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Believe it or not, just about every room in our homes can become more sustainable just by making a few conscious swaps. The room that often produces the most waste, in particular, is our bathrooms. It’s actually been calculated that the average person uses 52,000 bathroom products over the course of their lifetime. It makes sense since we’ve been accustomed to things like disposable shower products, single-use wipes, and plastic toothbrushes without fully understanding the environmental consequences.
In addition to this its not just what makes up your cleaning routine, it's also about the products you use to clean your bathroom too. But don't worry, we have laid out the steps you can take to make this happen easily. Let us explain!
Two things in the bathroom that don’t appear to be environmental stressors but secretly are? Our towels and flannels. This time, it’s not necessarily due to plastic packaging, but it’s consequences show up when we look at how the fabric is sourced, the materials, how it wears over time, and how it affects our skin. Most towels and flannels are made from terry cloth, which is a form of cotton but is commonly blended together with polyester and silk. This means that traditional towels are treated with harsh chemicals that neither your skin nor the planet likes.
Repurpose your old towels into cleaning rags, and opt for sustainably sourced Turkish cotton towels and 100% bamboo face. With these alternatives, you’ll not only be doing your skin a favor but also the environment as they don't shed plastic fibres when they are washed and they often dry quicker after being washed!
As our dental hygienists would recommend, your toothbrush should be swapped out every three to four months. Well, as much as we all want healthy teeth, it’s painful to think about how many plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills every year alongside their plastic packaging. Instead, swap it out for a compostable bamboo toothbrush with charcoal-infused bristles with natural antibacterial properties.
In addition to a brush, have you also seen the latest addition to plastic free dental care? A tongue scraper! Made from copper, this must-have will rid your mouth of bad breath by simply pulling it your tongue.
In fact, there are eco-friendly swaps you can make for your entire dental hygiene routine! When you run out of toothpaste, swap to an all-natural alternative either in a glass jar or tablet form. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to floss. Opt for a vegan plastic-free option, and at Acala we offer floss refills - saving yet more packaging!
If your razor is an essential part of your shower routine, take a moment to rethink how you shave. Are you using a disposable razor? If so, unfortunately, millions of plastic razors pile up in landfills and each one takes hundreds of years to decompose. Not to mention the price you have to pay to get a smooth shave every time you need a new razor. Save your money by swapping your disposable for a safety razor, made from stainless steel instead of plastic with a biodegradable, bamboo handle. The blades last so much longer and when they are blunt, simply purchase a plastic-free pack of replacement blades
To get the most out of your soaps and shampoo bars consider getting a natural sisal soap saver bag. Placing a soap or shampoo into the bag and briefly dampening under the shower will quickly and easily create a lather with enough bubbles for your wash. It then acts as a light exfoliator. It makes soaps last longer and is a great place for the soap to dry out!
The most common staple in all of our showers, soap, can also be swapped for a sustainable option! Most body washes are wrapped in layers of unnecessary plastic packaging, not to mention contain harsh chemicals that are dangerous to lather your skin in. Opt for bar soap, wrapped in recycled paper, made with natural ingredients, and containing zero parabens or preservatives. Once you’ve used up the entire bar, you’re left with no waste!
As attached as you might be to your favorite shampoo and conditioner, know that the product doesn’t need to come in bottle form to get the same results. Just like a bar of soap, you can also find zero-waste, plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars! As you already know, replenishing your bottles creates huge amount of plastic waste, so a bar is the way to go, simply wrapped in a recycled piece of paper.
And once again, deodorants are always sold in plastic containers. For the sake of your long-term health and carbon footprint, make the switch to a natural deodorant which comes in a paperboard tube or packaging, meant to be recycled at the end of its life. Made from 100% natural and organic ingredients, you’ll still smell just as fresh after a sweaty day!
While most of us probably dread this part the most, we all know that our weekly cleaning must get done one way or another! Why not make it eco-friendly and non-toxic? For years, the only cleaning products on the market contained harsh and toxic chemicals that aren’t safe to be breathing in. If you take a look at your cleaning bucket, we’re almost certain you’ll find five or more plastic bottles that you repurchase every few months.
The only way we should be cleaning is with safe, natural, and zero-waste products. The next time you need refills, opt for 100% natural products like an essential oil-infused scrub for the toilet, a cleansing bar for bathroom surfaces, and a mineral-based solution to clean the floors.
Here a few zero-waste tips, and perhaps the most convenient ones - repurpose and reuse!
Have an old jam jar that you no longer need? Repurpose it into a toothbrush holder.
An old t-shirt that no longer fits in your wardrobe? Repurpose it into a cleaning rag to wipe your bathroom counters.
The purpose of being eco-conscious isn’t to accumulate more items in your home and toss out your old ones, but it’s actually to find uses for things that you already have while making conscious purchases from then on. That’s why, when we say that zero-waste practices won’t cost you more money or time despite common belief, we truly mean it!