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We know, we know, most people don’t want to talk about what goes on behind closed bathroom doors. However, would you be willing to compromise on a few habits if it meant saving water, reducing (paper) waste, and being kinder to marine life? 

Here are a few small but powerful ways you can be kinder to the earth when using and cleaning your porcelain throne. 

If It’s Yellow… 

If you’re in a public space, you should always flush. No one wants to come into a public or communal bathroom only to find someone else’s business lingering. However, at home, you don’t necessarily need to flush after number one. 

Depending on how old your toilet is, it requires anywhere from 7 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush. The older the toilet, the more water it consumes. Usually, you can find how many gallons/liters of water per flush are labeled around the hinge or on the basin of the toilet. Holding off flushing every time you do a tiny tinkle can save a lot of relatively clean water. 

Of course, if you live with family members or roommates, you should discuss holding off flushing!

Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper 

Toilet paper may help clean you up, but it’s pretty filthy for the environment. 

The average American goes through 141 pounds of toilet paper a year, which is the highest recorded individual consumption of TP globally. As soon as toilet paper comes into contact with water, it starts to dissolve. However, its effects on forests are long-lasting. 

Most toilet paper is made with virgin wood pulp, which means that trees are cut down specifically to be turned into toilet paper and be flushed away. But toilet paper isn’t just wood, it’s also harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach which release chlorine gas into the atmosphere and water. 

If you can, opt for a more eco-friendly toilet paper option. Recycled wood pulp or bamboo toilet paper is a lot kinder to the environment and still gets the job done. You also want to go for something free of any bleach, fragrances, colorings, ink, or BPA. 

Better Bathroom Products

Anything you use to clean the toilet will eventually end up in the water system. Some of it may be able to be filtered out at water-processing plants, but some of it won’t. Instead of hoping that the harmful bleaches and cleaners used to clean the bowl will miraculously not make their way back to our drinking water, why not clean with natural and harmless products to begin with? 

Baking soda and vinegar make a surprisingly good cleaning combo. Coat the basin of the toilet with a thin layer of baking soda, pour vinegar over it, and get to scrubbing! There are also several eco-friendly toilet cleaners on the market, but be sure to avoid anything with toxic chemicals or palm oil. 

In Conclusion 

Living sustainably isn’t about being perfect. It’s about looking at elements of your lifestyle (small and large) and seeing what you can change to be kinder to the earth. By flushing less, using less virgin toilet paper, and cleaning with cleaner products, you can sleep peacefully knowing that you’ve made important steps towards living more altruistically.

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