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Personal Care Must-Haves For 1st Year College Students

With so many things to think about before setting off to college, it’s no surprise we don’t take a proper look at our personal care shopping list. We simply use the same brands that we’ve used since high school which are easy to find in stores but are sadly full of harmful parabens, sulfates, and detergents which are bad for our bodies and the environment. Not to mention that most of our personal care products are made of plastics that aren't biodegradable or recyclable.

But fear not, we've done the leg work for you and compiled a short list of personal-care must-haves for your 1st year at college that will be kinder to the environment AND save you some dollars!

Toilet paper

Tushy Bamboo sustainable toilet paper

It’s always good to have a personal emergency stash in your dorm room! But did you know that most toilet paper is made from trees which isn’t sustainable, and they are heavily bleached. Rubbing these kinds of bleaches and toxins near our nether regions is also seriously no bueno. The alternative is to look for bamboo toilet paper, we happen to think these ones packaged from Tushy are super cute. Bamboo absorbs 35% more CO₂ per hectare than equivalent plants and can grow up to 39 inches in just one day. That means that bamboo is ultra replenishable in addition to helping reduce deforestation (15% of deforestation is due to toilet paper production).

Shampoo + Conditioner 

Seed Phytonutrients sustainable shampoo

You may have already heard of shampoo and conditioner bars but have you heard of shampoo and conditioner powders?! Seed Phytonutrients offer powder formulas that are sustainably packed and SLS and SLES free (the nasties) which transform into a creamy foam once water is added. But the best part, one 2 oz. bottle of this concentrated formula is equal to one litre of a traditional shampoo AND you won’t need to wash your hair as often (because there are no gummy thickeners left sitting on your hair). So you’ll save a lot of money long term and space in your suitcase!


Right now over 10 billion plastic razors end up in landfills and oceans around the world every year. Even more worryingly, those ‘moisture strips’ on your plastic razor are loaded with toxic chemicals which are usually the cause for your shaving irritation, not the blade. That’s why we love shaving with a safety razor, they’re made of metal, the blades are 100% recyclable and refills cost $0.19. Our shaving bundle includes shave soap, shave oil, and over 100 refills which will last you at least 2 years. When you compare that to the cost of those crazy expensive plastic refills, that’s some serious savings!

Toothbrush + toothpaste

Nelson Natural sustainable toothpaste

Much like our razors, our plastic razors are piling up in our oceans and landfills because they’re not recyclable. Take a look at your local store to see if they have any bamboo toothbrushes which are totally recyclable and look out for the “BPA-Free” bristles. We like these bamboo toothbrushes from Nelson Naturals who also sell toothpaste tabs. Toothpaste tabs come in a glass jar so once again, a great alternative to move away from those pesky toothpaste tubes which aren’t recyclable…. starting to see a pattern?!

Body wash

Do we really need a body wash? They’re often loaded with pesky chemicals and come in a plastic tube which once again, stacks up our waste on mother earth. What’s wrong with a good bar of soap? They’re super affordable and zero-waste. And better yet, you could pick a soap with ingredients like Kaolin clay which will double up as a shave soap, win win!


I hope you’ve found this useful place to start in order to level-up your personal-care game. And if you want to dive deeper into ingredients you should be looking out for in your personal products, you can check out our blog on the Top 10 ingredients to avoid.