How to go Zero-Waste in the Bathroom [8 Top Tips]
Going zero-waste can seem daunting, even the term can make you feel like you're shooting for the impossible. The good news is that it’s never been easier to make more sustainable choices in how you live your life, to reduce waste, and finally kick that plastic habit to the curb, all you need to make a success of your new resolve is our guiding hand...
We've reduced the move to zero-waste into manageable and actionable hacks you can implement and get the ball rolling on your zero-waste journey, today.
The Zero-Waste Bathroom
Zero-Waste bathroom inspo
The bathroom is rife with single-use plastic. Pretty much every ritual associated with washing, brushing, cleaning and the loo involves some sort of plastic, waste, or the use of a potentially toxic product! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are now more sustainable alternatives to everything you need in your bathroom.
Check out our favourite bathroom swaps below:
#1 Brush better with bamboo!
Naturally, we're going to begin with Bamboo Toothbrushes, our favourite item and yours, and a product that is fast becoming the flagbearer for people wishing to reduce their environmental footprint and commit to plastic-free living. Bamboo toothbrushes are rapidly replacing plastic brushes in bathrooms all over the planet, and for very good reasons; not only is Bamboo one of the worlds’ most sustainable crops, but the plastic alternative is one of the worst plastic pollutants in the world — 1 billion plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill in the US alone, clearly this is unsustainable for the health of our planet.
By making this simple switch you could save hundreds of polluting, plastic toothbrushes going to landfill in your lifetime. And that's just one person making a commitment to switch one product.
Multiply this across your family and friends and suddenly the impact of the humble toothbrush becomes apparent.
Ps. If you’re looking for a bamboo toothbrush, we have you covered - our brushes are so bambooey they even contain the plant's fibres in their bristles - pretty neat! Check them out on our shop, or click here to find them on Amazon.
Since starting Soseas in August 2018 we’ve replaced well over 10,000 plastic toothbrushes with a more sustainable bamboo alternative!
#2 Be a boss of floss.
It's one of those things we say we do, and that we could all probably do much more of for the sake of our own oral health and that's to floss. Sticking to a good flossing habit shouldn't come at the expense of the planet, however.
Dental floss is another single-use pollutant which by definition makes it extremely polluting. Imagine all those fine strands of polyester persisting in our environment presenting a very real choking hazard to our marine and land wildlife. Suddenly, that strip of dental floss we're holding between our fingers starts to take on more sinister characteristics.
Many companies are now making alternatives from silk, or plant-derived alternatives suitable for the vegans amongst you. Check out some fab flosses here (just make sure the one you use doesn’t contain hidden polyester!)
#3 Rock the reusable razor
Some 2 billion plastic razors are disposed of annually and that's in the US alone. Due to the combination of materials used in their manufacture, and sharp blades they contain, disposable razors are seldom recycled. Meaning that plastic razor you used and threw away years ago is more than likely buried under an enormous pile of waste in a landfill, where it will remain as a potential environmental hazard for many, many more years to come.
The solution is the old school safety razor, not only are they plastic-free and fully recyclable they are also more economical in the long run!
Oh, and they also look super nice on your bathroom shelf.
image source: http://janeandsimpleliving.com
#4 Swap to a sustainable soap
Not only do most soaps come wrapped in unnecessary plastic packaging but many contain ingredients that would make your skin crawl at the thought of actually putting them on your body!
Many common ingredients such as SLS, Triclosan and even some of the perfumes used can have a wide range of negative effects from mild irritation and allergic reactions to some possible links to certain cancers and endocrine problems.
But fear not, many brands are now creating much better alternatives featuring natural ingredients and plastic-free packaging. They often have the added bonus of making your bathroom smell amazzzzing!
#5 Be a water-saving warrior
Every single minute spent in the shower has the potential to use up to 30 litres of water. We live in a world in which drinking water is in short supply for many communities and this situation is rapidly spreading to across the globe. There has never been a better or more necessary time to consider how we use water and cut down on waste. Here are our four quick tips for saving water in the bathroom:
- Take shorter showers - try taking a shower in the time it takes for you to play one of your favourite songs.
- Turn the tap off whilst you're brushing your teeth.
- Fix your leaky loo - some loo leaks could be wasting up to 400 litres of water a day!
- Fix dripping taps by replacing the washers.
#6 Make your own toiletries
Many toiletries can be made at home from a few simple ingredients that won’t cost the world, are kinder to you and the environment, and are free from plastic.
See below for some of our favourite recipes:
#7 Give a crap
Excuse the profanity but when it comes to unsustainable toilet use my potty mouth gets the better of me.
Most toilet paper is made from unsustainable wood. Yes, trees are cut down to make the paper we flush down the toilet. And then there's this:
- Bleaching - most toilet papers are chemically bleached to make them white. Bleaching is a highly polluting and toxic process, make sure you look for unbleached paper when shopping for loo roll.
- Unrecycled - Over 95% of toilet paper is made from unrecycled paper and is clearly unrecyclable after use. Buy toilet paper made from recycled paper.
- Packaging - Most shop-bought paper comes wrapped in excessive amounts of unnecessary plastic packaging. Buy the paper-wrapped paper instead.
Who Gives A Crap is a fantastic and sustainable alternative. They give 50% of their profits to building toilets for those people who don’t have access to one, reducing the risk of diseases such as cholera spreading throughout families and communities. This product is a must buy on your Zero-Waste Bathroom shopping list.
image source: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/
#8 Ban the beads
Whilst microbeads have now been banned in parts of North America and Europe, they are still in widespread use across the world. Not only are these plastic beads totaallllyyy pointless but they are also extremely hazardous.
This is because they fall into the category of the dreaded microplastic. These microplastics beads are not removed during water and sewage treatments. As a result, they end up back in our watercourses eventually making their way into our drinking water, and the oceans where mistaken for food, they are ingested by aquatic life which in turn is eaten by the fish that ends up on our plates.
There we have it! Eight tips you can implement in your bathroom today to reduce waste and plastic, and bring sustainability back into your bathroom.
Let us know which is your favourite tip by leaving a comment below, and remember to share this post with family and friends to help them achieve a zero-waste bathroom too!
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Also in Blog
We're 4 interviews into our zero-waste hero series and we have gained some amazing insight from amazing champions of sustainability, to check out the interviews we've done so far click here.
For our fourth interview we spoke to Elsa a Sustainability masters graduate and content creator based in Birmingham.