
Because of the texture and taste, I now actually prefer Bite to toothpaste in a tube – it’s not just a compromise I’m making to buy a more sustainable product.
I was so impressed that I got curious and started trying lots more brands. I’ll publish that review soon and link to it here, but so far Bite is my favorite. [Here’s that full review!]
Don’t forget to use the code tiltedmap10 for 10% off at Bite!
Why Bite for sustainability?
The entire company is 100% plastic-free. Your first order of toothpaste or mouthwash comes in a refillable glass jar and (deeply discounted) subscription refills arrive in compostable paper packaging.
Plus, no animal testing, no artificial flavors, sulfates, parabens or other fillers.
Bite makes fresh-tasting mint mouthwash tablets that I think are the best on the market. They have all the same good-for-your-teeth ingredients as Bite’s toothpaste, and come in a refillable glass jar to use at home, with a matchbook-sized tin for travel. (Just like for their toothpaste, refills come in compostable paper packets.)
You pop one tablet in your mouth, chew it up (don’t swallow), and take a sip of water to swish. I was skeptical before trying them, but they work really well, and are perfect for packing light. I’ll never go back to liquid mouthwash!
And don’t forget the discount code tiltedmap10 for 10% off at Bite.
If you want something very gentle with no stinging, byHumankind’s mouthwash is a good alternative. It comes in a travel-friendly container that stores tablets in the lid and serves as a glass to dissolve them in. And there are interesting flavors – lemon-mint, peppermint, ginger and cinnamon. I tried peppermint and found the flavor much lighter than Bite’s (a good kid-friendly option).
Bamboo or Recycled Toothbrushes
Bamboo is considered a sustainable material – mostly when used in place of plastics or hardwoods (but not necessarily as a fabric, which requires a lot of chemical processing to create). Bamboo grows quickly without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, or much water. It’s also a powerful carbon sink, absorbing more CO2 from the air than almost any other plant.
Instead of a disposable plastic toothbrush, you can add a 100% plant-based bamboo toothbrush to your Bite order, or choose from several options from Earth Hero, including some made of recycled plastic.
On either site, save 10% with the code tiltedmap10.
Plastic-Free Lip Balm
The Earthling Co. makes a chapstick I really like that comes in a cardboard tube – no plastic! It’s almost identical to Burt’s Bees’ classic peppermint balm, but with fewer ingredients (nothing but organic beeswax, organic coconut oil and peppermint essential oil).
You can save 15% at The Earthling Co. with the code TILTEDMAP15 .
Earth Hero and Package Free Shop also have several options for lip balm, most of which are plastic-free and packaged in cardboard tubes. They also carry lots of other products – zero-waste, plastic-free, alternative, organic, vegan… you name it.
From Earth Hero, use the code tiltedmap10 for 10% off an order of any amount.
Reusable “Cotton” Swabs, Cotton Rounds & Tissues
I use and like them all – see my full review for details!
They also just launched a new product on IndieGogo: LastMask x Spray, a washable face mask with a refillable hand sanitizer spray.
Use the discount code tiltedmap10 for 10% off any order from LastObject!
Instead of offering a Black Friday sale, LastObject’s November initiative is to keep two pounds of plastic out of the ocean for every product sold, through their partnership with Plastic Bank.
I haven’t tried the bamboo rounds (I’m sticking with my cotton and wood LastRounds) but I do like two things about them: They’re colorful, which would be helpful to keep from losing them, and as a reminder not to toss them in the trash! And there are more in a set (14, versus 7 LastRounds) so you don’t have to do laundry as often.
Plastic-Free Deodorant Two Ways:
Deodorant packaging often isn’t recyclable in curbside recycling programs, and the fact that it’s always such heavy, solid plastic drives me crazy.
Luckily, there are two ways to do deodorant without single-use plastics: A sturdy, refillable plastic tube, or a compostable cardboard one.
1. The Best Refillable Option
How does it work? Your first order comes in a hard plastic deodorant stick, similar to a disposable one, then your refills come in cardboard tubes that you insert into the plastic container. The subscription price makes each refill about $10, which isn’t bad for a high-quality, natural deodorant. Plus it lasts a really long time.
2. Even Better: Deodorant in Cardboard Packaging
byHumankind’s deodorant was one of my favorite discoveries of this entire plastic-free routine – until I found PAPR deodorant.
Both options are vegan and aluminum-free. But PAPR deodorant is completely plastic-free: It comes in a cardboard tube with no plastic whatsoever, reusable or otherwise.
Both are great products from really responsible companies, but after months of use, I prefer PAPR to byHumankind. (For more details, see my post about the differences between the two brands.)
In short: I’ve found that PAPR deodorant leaves no white residue and it comes in really natural, fresh scents that I actually like (not just tolerate, like most drugstore deodorants).
