How to Pack Zero Waste Toiletries

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker

Before going low-waste, it often felt like my plastic packaged toiletries would take up a quarter of my suitcase. I’d have foaming face wash, facial lotion, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, along with hair products and toothpaste. Often, after getting off the plane I’d find that at least two of the containers had exploded at altitude, resulting in a mess and a waste of the product. I’d also have to worry about the limit of liquids if I was carrying on my suitcase and repacking them in different smaller containers. Over all, it was a huge hassle.

I assumed that packing zero waste toiletries would be more difficult than packing my old plastic toiletries, but I actually found the opposite to be true.

All of my soaps (facial soap, body soap, shampoo (and conditioner)) are now in bar form. This easily translates to packing because it eliminates the worry of spilling or going over the liquid-limit.

Next, for the liquids I must bring (such as toothpaste and facial lotion), I use tiny clean glass jam jars. Jam jars are great because they’re durable, washable, and have a watertight seal. The only difficulty is finding the jars. In the states, diners now use plastic to encase their single-use jams or honey. Luckily, I’ve found a few in hotels while traveling abroad. If you don’t happen to be in hotels in foreign countries very often, I recommend buying some from Amazon.

And that’s it. Super simple :)