How to make your bathroom more sustainable
An article written by Tallulah Hutson.
Photo by Lisa Moyneur on Unsplash
Bathrooms are a diverse part of our homes. They can be serene backdrops for unwinding or the stage where we prepare to kick-start our day. But they are also where we throw away a lot of single-use waste. Between the shampoo bottles, plastic razors and even loo paper, the average bathroom isn’t a very sustainable place. Luckily, there are plenty of solutions just a few small changes away!
Sustainable Shower Thoughts
We can all picture the scene. Half-awake in the shower in the early hours. Suddenly there’s an abrupt clatter. Your foot has been savagely attacked by a shampoo bottle with some kind of mind of its own. Glossy liquids leak from multi-coloured containers that never seem to wash out quite well enough to recycle.
One way to cut the fuss and the plastic out is by trying solid shampoo and conditioner bars instead! Just like a bar of body or hand soap, solid shampoos and conditioners can be sold wrapped in paper, which can be easily recycled. They lather like liquid shampoo, and as they are light and take up less room the more they are used, they’re also ideal for hair-washing on the move.
Handmade cosmetics company Lush stocks a range of plastic-free bathroom products including solid hair washing solutions. Lush’s signature bright colours and fresh, fruity smells make trying out their solid shampoos all the more enjoyable. As Lush’s products are all biodegradable, you can also feel more comfortable about what you’re washing away.
If liquid shampoo is more your style, you can still swap out some of that plastic. There are a range of companies that distribute their vegan and cruelty-free hair and skin care products in plastic-free, refillable packaging. Plaine Products, based in the US, and Kind Beeuty, who ship to several countries across Europe, Scandinavia and North America, are just two examples.
Both place their products in metal or glass containers that can be reused having been sent back to the company when empty. The idea is to subscribe, or order refills partway through product use so that you’re never caught without. Sending your empties back once you crack into those refills completes the circular system. Saving up your empties to send back in bulk, as Kind Beauty suggests doing, cuts the process’s CO2 output too.
Friction Free Shaving uses a similar strategy in their effort to reduce the waste generated by the women’s razor industry. They offer a flexible subscription plan for receiving recyclable razor heads at personalised time intervals. These razor heads are designed to be used with FFS’s long-life metal razor handle, a one-time purchase at the beginning of the plan. Used razor heads can then be returned to Friction Free Shaving, in provided cardboard packaging, to be recycled.
To complete your plastic-free shower shelf, opt for sponges and soap dishes made from natural materials. A variety of wood, fibre, bioplastic and bamboo bathroom accessories are available through All Natural Soap Co., with products ranging from biodegradable soap cases and stands to natural fibre shower puffs and flannels. This brand also adds to the sustainable soap options out there with their cruelty-free and all-natural men’s shaving soaps, soap bars, solid shampoos and even a shampoo powder, which can be mixed with water in a reusable bottle.
The list of available environmentally conscious bath products is long, ever-expanding and just a short internet search away. Even just one product change can add up to a lot of plastic saved!
Something New for the Loo
Last but not least, we must discuss the loo. Whilst loo paper is not something we would want to recycle, it is something we can get from a sustainable source!
Many supermarkets and shops stock loo paper made by companies that pledge to plant a certain number of trees per purchase, which could be a step in the right direction. One company has leapt ahead, however, with loo rolls made out of 100% recycled material.
Who Gives A Crap delivers this paper-wrapped, lively patterned loo roll to your door at regular intervals of your choosing. Although committing to set purchases or larger orders could feel a bit financially frightening, the average cost of loo paper in stores is often greater. This means you can save money by the roll whilst also supporting a sustainability-focussed business. Plus, regular delivery dates mean you’re unlikely to ever get stuck without!
Who Gives A Crap also donate 50% of their profits to loo-building projects for people who don’t have access to toilet facilities. Supporting conscientious companies like this during our everyday bathroom activities is another small way we can contribute to positive change.
Whether you’re ready to revamp all your bathroom buys or try out your first alternative, making our bathrooms a bit more sustainable can be done easily today, and will add an extra dose of positivity to how we start and finish each day!