6 Bamboo Products That Are Way Better Than Their Plastic Counterparts

Reusable Nation - zero waste, bamboo bathroom products

Bamboo is not only more luxurious and more beautiful than plastic, it is also more environmentally friendly. While plastic products pollute our earth, bamboo products are biodegradable and can be composted, going back into the earth.

There is the question of whether the use of bamboo is actually sustainable due to how it is farmed. Bamboo can be grown in a sustainable way as it doesn’t need irrigation or fertiliser, but it may not be, due to land clearing and over-harvesting, which destroys the panda’s natural habitat. This depends on the farmer and where the bamboo is grown, with most of it being grown in China.

In my mind, it is still a better choice than plastic.

I believe that buying a quality product only when it is needed and not in excess from a trustworthy manufacturer that promises its bamboo only comes from sustainable sources is the best you can do.

1. Toothbrush

Time to replace your toothbrush? You’re meant to replace it every three to four months you know! (I did not know that!) Treat your teeth to a snazzy new sustainable bamboo toothbrush!

Getting more and more commonplace, bamboo toothbrushes can be easily found online, but it is important to check the quality as poor-quality ones can be rough, will absorb water and get soggy, and can have an unpleasant taste.

You also need to be weary of misinformation about how eco-friendly a specific brush is. Some companies claim that their bamboo toothbrush is 100% compostable, but unless the bristles are made from pig hair, the bristles of bamboo toothbrushes are not biodegradable or compostable. While the bristles are not biodegradable, the handles of bamboo toothbrushes are compostable.

The bamboo toothbrushes that I have found people to be most keen on are Go Bamboo (find it here), Bamkiki (find it here), and The Environmental Toothbrush (which we personally use and can be bought online here).

Read more about bamboo toothbrushes and discover the best sustainable toothbrush options here – bamboo isn’t the only option!

2. Hairbrush

If your hairbrush is anything like mine was before I recently replaced it with a new one, it is about 10 years old and missing a ton of bristles.

If or when it’s time to replace yours, choose a bamboo one over a plastic one.

Yes, it’ll be more expensive, but there are benefits to going bamboo; it is not only better for the environment cause the entire brush, including the bristles, is made of bamboo and is biodegradable, but it is also much better for your hair.

Brushes made from bamboo or wood distribute your natural hair oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair more effectively than plastic, naturally conditioning it more.

Also, less static is created when you brush with a wooden brush, so flyaways and frizz will be less of a problem every winter.

And, it just plain feels better! Gotta love that massaging feeling (and having bristles that last!).

Flora & Fauna (AU) has a wide range of bamboo brushes and combs to choose from. Check them out here. Biome (AU) also has a good range, which includes a travel sized wooden hairbrush (shop it here). While Life Without Plastic (US/CAN) has both adult and children’s wooden hairbrushes.

3. All the other brushes

Okay, so, if it’s a brush, you can probably get it in bamboo, so I’ve lumped all the other bamboo brushes in one. Looking for a new:

  • scrubbing brush

  • body brush

  • makeup brush, or

  • veggie brush?

They’re all available in bamboo. Get it in bamboo.

4. Bamboo cotton buds

These small bathroom staples are often bought in bulk and placed in the bottom drawer in the bathroom, hardly ever emerging again. That’s the case in my bathroom anyway!

If you actually use cotton buds/earbuds/Q-tips or ever run out, it’s good to know you can buy them with bamboo stems rather than that tiny bit of plastic, which is going to slip through every recycling opportunity and probably end up in the ocean.

I’ve seen them on Biome’s site, as well as on Flora & Fauna's, which also stocks ones with paper stems.

5. Bamboo clothes pegs

Another item that is rarely bought, but when it is bought should be bought in bamboo or steel rather than plastic is the clothes peg.

Other than being biodegradable, unlike plastic clothes pegs, they will last longer in the outside elements and won’t wear, fade and snap when hanging out your undies to dry.

The tiny steel or wooden ones can also be used to hang photos on wire or string, or other creative endeavours.

6. Bamboo cutlery

Avoid single-use plastic cutlery when out and about and on the go by carrying your own reusable cutlery set with you.

Whether in the form of a spork or an actual set of a separate spoon, fork and knife (you can even add chopsticks!), whether bamboo or steel, and whether bought as a set or just grabbed out of your existing cutlery draw, having these with you will make a massive difference to the amount of plastic you use and throw away when unprepared or rushed for a meal or just keen on grabbing take-out or trying out a new food truck.

You can buy cutlery sets that come with a pouch or case, make your own pouch, or just use any small drawstring bag or old pencil case that you have lying around. It is a good idea to have a napkin or something to clean or wrap your cutlery in before putting it back in its bag, else things get messy pretty quickly.

If you don’t like the texture or taste of ice cream sticks, you may not like the feeling of bamboo on your tongue, and may want to go for steel cutlery instead.

In Australia, The Clean CollectiveBiome, and Flora & Fauna all have great reusable cutlery set ranges and in the US/Canada, Life Without Plastic has bamboo travel utensil sets. Each one’s selection is a little different, so shop around so you can settle on the best option for you personally.

There are also some gorgeous, artistic pouch options on Etsy. Those fabrics! *heart eyes*

For more tips on plastic- and guilt-free takeaway meals, check out our On the Go section.


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