How To Create A Truly Sustainable Bathroom In Your Home. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Tiffany Kelly, founder of Beyond Bathroom. Tiffany will be sharing 16 ways to make your bathroom Sustainable. Your bathroom is arguably the most wasteful room in your house. So, if you’re aiming to improve the sustainability of your home, it’s a great place to start.
How To Create A Truly Sustainable Bathroom In Your Home
Your bathroom is arguably the most wasteful room in your house. So, if you’re aiming to improve the sustainability of your home, it’s a great place to start.
With some simple swaps and a slight mindset change when making purchases, you can create a healthy and sustainable environment in your own space while rejuvenating and protecting the planet.
“The bathroom is a place where the average person is ploughing through shampoo bottles, shower gel, toilet paper, wet wipes, toothbrushes etc. There is a lot of needless waste going on in the bathroom. It’s an area where you can create a great deal of chaos for the planet.”
-Richard Souber, Co-Founder of The Little Green Orca.
Beyond Bamboo is an ethical, sustainable online marketplace where every seller has been vetted, so we’ve brought together all our sellers and our in-house expertise to give you a few easy ways to make your bathroom sustainable:
Changing the products you buy and thinking about the packaging they come in is a great place to start. Here are a few things to think about next time you shop for your bathroom essentials.
For more sustainable options in your bathroom, opt for refillable that can be refilled at your local conscious living shop. Choose compostable packaging and glass or metal containers that last. This prolongs existing materials and minimises the new materials needed while also lowering transport costs and C02 emissions. Refillable bottles are usually glass or metal and can look stylish in your bathroom.
“The main benefit of a refillable bottle is reducing plastic production. It’s essential for us as a company to keep all of our bottles in circulation. That way, we can prolong the use of that one bottle, keep it out of recycling, out of the landfill, but then even when it’s damaged, even when it’s out of use, it can still be recycled or repurposed.”
-Gavin Taylor, Founder – No Ordinary
Go Plastic Free
Less than a third of all plastic in the U.K. is recycled, and every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. So, every time you buy new shampoo, toilet cleaner or hand soap, make sure it doesn’t come in single-use plastic.
Choose Sustainable Materials
Bamboo is a great sustainable choice: it grows fast, is completely renewable, and can be made into many items, such as toothbrushes, razors, cotton buds, washcloths, toilet rolls, soap dishes, and hair and makeup brushes. The list is endless! These bamboo products are also compostable once you’ve finished with them, so they are all zero-waste.
Think of anything that can be washed and used time and time again. This helps cut down on single-use items such as wet wipes (which often contain micro-plastics), plastic packaging and chemical toxins; all of these end up in the bin and then landfill or our oceans. Washcloths and reusable makeup remover pads are a great place to start.
Products derived from natural substances generally contain far fewer toxins. This is good news for the environment (fewer toxins being washed down drains, into water supplies and harming wildlife) and for our health. Reducing the toxins in our diet and the products that we use directly on our bodies will reduce the chances of allergic reactions, dry skin, and the build-up of harmful additives, leading to health problems and disease.
Soap, Shampoo and Moisturiser Bars
The move towards bars rather than bottles is an excellent step in the right direction. Many of these bars are made from natural ingredients and are kind to the skin. Look out for ones packaged in cardboard or paper rather than plastic. Plastic is hard to recycle and requires fossil fuels in its production; the more we can remove plastic from our bathroom purchases, the better. Bars are inexpensive swaps, and you can experiment with the many different fragrances and textures to find the ones that suit you and your family’s needs.
“My favourite easy sustainable swaps for the bathroom are body bars and shampoo bars. I don’t buy wash products in plastic bottles anymore, and I’m enjoying the feel of the soap bars better”.
-Emani Jeram, Founder – B&W: The Collection
Water is a common additive because it’s both an affordable and a neutral ingredient – it can be added to virtually any product without concerns over skin reactions. However, H2O promotes the growth of microorganisms, which means preservatives must also be used, raising questions over potential negative impacts. Waterless enthusiasts will also argue that water dries out the skin, taking natural oils away as it evaporates. The benefit of an anhydrous (waterless) product is that when you remove the water, you can produce a more highly concentrated formula, which means lighter applications of a product with the same amount of oomph. In other words, a little goes a long way. What’s more, this smaller footprint requires less packaging and reduces transportation costs.
Choose Cruelty-Free Products
Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in U.S. laboratories for biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing. Cruelty-free is a label for a product that does not harm or kill animals anywhere along its supply chain. Products tested on animals are not considered cruelty-free since these tests are often painful and cause the suffering and death of the animal. Look for Vegan Society or Leaping Bunny Certified products to ensure that the products have not been tested on animals.
“The next time you are hunting for your favourite Fuschia pink lipstick, ask the shop owner to show you a vegan and cruelty-free product. Be a smart consumer, do not let animal-tested products enter your household”.
