Here are some of the top swaps you can make in the staple products you buy for the bathroom, so go eco and create a bathroom filled with natural, sustainable products to rival a holistic spa!
1. Swap the body wash for a bar of soap
So this one isn’t just all about what´s in the bottle, but about the bottle itself. The amount of plastic that goes to landfill is still increasing so as consumers we need to move away from recycling and just eliminate bringing plastic into the home wherever we can. One easy solution is to ditch the commercial body wash altogether and go for a bar of soap. There are loads of beautiful brands that don’t come packaged in plastic and of course, you can always make your own with a pre-bought melt and pour mixture and some moulds. If you want to get more adventurous then have a read of our Introduction to Soap Making blog and do it the traditional way.
2. Go for a bamboo toothbrush
This is a follow up from the last one in that the goal of the game is to reduce plastic. We love The Humble Co. bamboo brushes with their ergonomic design and are made from sustainably sourced bamboo. The bristles are made from industry standard nylon-6 so are not bio-degradable – you will need to pull them out with a pair of tweezers and put the bristles into the plastic recycling (as they are so small and easily lost best to wrap them up in something else before you dispose of them).
3. Re-think your toothpaste
Plastic tubes of toothpaste cannot be recycled unless your council has a special recycling programme so a large majority of them just end up in landfill. Big brands like Colgate have developed their Smile for Good toothpaste which is vegan and comes in a recyclable tube but the better option is purchase your toothpaste in a glass jar – brands like GeoOrganics cover all things oral care for adults and kids in their product range and everything is fully recyclable. As a bonus, you can also upcycle the empty glass jars – they make great candle holders!
4. Try bars of shampoo and conditioner
Another staple product where you can eliminate the plastic and swap to a bar is hair care – shampoo and conditioner bars can now be found in high street drug stores but check there is no plastic in the packaging before purchasing. There are lots of brands to choose from and you will need to experiment to find the one that works for you but rest assured they cater for all different hair types so there will be one out there for you. If you want to experiment with making your own shampoo and hair masks then check out our DIY Recipes section for some recipes.
5. Lifetime safety razors
Plastic razors are a nightmare to recycle because they contain both metal and plastic – they need to be pulled apart and the component parts separated before recycling. While we would like to think that this happens, realistically it’s more of a hit and miss affair with tonnes of razors going to landfill every week. If you buy yourself a lifetime metal razor it will last you that long – a lifetime, and all you need to do is to buy blades. Because the blades are metal they are easy to recycle, in fact the blades can now be sharpened as well so you get extra life out of every cent spent. Check out German brand Merkur for the best in safety razors, big name brands like Gillette are also getting in on the action with their new King C. re-usable razor for men.
6. Swap shaving cream for a bar & a brush
Cans of shaving cream create a huge amount of waste and also require more resources to produce due to the packaging and the propellants needed to force the product out of the can. Quite aside from this, they are made up of 20-30% of triethanolamine, which is not only derived from petroleum, but is listed as exacerbating or causing asthma, skin irritations and contact dermatitis and can also have an effect on our immune and respiratory systems. There are lots of shaving bars now available for men and women, and you can purchase beautiful wooden shaving brushes to make shaving a pleasure – shaving soap tends to be harder than normal soap so using a brush will help you work up a better lather so your skin is better protected from the blade.
7. Loo Roll
Recycled loo roll has moved on from the old paper thin, brown coloured sheets of old and you can now buy beautifully soft loo roll made from bamboo from companies like Bumboo, Who Gives a Crap and Cheeky Panda.
8. DIY cleaning products
I covered some of my favourite DIY cleaning products for the bathroom in my last blog but I´m featuring them again. Given the chemical make up of shop bought products it´s a safe bet that you will be doing your body and the environment a service by switching to making your own. Eliminate your exposure to chlorine based bleaching agents, fragrance and solvents such as sodium hydroxide which all have a raft of negative health effects associated with them and make your own with some basic and easily sourced ingredients.
Having a green home doesn´t have to be difficult or onerous. Start with one room and start with one change. The key is keeping it simple so identify the products that are your staples and swap one out at a time. Once you´ve accustomed yourself to that change, move onto the next. Before you know it, you will have made a whole load of positive changes for the better, both for your body and the environment.