When we think 'plastic free' we sometimes just assume that this only refers to food packaging or cleaning bottles. Have you ever taken a good look in your bathroom and noticed how many things come in plastic? It is frightening! From the bars of soap that come in plastic wrappers to the hundreds of different types of shampoo and conditioners that we use daily. From disposable razors to every single piece of makeup that we use. Our toothbrushes are plastic, our toothpaste is plastic and even the dental floss is plastic. There is an alternative to every single item in our bathroom and sometimes you just need to look a little bit harder for some rather than others: Shampoo and Conditioner: Replace your bottles of shampoo and conditioners with bars. These are becoming more and more popular and come in all different shapes and sizes, but all will clean your hair just as well as traditional liquid shampoo. There can be a transitional period and it is recommended to allow at least six weeks for your hair to acclimatise but it is worth it in the end just to get rid of the hundreds of bottles on the side of the bath. Shampoo bars also last longer than their bottled cousins, whilst conditioner bars will last months at a time! If you find that there is a build up of residue on your hair, just apply a simple vinegar rinse which will clear it all away. Just don't like the idea of shampoo bars or they just don't work for you - then there are always refillable options available at your local refill (zero waste) shops. Shower Gel: Plain and simple - swap it for soap. And while you're at it, swap that plastic shower scrunchie with a soap saver bag. These two work in perfect harmony with each other. Just pop the bar of soap into the bag and wash away. The bag acts as an exfoliator and when finished, just hang it up to dry. This will preserve the soap ready for your next wash. Again, soaps come in a variety of colours, smells and ingredients. Oral hygiene: Did you realise that every plastic toothbrush ever made is still on the planet today! What a frightening statistic. By changing your plastic toothbrush to a wooden one think of how many you will be saving going forward. Have an electric toothbrush? Never fear, there are recycled alternatives to replace these as well. See, they have thought of everything. Remember the days of brushing your teeth with powder? Yes folks it is making a come back. Toothpaste now comes in a variety of different forms - toothpaste, toothpowder and also tooth tablets. It really is just down to personal preference as to which you prefer. They also offer fluoride and non fluoride options as well. Deodorant: Get rid of that unsightly roll on or spray canister - both of these are doing more harm than you think. Instead use a natural deodorant which can be applied with your finger tips or comes in a handy cardboard tube if you prefer the roll on option. Or go one better and use a crystal, and yes they really do work and in some cases will last up to three years! How's that for value! Make up: Possibly the biggest amount of plastic in your bathroom will be in your make up drawer. The industry is coming along in leaps and bounds but there is still a long way to go to make this sector completely plastic free. However, until that happens there are alternatives out there, you may just need to look a little harder. Many companies may offer a refillable option on certain compacts. In the meantime, why not change your cleanser to a soap bar (yes you can wash your face with soap) or there are also natural cleansing scrubs available. Stop wasting your money on disposable make up wipes and go for washable ones instead. You will save a small fortune and do a little bit to save the planet at the same time. Shaving: Disposable razors - YUK! Traditional razors have been around for years and now come in some pretty funky colours and designs. Match it up with shaving soap instead of foam and away you go - plastic free shaving. Periods: Not often a subject that is discussed openly but there are alternatives to the traditional tampons and disposable pads. We have an amazing company right on our doorstep that offers cloth sanitary pads who deserve a mention. Honour Your Flow is based at Mansergh, Kirkby Lonsdale so please check them out if you want to find out more. There are also period pants, moon cups and sponge options to name a few. Again, this is very much down to personal preference but you need to know that there are options and PLEASE discuss this with your daughters as they may not know there is a choice. The list really is endless and with a little bit of research you can find a plastic free alternative to almost everything. The initial cost can sometimes be more expensive than your plastic option but you often find that the natural products last longer which save you money in the long run. At the end of the day though, this isn't all about money. It is about doing what we can to help save the planet - one plastic free item at a time. Please remember to pop into The Zero Pantry if you would like help on your plastic free journey. We not only stock food but also a large selection of plastic free options for the home and personal use. You can find us at 6 Finkle Street, Sedbergh and 18 Main Street, Kirkby Lonsdale.