The average American tosses more than 4 pounds of trash each day. It's all about “one-use” and “disposables,” created purely for convenience. We take from the Earth, use, then dump back into the Earth without even thinking about it. Why would we? Our waste is taken away from our homes to a landfill where we don’t ever have to see it (or think about it) again. Meanwhile, in the landfills, toxic chemicals are leaching from our trash into our soil; meaning into our water supply and into our oceans. This is a huge problem. And while recycling is good, there is simply too much “stuff” to combat the amount of waste we produce each day. We are definitely not shunning recycling. In our own home, we do our best to recycle better and smarter. But what’s even better is reducing the amount of waste you bring into your home in the first place. If it’s not there in the first place, you don’t have to worry about recycling it later.

With personal care items, there are many downsides to the conventional products found on market shelves. Most items are made using and/or packaged in plastic. This makes them typically non-recyclable (most plastics are not), expensive (you’re continuing to pay for the packaging over and over), and the plastics contain harmful toxins that leach into your products. The next time you restock, consider swapping your norm for these low-waste and/or biodegradable products. We’ve compiled a great list, including many that we stock here on our site.

Ready to make the switch?

Reusable Facial Rounds - Disposable cotton facial rounds are typically bleached with all sorts of chemicals before finally making its way onto market shelves. They are often packaged in plastic bags as well. Since you use these every day, likely twice a day, the waste from these adds up quickly. By investing in reusable facial rounds, you will save money and prevent more trash from ending up in the landfills.

Biodegradable Toothbrush - Toothbrushes contribute about 50 million pounds of waste to landfills each year… no big deal. Ditch the plastic that will stay for many lifetimes to come, and trade it for a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. They are naturally antimicrobial and easily decompose, without leaching toxic chemicals into the ground.

Wooden Comb/ Brush - Wood is more eco-friendly, lasts longer, and when it does finally get tossed, doesn’t have harmful chemicals that will pollute the landfills even further.


Biodegradable Floss - Made from sustainable bamboo and packed in a zero-waste glass container with metal dispensing lid. The floss breaks down in approximately 60-90 days and contains no gluten, preservatives, artificial coloring or sweeteners - just a mild flavor from pure peppermint and tea tree essential oils.

Toothpaste - Say no to messy plastic tubes with chemical-laden toothpaste. Opt instead for our activated-charcoal toothpaste. Comes in a reusable glass jar and made using just a handful of 100% natural ingredients. The activated charcoal naturally whitens teeth without using harmful bleaching ingredients that most conventional toothpastes have.

Tongue Scraper - The perfect accessory for cleaning toxins and bacteria from the tongue! But so many brands are manufacturing cheap, plastic versions, which don’t last. Our stainless steel version can last a lifetime if cared for properly.


Biodegradable Cotton Swabs - Most cotton swabs are made with a plastic stick, even if the buds themselves are made of cotton. Although traditional 100% cotton swabs are good, that cotton is grown with many harmful pesticides and pollutants. We now carry a compostable bamboo version in our shop, or opt for a reusable option instead.

Mouthwash - Ditch the plastic bottle filled with who knows what - it should NOT hurt to rinse your mouth no matter what the commercials tell you. There are so many DIY recipes on Pinterest you can customize to your liking and store in a glass mason jar. Check out our repurposing post to see if any of your old Urban Oreganics containers will work!

Natural Deodorant - A few weeks ago, we broke down the pitfalls of using conventional deodorant in this informative blog post. By choosing a natural deodorant, like ours, you will save yourself from harmful chemicals and have a sweet little glass jar to repurpose or return to UO for rewards credit.


Safety RazorsDitch the plastic razors. Did you know you end up paying more for the plastic handles and horrible packaging than you do for the actual razor? By investing in a safety razor, you will save money, ditch the plastic, and help the environment.

Loofah - No more plastic! Are you noticing a trend here? Swap out your current plastic loofah for an all-natural one. When you’re all done with it, simply rinse it out and toss in your compost pile.

Reusable Pad/ Reusable Menstrual Cup - The current upwards trend of reusable menstrual products is here to stay! Most conventional pads and tampons are made using cotton that has been treated (bleached) and has fragrances added to them. If you remember back to some previous posts about fragrances, the FDA doesn’t regulate these types of ingredients, so any horrible nastiness can be included as a “fragrance.” I think we can all agree this is the last thing we want down THERE. On top of deceptive ingredients added to feminine hygiene products, the amount of waste being sent to landfills is extraordinary. By investing in reusable pads and cups, you will not only be saving hundreds of dollars a year - and saving Mother Earth - but you can ensure only the best for your lady parts.


Bandaids - We’ve recently added an amazing hypoallergenic bandage to our lineup this spring. PATCH bamboo bandage strips are the perfect eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic bandages. Crafted with 100% organic bamboo in four varieties, and packaged in a recyclable cardboard tube.

Cleansing Bar - By using our multi-purpose cleansing bars for everything head to toe, not only will you simplify your routine, you get to skip having to toss out multiple plastic bottles each month. You can also turn our bars into a liquid version and store in our new customizable glass bottles.

What swaps have you made on your eco-friendly journey so far? Have a zero waste item you'd like us to add to the shop? Let us know below! Not only are you helping to save Mother Earth, but you’re helping yourself save hundreds of dollars each year.

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Urban Oreganics Owners

About Us

Hi! We’re Cory & Emily, husband and wife, parents, and co-owners of Urban Oreganics. Over the years, we’ve developed a passion for creating an eco-friendly, minimalist lifestyle for our family. We’re always discovering new sources of inspiration and are excited to share those with you through our blog.

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1 comment

  • You two are just an inspiration.
    So proud to be your (older) cousin!
    Keep up the good work.
    I know Suzi is your customer & I will be too, very soon.
    Love ya Em,

    • Nancy Muhlheim


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