Plus, you can’t beat the simplicity of compostable paper packaging for long-term travel: If you run out of deodorant, you don’t have to keep lugging around your refillable container – or feel bad about dumping more plastic waste, especially when traveling in developing countries that very often aren’t equipped to handle it.
You can save 15% on PAPR deodorants with the discount code MAP15 .
Acne Treatment, Serums & Moisturizer
Products from The Ordinary have significantly simplified my skin care routine, made it easier to take on the road, and actually stopped my acne for the first time since I was a teenager. Seriously. I hardly break out anymore at all, I no longer have a medicine cabinet full of half-used spot treatments in plastic tubes, and I don’t even spend much money on skin care!
Acne Fixer: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
I probably shouldn’t say acne “cure,” but this has truly been a magic bullet for me. I’ve dealt with acne well into adulthood (nothing severe, but constant and noticeable), and nothing I’d tried before fixed the problem.
Well, for me, this actually fixed the problem. The large bottle costs around $10 and lasts me three months. (Either size is small enough for carry-on packing, so I never order the small.)
Order niacinamide here from Sephora, or try The Ordinary’s “Balance Set” from Ulta, which is designed for acne and includes a couple of products on this list, and saves some money compared to ordering them all separately. (Ulta doesn’t carry the larger, more packaging-saving sizes for most of these products. That’s why I link to Sephora, which carries both.)
For something even stronger, Paula’s Choice makes a more potent 20% niacinamide serum, as well as their own 10% version. They’re packaged in plastic, but at least they’re guaranteed to be recyclable through their mail-in recycling program. (I haven’t used these serums, but I’ve come to expect good things from Paula’s Choice.)
Other Serums from The Ordinary
I also use The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum for hydration, their “Buffet” anti-aging peptide serum and, for exfoliation, their AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. All are really well reviewed by experts for having high-quality ingredients. (But I don’t take those along when I travel.)
Be warned, their website is complicated, but also refreshingly minimal and non-gimmicky. Figuring out the differences between products can be tricky because they mostly describe their ingredients in scientific terms, not marketing fluff.
And they have a huge range of highly affordable gems that make it worth the effort. For me, it’s worth it simply because finding what works has allowed me to get off the beauty industry treadmill of always looking for a product that will actually do what it claims. (And accumulating more and more half-empty plastic bottles with each attempt.)
Moisturizer: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + B5
I love this smooth, non-greasy moisturizer for morning and night. And it’s so inexpensive that when I travel I use it on my hands and body, too. So it’s now the only lotion I travel with – easy!
Travel Tip: Even for travel, just order the larger size – it’s 100 mL, so you can still pack it in your carry-on. You pay less per ounce and use less packaging per ounce. (Since one tube with 100 mL takes much less plastic than three tubes of 30 mL each… or 3.3333 tubes.)
Why The Ordinary for Sustainability?
First, most products from The Ordinary are packaged in glass bottles, not plastic. This is a step up because glass is infinitely recyclable, whereas plastic can only be remolded a certain number of times and is usually downcycled.
So if you live in a place with a glass recycling program, you can recycle the bottles the same way you recycle any other glass bottles (but not the plastic and rubber droppers).
More Recycling Options
Second, DECIEM (the parent company of The Ordinary) also has a recycling program through TerraCycle (just like Paula’s Choice). But DECIEM’s is one of the few programs that lets you turn in any brand of beauty product packaging for recycling.
By allowing you to drop off empties from any beauty brand, they foot the bill even for plastic waste that other companies created.
It’s just unfortunate that the program is drop-off only, and it’s only available in a few of DECIEM’s US stores – in San Francisco, Chicago and New York – and in some locations in the UK and Canada. (Unlike Paula’s Choice, Weleda and other brands, who pay the shipping costs for customers to mail their recyclables directly to TerraCycle. I’m hoping DECIEM upgrades their program soon, and I’ll update this here if they do.)
In the meantime, if you don’t live in SF, Chicago or NYC, you can send plastic packaging from any beauty brand to Garnier’s mail-in recycling program. (And send any brand of oral care packaging to the Colgate recycling program.)
(I’ll have more info about these programs in another post all about TerraCycle soon.)
I haven’t yet found a plastic-free sunscreen that I can use daily on my face without breaking out (or looking like a ghost). So I use this mineral sunscreen from Paula’s Choice – because at least I can recycle it and support a company that pays for its own plastic use.
It’s gentle and non-irritating, and has two formulas for oily or dry skin.
Even though it’s a mineral sunscreen, it doesn’t leave a white cast. (That being said, I do have very fair skin that my Italian in-laws like to make fun of, but I truly can’t detect any visibly cast from this formula.) When I first put it on, it seems white, but as I rub it in, the color disappears and it looks natural, not shiny.
For something a little more sporty, my friends at the blog Outdoor Goyo tested a whole list of reef-safe, mineral sunscreens. “Reef-safe” generally means the formulas don’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, which damage coral reefs.
