Updated: Jul 18
Eco swaps can be made everywhere in your house but I believe a huge impact can be made in the bathroom. Therefore I have collated this post to look at zero waste, eco-friendly items in the bathroom. Most bathrooms are full of products and packaging that is harmful to our planet and as these products often get daily use the impact quickly mounts up. This makes it a key place to focus on as part of your zero waste journey and doing more for the environment. The List of eco bathroom changes I have gone through not only aims to reduce your waste but also to reduce or stop the harmful chemical impact many toiletry items also unfortunately contribute to. Here are my top 10 first eco changes to make in your bathroom:
Toothpaste tubes are often made up of different plastics and can have a metal layer, which often makes them non-recyclable. Even though there are some that are recyclable they can be very hard to clean out, allowing them to be recycled. Additionally, as it is an item you use twice a day you quickly go through the tubes, mounting up your waste throughout the year. Therefore, it is a great place to start with your first eco swap. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from, you can get toothpaste tablets, powders or even actual paste in a glass jar. These often come in easily recyclable and reusable containers reducing your waste. Also as they are often made with consideration for the environment they do not typically use harmful chemicals. There are also plenty to try from, so get trying them out and pick the one you like.
To go along with the item above, dental hygiene is incredibly important and I have always been told by my dentist that flossing should be part of your daily teeth clean. Unfortunately, most dental floss is very bad for the environment, as it is made of a nylon coated fibre, which unfortunately is not recyclable or compostable. Further to this, it often comes in a plastic container, again having a greater negative impact. Luckily there is a eco-friendly alternative that I use, which is a charcoal biodegradable dental floss. This, as it says, is biodegradable and often comes in a glass container, which means all you need is the refill and you can be guilt free.
Recently, I have been trying a variety of different bars for a variety of different bathroom needs, including soap, shampoo, shaving and conditioner. I was quite sceptical at first, as I was concerned they would not lather up like typical shampoo or shower gel. However this was quickly squashed when I began to use them and I was pleasantly surprised. If you are destined to get rid of plastic waste you will have to convert to bars in all aspects of your life and I would recommend you do. They don’t use any plastic, the boxes they come in are recyclable or biodegradable or you can pick it up with no packaging at a zero waste store.
Unfortunately, regardless of the advances of razors and how close of a shave they can give they also use a tremendous amount of plastic in their handles and in their heads, which far too often needs to be frequently replaced and costs you a lot of money. Well regardless of what these companies say, they want you to replace them due to them creating an endless supply of money. As safety razors do not contain any plastic and the metal is recyclable you can get rid of a huge amount of the waste you produce. Also, as the blades are incredibly compact you can store a lot more, allowing you to buy in bulk. Look into how your local council recycles these as they are sharp, possibly restricting how they are disposed of. However, with a simple change and a little practice you could pick up these eco-friendly swaps.
I have had people tell me that shampoo and conditioner bars just don’t cut it for them, although I have not had this problem and have enjoyed trying different options I understand it does not work for everyone. Therefore, as a simple alternative eco-friendly option you can get a container and go to an eco-store to fill them up. Eco-stores are popping up everywhere and often have a fairly decent range of shower gels, shampoos and conditioners to select. Make sure your container is durable and try to make it last as long as possible. Remember reducing your waste is a must for anyone who wants to do more for the environment.
You can use these for cleaning all sorts of things but they area also a great green addition to the bathroom. Most sponges sold at your local supermarket are unfortunately made of polyester, polyurethane again contributing to awful micro plastics. Well loofahs grow on a plant and once dried out can be a very useful and durable (I would say more durable than the majority of generic sponges). Even if you do not like Loofahs you can get the one I used, which is 100% cellulose which is a naturally hard-wearing wood fibre. Again this is biodegradable and works great. Due to the fact these sponges can be grown makes them incredibly sustainable and as they can be biodegradable and even compostable they are also waste free.
Now I do not think I have ever used a toilet brush that lasted a long time, due to it snapping shortly after sitting in a terribly moist condition. Additionally, they are nearly always either completely made of or majority made of plastic. Again, I will not go into why this is obviously a bad thing. Considering all this, why not try an eco-alternative with a coconut toilet brush, wooden handle and stainless steel to connect it all. Most of this will be biodegradable or recyclable at the end of its life and create an eco-friendly rustic vibe to your bathroom.
Toothbrushes are another field of plastic, which you might have seen on your newsfeed floating in the ocean or stuck out of the ocean bed. This is because they are a tremendous cause of plastic that causes catastrophic harm to the environment. It is also an item you use daily and when they are disposed of they contribute to a huge amount of waste over your lifetime. Therefore there are a number of eco-toothbrushes that are often made of wood and bamboo fibres, which can be biodegradable and even compostable.
I also understand that many dentists note electric toothbrushes are better for cleaning. Although it is harder to find eco-friendly alternatives there are some out there such as my recent purchase of the Suri electrical toothbrush. Even if you already have an electric toothbrush to mitigate the waste from replacing their heads you can get eco-friendly electric toothbrushes heads. Again these are often made from bamboo and can be compostable. Either way it reduces your waste, whilst allowing you to clean your teeth and be an eco-conscious individual.
I don’t use these much myself but I understand how useful cotton pads can be but unfortunately they still add to the growing waste we humans create. As a great alternative to the rubbish you contribute too you can get reusable makeup pads. I have seen these made from upcycling old clothes to new fabric, which can be reused. The alternatives often comes with a mesh bag that can be used to store them and put them into the wash to be reused again.
Bamboo appears to be a wonder material, which is growing in popularity (pardon the pun) I believe this is due to its ability to be formed into many things, including a cotton-like material. Therefore, companies are able to make biodegradable cotton buds that are entirely made of bamboo. This is obviously great, as it is biodegradable, comes from a sustainable source and stops you using dreaded single use plastic that is polluting our planet.
The bathroom is another place you can begin to make swaps from your weekly shop and transition to a sustainable lifestyle, lessening your negative impact on the environment. I hope this post will allow you to discover some eco-friendly products that can work better than the typical ones and allow you to use your bathroom guilt free. You don’t need to rush to get these as the items you already have are the most sustainable, so keep using them for now but over time consider some of the eco-changes I recommend above and make them part of your new green life. what are some of your top eco bathroom swaps?