In the spirit of Plastic Free July, I want to share some of the things I’ve upcycled in my bathroom. This post is inspired by Immy of Sustainably Vegan on YouTube. She did a video recently of 100 things to reuse. That would make for a very boring blog post though, so I’m sticking to just 8 things I’ve done and you can also upcycle in your bathroom! I hope this inspires you to find ways to reuse “waste” and think about ways to use the things you already have before buying new or even second-hand!
1. Yogurt container soap dish
This is honestly one of my favorite upcycles because of how weird and quirky it is. But it’s also super simple. Zero extra effort for this. Just a washed out yogurt container and put the soap in. Chobani’s artwork on the container is also almost nice except all the branding in the way. 🤷♀️
2. Yogurt container hair tie organizer
Another use for a used yogurt container: hair tie organization. Again super simple. I also really like that Chobani has started making their labels easily removable so it looks more like a regular little organizer. No one has to know you ate your breakfast out of it. It’ll be our secret. 🤫
3. Food jar catchall
Another random little thing. I think this was originally an artichoke jar, but any washed out food container could work for this. I love having a little catchall next to my sink for anything that I use semi-regularly and needs to dry out between uses. It often has my safety razor, a nail brush, and/or the bulb syringe I use to clean my ears. (Probably seems gross but it’s a #ZeroWasteSwap and it’s sooo satisfying to see the chunks of ear wax come out. I’m unashamed.)
4. Tin can and candle jar makeup holders
You’ve probably seen something like this on Pinterest. In fact, that’s where I got the inspiration for this myself. My family uses so much canned food, it was great to find a way to reuse one of the cans! I spray painted this one white so it’s a little more cohesive with the decor. I’m also always trying to find ways to reuse candle jars since I bring a lot of them into my life. I’m pretty much helpless to any good smelling soap or candle. I like the look of these way more than the plastic organizers I was using before. I know environmentalists shouldn’t get rid of a plastic thing just because it’s plastic, but the aesthetics of the plastic organizer were truly affecting how I felt when I walked into my bathroom, so finding an alternative from things that were already laying around the house was a big relief.
5. Spice tin razor blade bank
Safety razors are a great zero waste swap in your shower routine, since they’re 100% metal and the blazes often come wrapped in just a bit of paper. However, the blades can’t be thrown away or recycled in most municipal systems since they pose a health risk to sanitation workers that might unknowingly hurt themselves. Instead, you should collect razor blades in a “blade bank” and find a place that can recycle scrap metal. This ground mustard tin works great as a blade bank since it has a tight fitting lid that won’t allow the blades to accidentally fall out!
6. T-shirt storage basket
Admittedly, this one takes some skill to upcycle. I crocheted this little basket myself using T-shirts found for $1 at the thrift store. Sometimes, I worry that buying things at the thrift store and cutting them up takes them away from someone who might actually want to wear it, but I don’t think that was the case with these shirts – they were unworn from a volleyball camp and I only bought 3 of the 7+ that were at the store.
Extra pro-tip: buy t-shirts as large as you can find to maximize the yarn you can make out of them. I used this video from Sustain My Craft Habit turn a t-shirt into yarn with as little waste as possible, and this basket pattern from Christine S Wiliams.
7. Soap pump conditioner bottle
We’re back to kinda bizarre, super-specific upcycles like the first two. While I prefer bar soap, my mom insists on using liquid handsoap. The plastic pumps work great though for DIY shampoo, or, as I’ve done here, turning a conditioner bar into liquid conditioner. I’m not a huge fan of conditioner bars because it takes a long time to get enough of the product onto my hair, and meanwhile the shower is running and wasting water. In order to not waste this conditioner bar, I grated it down and added some water to create a liquid conditioner. This soap pump works perfectly for me to be able to apply conditioner one-handed. (Plus the residual lavender scent is yummy.)
8. Product jar dry containers
Finally, I have some assorted hair and body product jars that now function as simple containers to keep things dry and cool. One I use for shampoo and conditioner bars to keep them dry in the shower. The other, I use for my Ethique deodorant bar. (This one is their lavender-scented Botanica bar, which I absolutely love. Best zero waste deodorant I’ve tried.) A paste made with baking soda and oil works great to remove sticky labels. I used this post from Creek Line House.
Save your jars and containers!
The moral of this story is to save the things you already have and reuse them wherever you can, in the bathroom or other places around your home.
Here’s my current collection of extra jars. You never know what you might need in the future, so I hold onto empty jars instead of sending them directly to the recycle. (Honestly, I probably hold onto them too long, but that’s a different issue.)
Let me know what you think!
What have you repurposed for your bathroom? How should I reuse my extra jars? Drop a comment below!