Shopping Tip: Paula’s Choice also has a useful beauty “ingredient dictionary.” It cuts through the marketing jargon about what an ingredient actually does, how well it’s been tested, and whether it’s safe and worth trying.
Period Care Sans Disposables
Over the past couple years, I’ve slowly stopped buying anything disposable for my period. Admittedly, both these products sound a little weird and like they might not work at all, but I give you my word that, at least for me, they do.
For me, it took a few periods of practice before I figured out how to position a menstrual cup comfortably. But now I’m convinced that my cramps are less intense using a cup than they were with tampons. The Lena Cup works for me, but every brand has a different size, shape and firmness. This quiz is helpful to figure out which brand will fit you best.
Earth Hero sells a few other brands of menstrual cups, and of course, you get 10% off your order with the discount code tiltedmap10.
Even Easier: Thinx period underwear
I was proud of myself for adapting to a menstrual cup instead of tampons, but honestly, these underwear are a way easier change and have become my go-to period product.
Thinx makes tons of styles of underwear that absorb your flow. I know, it sounds weird and unlikely to be effective, but I’ve been truly impressed with them. They don’t leak, they don’t smell, and they don’t feel anything like a pad! And they’re very stealthy (they actually look and feel like normal undies).
I started out using Thinx only on light days, or in place of pantyliners, but I’ve gradually started using them throughout my period.
(There is also such a thing as washable pads and pantyliners, like these, that you attach around the gusset of normal underwear with snaps. But for me, Thinx just feel like a more elegant, simple solution.)
Travel Tip: When I’m traveling, I rinse my Thinx out in the sink, let them dry overnight if possible, and store them all in a laundry bag that I can throw in the wash whenever I get to a machine. (I always wash delicates in laundry bags anyway, as it keeps them in better shape longer. And they’re great for keeping dirty laundry separate in your suitcase!)
These bags from Dropps are a good size for delicates, and they ship carbon-neutral. And this bag is designed to filter microplastics, which break off of synthetic materials, ending up in waterways. (More info about both brands in this review.)
I’ve tried three styles of Thinx: The signature hiphugger, the organic cotton bikini, and the Sport style. The cotton bikini is my favorite, as they’re more low cut. (Closer to the shape of a standard pair of bikini underwear, whereas the hiphugger is a bit more full-coverage and high-rise). The sport is a really smooth, slick material on the outside, while the organic cotton feels like normal, soft cotton underwear.
If you’re planning to stay in Airbnbs or otherwise do your own laundry while traveling, laundry strips from the Canadian start-up TruEarth are a must. (And they’re what I use at home, too.)
TruEarth is the most eco-friendly laundry detergent I’ve found so far. They ship you enough detergent for 32 loads in a package only slightly thicker than a normal envelope.
If you want more details, you’ll find them in my post about all the plastic-free laundry and cleaning products I tested!
Next Step: Shaving with a Safety Razor
A safety razor (the one item on this list that I haven’t yet tried) is the next big zero-waste change I’m planning – for when I finish my stash of Venus blades.
Even though you can recycle any razors or cartridges through this Terracycle program, switching to a plastic-free option is ideal.
And safety razors are inherently plastic-free. The only thing you have to replace is the stainless steel blade, which is entirely and easily recyclable. (As long as you either take them to a sharps collection point, or use some kind of “blade bank” so that the people working at recycling facilities don’t get sliced.)
Safety Razor Brands
This is the razor I’m eyeing from Oui The People, because it’s supposed to be ideal for sensitive skin, and has a high-quality design that’s made in Germany. And also because it’s gorgeous (I’d go for the rose gold).
Well Kept also makes a good-looking option that’s made in Canada and comes in pink, white or black.
Or here’s another, more budget-friendly safety razor from the zero-waste brand Albatross Designs. They also have a free blade take-back program for any brand of blades, which they up-cycle into metal cutlery and other items.
Any of these would make a great fancy gift that should last a lifetime for someone who’s trying to quit plastic! And any one will save money in the long-run. (When you think about plastic cartridges, like mine from Venus, costing several dollars each, while replacement blades for these safety razors are less a dollar.)
And of course, they’re all unisex – any safety razor works for any gender for the face, legs, or wherever.
One thing to remember for travel: You can’t pack safety razors in your carry-on. So… maybe I should actually gift myself one now, and keep my Venus stash exclusively for travel.
Questions? Ideas for other sustainable brands to check out? Drop them in the comments below, get in touch on Instagram, or email me!
Looking for more? Check out my other sustainable product reviews:
- PAPR and byHumankind deodorant details
- Lots of shampoo & conditioner bars I’ve tested
- Several brands of toothpaste tablets (some great, some never-again)
- LastObject products: Q-tips, cotton pads & tissues – and how to avoid greenwashing (AKA fake-sustainable companies)
- The best cleaning & laundry products, sans plastic
- Everything I learned in a master’s degree in sustainability!