-Eve & Chidi, Founders – Auklett
This is one of those items that most of us feel we cannot live without. And we get that: the zero-waste washcloth option is not that appealing! However, you can now choose from many eco-friendly brands that have developed rolls made from sustainable materials (such as Bamboo). They have also thought carefully about their packaging, ensuring that it is either 100% biodegradable or fully recyclable. And many support community projects too – so what’s not to love?
SUSTAINABLE HABITS IN YOUR BATHROOM
Changing the products you consume in your bathroom will positively impact you. Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to sustainability. But it’s not just the products we buy, but also our bathroom habits.
This is a big one in the bathroom as we are in there primarily to use water. Think about turning off the taps when it’s not necessary to keep them running, such as brushing your teeth. Choose a shower instead of a bath and take shorter showers. You can install a water-saving showerhead and water-efficient taps – doing so will save on water and reduce energy costs.
Around 30% of the total water used in a household comes from flushing the toilet. To avoid this unnecessarily large amount of waste, you could upgrade your toilet to a water-efficient one. Toilets with a dual flush offer users the choice of how much water they need to use per flush and typically only use up to 6 litres per flush – that’s over half the amount of a traditional toilet.
When it comes to cleaning, it does pay to shop around and look for ethical, non-toxic brands with formulated solutions that are not harmful to our waterways and the wildlife that live in them. And buy them in concentrated form and refillable bottles. It’s also important to consider the health benefits to you and your family of switching to non-toxic cleaners. Many of the chemical cleaning agents are known to have health implications.
For example, in the last decade, B Corporated Delphis Eco has expanded from a handful of products to over 100. Each must pass two simple tests: (1) they have to work and their less planet-friendly competitors; (2) they must be formulated with aquatic organisms in mind. Their products are professional grade and clean harsh environments like schools, homes, hospitals, restaurants, etc.
“Beyond Bamboo shares the same values as Delphis Eco, educating and encouraging consumers on steps they can take to live a more sustainable life.”
-Mark Jankovich, Founder – Delphis Eco
SUSTAINABLE DECORATION IN YOUR BATHROOM
If you’re considering redecorating your bathroom, this is the perfect time to think first about the environment.
Do you need to pull out that retro avocado suite? The vintage look is a significant trend in modern bathrooms, and there are fabulous ways to up-cycle what you already have to give it a personal touch and a new feel. Upcycling will cost you and the planet a lot less, and you’ll be cutting down on waste and the use of new raw materials.
Also, think about the paint you choose. There are eco-conscious paint brands on the market now that offer smart solutions, such as no single-use paint tester pots, plastic-free, and paints containing shallow levels of toxins. You can even get paintbrushes and painting supplies made from sustainably-harvested Bamboo, recycled brush filaments and recyclable steel.
Many plants love the humid, moist environment your bathroom can provide and are often great for air purification. Houseplants can filter out harmful toxins from things like paint and cleaners and help to clean the air that we breathe in.
If you like to use candles and reed diffusers to help create a relaxing ambience at bath time and keep your room smelling fresh, consider brands using sustainable and natural methods to formulate their fragrances. There are dozens of scents, colours, and designs to choose from.
The bathroom can be a place of sanctuary and rejuvenation, so it’s crucial to ensure that while we look after ourselves, we also protect the planet by supporting brands that care about ethics and the environment.
SUPPORT LOCAL BRANDS CHAMPIONING SUSTAINABLE CHANGE
When we start to make more conscious choices about how we live and the products we purchase, we often notice that we begin to buy from smaller, independent brands. These usually lead the way with natural, low waste, sustainable alternatives. These smaller businesses are set up by passionate people who have spotted the need for change. They have developed products and services that offer us greener, healthier alternatives. Eco-friendly or sustainable products often seem to have a higher price tag. Still, in our experience, these items generally have a longer life, so you end up making savings compared to sticking with the traditional plastic bottle and chemical-filled brands that we’re used to seeing on supermarket shelves. In addition, many of these small independent brands are also supporting charities and their communities, which contributes towards a more circular, no-waste approach to the economy.
“When comparing more sustainable products to cheaper options on the supermarket shelves, there is a price difference, but once you’re living more sustainably, you look beyond just price. It’s a much more holistic approach; considering the environmental impact of the products you will buy and the waste they will create is an important consideration. When living more sustainably, you tend to buy less of everything but every purchase you do make much more carefully considered”.
-Camilla Gaillardin, Co-Founder – milly&sissy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tiffany Kelly is the founder of Beyond Bamboo, a global community of sustainable products, services and suppliers working as a collective to restore and rejuvenate the planet. With a marketplace, a B2B supplier portal, a knowledge hub and a team of passionate people dedicated to triple bottom line reporting, Beyond Bamboo aim to help us all do well by doing good.