Bathrooms are a big deal. According to data presented by Daily Infographic, the average person spends more than two years of their life in the bathroom. Meanwhile, data from Houzz suggests that the average American spends about 30 to 60 minutes a day in their home bathrooms — where activities go far beyond bathing, grooming, and using the toilet, to include “sending emails, texting, checking Facebook, listening to music and even answering or making phone calls.”
Our bathrooms can be relaxing retreats, a wonderful place to go to escape from the stresses of the day with a bath, a shower, or a self-care beauty regimen. Unfortunately, these small spaces can also be a major producer of environmental waste. The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way!
Interested in creating a less wasteful bathroom? Curious about how you can make this important room more eco-friendly? Here are seven important swaps that can make your bathroom more sustainable:
1.) Use Green, Environmentally Sound Cleaning Products
Who wants harsh chemical cleansers in their bathroom? Many store-bought bathroom cleaners contain toxins that can affect your loved ones — and which may actually damage your surfaces over time. To make matters worse, many conventional store-bought cleaning agents come in wasteful packaging — contributing to the millions of metric tons of plastic that get dumped in our oceans each year.
Instead of harsh chemicals, stock up on solutions that will really work, while making your space healthier and happier. That might include creating your own DIY cleaning solutions made from common household supplies such as vinegar, baking soda, water, and lemons. Better yet, when you create your own cleaners, you can control how they get stored — meaning you can say goodbye to wasteful packaging, and hello to reusable, sustainable storage solutions.
When you do go to the store, we always advocate for buying products that you know will work, rather than opting for what happens to be on sale — including concentrated, earth-friendly cleaners and non-toxic disinfectants. Check out this article for some go-to tips for choosing more environmentally friendly cleaning products.
2.) Swap the Plastic Toothbrush for Bamboo
If you want to live a more plastic-free lifestyle, one of the first steps may be to put your money where your mouth is — literally! It is estimated that humans go through more than 3 billion plastic toothbrushes each year – with roughly 80% of these discarded plastic brushes ending up in the sea, where they can damage our precious marine ecosystems.
Instead of disposable plastic toothbrushes, opt for a more sustainable alternative. Common swaps include earth-friendly bamboo toothbrushes, or brushes with recycled aluminum handles. There are also all kinds of other ways to start with more mindful and sustainable oral care. For instance, you can ditch the conventional toothpaste for zero-waste toothpaste tabs; replace plastic floss with a compostable, earth-friendly version; or use concentrated mouthwash, which uses less packaging.
3.) Avoid Liquid Soaps and Body Washes
According to research cited by the great folks at Sustainable Jungle, the number of shampoo bottles that get thrown away every year is enough to completely cover more than 1,160 football fields. That’s just the shampoo bottles! Now, think about all of the other plastic, single-use dispensers that are probably taking up space in your primary bathroom — hand soap, body wash, lotions, the list goes on.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to sidestep all of that packaging waste — and those unwanted chemicals that come loaded into many store-bought gels and liquids. Instead of liquid soaps, shampoos, and conditioners, opt for bar versions. Eco-friendly bar soap and bar shampoo utilize less packaging, while also taking up less space in your bathroom. Many versions also come free of palm oils, parabens, and artificial fragrances. Soap nuts are another fun, eco-friendly product, which are 100% organic and compostable and which can be used for personal care as well as household chores.
4.) Switch to a Reusable Razor for Grooming
The problem with disposable razors is right there in the name: disposable! Plastic razors are meant to only be used a handful of times before they get tossed. Because they are generally not recyclable, this leads to tons of waste taking up space in landfills. Based on recent stats cited by HuffPo, it’s safe to assume that more than 163 million consumers use disposable plastic razors each year… That’s a lot of waste being generated on an annual basis!
Fortunately, there is an easy, sustainable alternative. Safety razors are meant to be used again and again, provided that you change out the recyclable blades on a regular basis. Many safety razors use durable, zero-waste materials such as steel, and come in chic finishes like rose gold or platinum — making for a functional, sustainable showertime showstopper.
5.) Create a More Eco-Friendly Toilet Set-Up
While it may not always be pleasant to think about, we all go to the bathroom each and every day — and use up plenty of paper and plastic goods while we do so. Fortunately, there are many simple swaps you can make — including adopting a zero-waste toilet paper such as that made by Who Gives a Crap, a certified B-Corp that crafts paper products made from bamboo, recycled paper, and which comes free of plastic, inks, dyes, and artificial scents.
In addition to switching out your toilet paper, more and more people are using bidets and bidet attachments, which provide a simple, water-based clean that helps reduce the need for wipes. You can also look into reusable and earth-friendly menstrual products, as well as low-flow, energy efficient fixtures — including dual-flush toilets, as well as units that have been labeled as WaterSense-certified.
6.) Create a Plan for Bathroom Waste
One way to make a difference when it comes to bathroom waste is to simply come up with a plan of attack. For instance, do some research into what products you use in your bathroom that can be composted, and post a list on the bathroom wall as a reminder. You could even put a small composting bin directly in the bathroom, to minimize the likelihood that compostable products will end up in the garbage.
You can do the same with recycling, adding a small recycling bin to the bathroom — making it less likely that your cardboard packaging and recyclable bottles will end up in the garbage. And for your bathroom trash can, be sure to use a compostable can liner, which will break down quickly and efficiently after disposal.
7.) Adopt Eco-Friendly Make-Up Accessories
Whether you’re getting ready for a busy day or relaxing at the end of the night, there are plenty of ways to make your grooming, skincare, and make-up routine more sustainable — including stocking up on products like:
- Reusable face wipes and make-up pads
- Organic cotton wipes and Q-tips
- Zero-waste make-up and moisturizers
- Organic bath towels
- Exfoliating brushes made from bamboo, loofah, etc.
And if you’re trying to turn your bathroom into a spa-like self-care retreat, you can complete the relaxing scene with zero-waste candles; fill your bathroom with naturally purifying plants; invest in a cute soap dish made from bamboo or pottery clay; or bring in a fresh scent with an essential oil diffuser.
Ready to Make This Your Greenest Year Yet?
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, one of our primary goals is to make cleaning less stressful for our clients — and more healthy and sustainable for our environment.
We also believe in passing along our green cleaning knowledge, whenever we can. We love to talk all things cleaning and organizing, including the strategies that can make taking care of your home a greener and more enjoyable practice. The more people we can bring together in our mission for a healthier world, the better off our planet will be!
So, if you ever have a question about comparing cleaning products, starting a new recycling practice, or making a sustainable swap in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch — we’re always happy to talk shop and try to make a difference, however we can.
At SDCS, we’re sincerely passionate about these issues, dedicated to finding real solutions, and always eager to keep the conversation going.
Curious about what steps you can take to have a positive impact on the environment, from every room in your home? Want to set up an environmentally friendly cleaning for your Chicago home? We’d love to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out for your free service estimate!