7 Zero-Waste Uses for Avocado

Avocado isn’t just delicious — it’s also a great tool to use as a zero-waster!


Jul. 23 2019, Updated 11:35 a.m. ET

zero waste avocado
Source: iStock

Avocado has long been a fan-favorite ingredient in at-home beauty treatments. Whether you use avocado (or avocado oil) for strengthening your hair, as a natural face mask, or as a base to a body scrub, the benefits of avocado are innumerable.

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Not to mention, they’re zero-waste. After using the flesh of an avocado — or hey, even the pit can be used for some interesting things around the house — you can simply compost the skin since it is organic matter. No waste, a little bit of mess, and endless benefits. What’s not to love?

Keep reading for 7 of our favorite zero-waste ways to use avocado!

Shaving Cream

Avocado makes a luxurious and environmentally friendly solution to shaving cream. Of course, there is some debate to recipes: some people will simply extract the flesh of the avocado and rub it right on the area that needs shaving. Others prefer a full-blown recipe with several other ingredients, such as shea butter and Castile soap in addition to avocado or avocado oil. But rest assured, you can just scoop out the center of an avocado and use it on your legs, pits, or whatever else needs shaving.

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Dye Fabric

The pit of an avocado can actually be used to naturally and sustainably dye fabric. Wondering if it’s going to turn your fabrics pit-brown? It won’t. Avocado pits actually dye fabric pink!

When it comes to natural dye, you have to use natural fibers, as synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon won’t take to the dye at all. Protein fibers generally work best — fibers like silk and wool — and other natural cellulose fibers such as cotton, linen, and hemp should also take fairly well to the dye. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to dye natural fabrics using the pit of an avocado, check out Sustaining Life.

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Combat Bad Breath

Who knew that avocado has natural breath-freshening properties?! The flesh of an avocado actually combats the bacteria and food debris that can intensify bad breath. It even fleshes out the food debris caught in your throat and intestines. The best part of this treatment is you don’t need to do anything specific. All you have to do is cut up an avocado and eat it. One or two chunks of avocado should do if you’re experiencing malodorous breath! Save the rest of the fruit for later or for another zero-waste treatment.

avocado hair mask
Source: iStock
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Scalp and Hair Treatment

Avocado can do a lot for hair. It’s great for hair that’s frizzy, has dandruff, or can also be used to treat a dry and itchy scalp. The amino acids and fats inside of avocado are great for healing the fibers of your hair. To reap the benefits, mash up some avocado flesh and massage it into your scalp. 

If you’re looking for management for frizz hair, mash up an avocado and then add two tablespoons of avocado oil to the mixture. Massage that into your head and let it sit for 15 minutes. Dandruff? Extract the seeds of the avocado and grind it into a powder. Sprinkle the powder right at the scalp to get rid of annoying, itchy dandruff. 

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Natural Sunscreen

Safe and non-toxic sunscreens are having a moment right now, but you never really can go wrong with a natural alternative to sunscreen. Like other vegetables — carrots and raspberry seed oil to name a few — avocado oil has natural, sun-fighting properties that can protect our skin from sun damage.

Avocado oil is great for combatting unwanted attention from the sun’s rays because of its high density of mono-saturated fats. The fats add a protective layer over the skin, a layer the sun’s UV rays can’t penetrate.

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avocado honey mask
Source: iStock

Face Mask and Scrubs

When living a zero-waste lifestyle, making beauty treatments such as face masks at home is a great way to cut back on the single-use plastic that many beauty treatments usually come in. Luckily, avocado can be used in a ton of different recipes. Plus, it just smells so good!

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The classic, two-ingredient avocado face mask features only avocado and honey and is ideal for dry skin that needs some hydrating. Other avocado face mask options for dry skin include adding ingredients like buttermilk and carrots to the mix.

Alternatively, if you want to make a scrub, mix one-part avocado oil with one-part brown sugar. The sugar exfoliates, the avocado moisturizes, making for shining bright skin.

Cuticle Treatment

You can also use avocado oil as a cuticle and nail treatment. If your nails are brittle or rough and in need of some TLC, avocado oil penetrates deep into the inner layers of your cuticle. There, it hydrates your nail for some much-needed nourishment. Avocado oil can manage your cuticle growth and also grow your nails stronger and healthier.

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