Zero Waste Deodorant – Store Bought


“Strong enough for a man, made for a woman.”

“Raise your hand, if you’re Sure.”

“Aren’t you glad you used Dial?”

“Sure I’m a little smelly, but at least I’m saving the planet.”

Okay, so the eco-love ad-wizards are going to have to come up with something better than that I think.  But they got me to switch and I’ve been using Secret since the days of slinging a pink Esprit bag through the halls of my junior high.  Which means every couple of months, for the last 25 years, I’ve been tossing this duo in the trash:

So that had to stop.  But since I didn’t want to go full-hippie, I needed to find a replacement.  Here are some adequate store-bought options:

Crystal Deodorants 

The first thing I tried was this crystal deodorant.

The bigger one on the right has a base made out of #7 plastic and a lid that appears to be unrecyclable.  Not ideal.

The small one on the left however, has a base that is made out of #5 plastic and a lid of #6 plastic.  Not perfect, but doable in an aggressive plastic recycling city like Albuquerque.

One annoyance about crystal sticks is you have to do the 15-second double-arm raise we’re so familiar with here in Albuquerque (see:  any COPS episode) to dry off your underarms.

This this brand will also leave a ring of sparkles on your bathroom counter top.  Minor annoyance, but you’ll see what I mean.

How long does it last?  It definitely lasts at least half the day.  Like a whole four hours sometimes.

And the label is correct.  This thing will last you a year or longer.  Unless….three months in, like me, you do this:

Good Ol’ Stick Deodorant

Tom’s of Maine offers this stick deodorant.  The base is made from #5 plastic and while it’s better than a Secret stick, there’s no plastic number indicator on the lid.  So I think it’s gotta go in the trash.

But the beauty of this guy is it is widely available.

Even outside of Maine.

At say…Trader Joe’s.  Who carries about as many body care products as I own stilettos.  Trader Joe’s is the worst offender of over packaging, by the way.


See exhibits 1 and 2:

But then they win you back with crap like this:

So not fair.

Powder Deodorants

I don’t like powders so I can’t give you a real review but there are some options that get you closer to zero waste.  If you can access a Lush store (and you can online), you can try these powders:

The one on the left comes in a #1 plastic base.  Good to recycle in most places.  The lid…not so much.

But get this – the one on right doesn’t come in anything.  Nothing to recycle, let alone throw.  It’s a bar of compacted powder.  You just slap that puppy against your pitolas a few times and you’re off.

Deodorant Bar

And Lush is where you will find what I finally turned to after the crystal-meets-tile floor incident:  the deodorant bar.

This stuff lasts forever.  You don’t need to buy one with wrapping or a price tag.  They’ll just chop off a hunk, weigh it, take your money and send you home.  The bar is easier to apply if it’s wet (otherwise it’s like dragging a pink eraser across your pits) so if you have issue with wasting water, you could apply immediately after taking your morning shower.

One caveat:  it’s easy to mistake this thing for a bar of hand soap.  So you might consider leaving it in the medicine cabinet when you have company.

Or foresee yourself trying to wash your face after a bender.

Yes I did.  To answer your question.

——–             ——–             ——–

There’s another zero waste alternative and that’s homemade deodorant.  We’ll check that out next week.

July 7, 2015

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



  1. Kat Bremhorst

    Try Schmitt's deodorant in the pot from whole foods! The lavender sage is lovely and it keeps you fresh through everything.

  2. zerowastemommy

    Oh wow! I didn't know there was deodorant in there! I just assumed they were all bath salts and while I don't mind a good soak it usually comes with two uninvited, 48-inch or lower guests that prefer the cannonball-entry method. So thanks! I will totally check this out.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.