After the kitchen, the bathroom is probably the most waste-laden room in the house. Many of us have half a dozen tubes of this and that, a shower caddy full of hair and skin potions and any number of plastic paraphernalia, from toothbrushes to loofahs to cotton swabs. In other words, on the journey to low-waste and no-waste living, the bathroom is going to require an eye-opening stop.
Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive ways to reimagine our bathroom business, and with a tweak here and there, the whole set-up can become seriously low-waste in an afternoon or two. No doubt, with landfills filling far too fast and waste streams somehow growing more turbid all the while, now is a good time for us all to reconsider how we are keeping ourselves clean, noting that keeping the planet clean is just as important.
Here’s how to pick up your green game and make your bathroom a little more environmentally friendly.
Source: Immy Lily/Youtube
Not only do most commercial hygiene products come in plastic bottles (that can be recycled BTW), but they have unsavory chemicals in them. These chemicals are bad for us, and they are bad for the environment when they go down the drain. We can make safe, clean, effective hygiene products at home with natural ingredients. This helps to eliminate packaging, and the hygiene products are notably cheaper.
It can be difficult to find every bathroom buddy in compostable form, but many bamboo and other versions are now available. Bamboo toothbrushes are commonplace, as is bamboo (or silk, for those okay with that) floss. Natural loofahs are a real thing, from loofah gourds not ocean sponges. We could look for wood hairbrushes or cotton swabs with paper sticks in the middle instead of plastic. We just have to be conscious about what options we have and utilize the more eco choices.
Disposable bathroom products have become the convention, but that wasn’t always the case. Disposable razors are an easy fix in this arena. A good electric shaver or a reusable razor will create less waste and save you money in the long run. For those serious about no waste, reusable menstrual cups have become a more ecological option than tampons and pads. Forget about travel-size anything or throw-away versions for nights away.
Even if DIY hygiene products aren’t in your wheelhouse, there might still be the option for refillable hygiene products. Some places have started to offer bulk shampoos, soaps and so on, or refill pouches, which at least reduce waste, are readily available online. It’s a tiny bit of effort to make a big difference in the long run.
Packaging in general is important to consider in the bathroom. Buying in bulk can cut down of packaging for toilet paper, and in addition to recycled toilet tissue, some companies are offering plastic-free packaging of their toilet rolls. It’s also important to realize hygiene products packaging could be recyclable, and that’s worth seeking out if you do continue to buy them.
Lots of us enjoy bathroom luxuries like bath salts, bath bombs and sugar scrubs to make us feel self-loved and well-looked-after. Well, wonderful versions of these can be made at home, and even better, we can tailor them to our own tastes. In fact, for those who wear make-up and perfume, these can be made at home as well.
While not technically toiletries, we do often have a collection of cleaners in the bathroom, often right next to the toilet. These cleaners could be made with natural ingredients and kept in reusable containers to help us both reduce the waste we are producing and green the house up a bit. There’s no need to put harsh chemicals everywhere, and it’s a habit we must break.
For those looking to go all-in on a waste-free bathroom, perhaps the most ecological step one could make is getting a composting toilet. This would do away with waste in the form of human excretions, as well as toilet tissue, going into the stuff-with-no-useful-place waste stream. The fact of the matter is humanure is a viable and rich fertilizer for fruit trees and shrubbery. We just have to be more realistic about dealing with it.
Well, some of these are easy steps, ready for taking right now, and some of these could be explored in the near future for the ecowarrior apt to make some serious life changes. What is in no doubt is that all of us need to start moving in this direction as opposed to continuing on the harmful hygienic avenue most of us have been taking.
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