If you are making positive changes in your home towards a more sustainable life that produces less waste, then your bathroom should be at the top of your list. From the amount of water that flows through your taps to the products you use, there are plenty of opportunities to make more sustainable choices.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Here are seven tips you can use for a more eco-friendly bathroom in your own home.
Reduce water consumption
We use a lot of water in the bathroom between taking a shower or bath, washing hands, and flushing the toilet. Now, no one is suggesting you stop doing these things. But there are ways to consume less water and still get the job done.
Your average toilet uses a whopping 9.8 litres of water per flush, but going with a more eco-friendly toilet can reduce that consumption by at least half. Likewise, baths and showers both consume a lot of water—a bath can run you 75 litres, and a shower runs through about 4 litres a minute, so it depends on how long you shower.
If you are aiming to reduce your water consumption in the bathroom, you can opt for a low-flow toilet, low-flow showerhead, and low-flow faucet, all of which can help you save water.
But you don’t have to make bathroom appliance modifications to reduce your water consumption. There are a number of practices that you can undertake in your day-to-day bathroom routine to help cut back on water use.
When you’re brushing your teeth, try only turning on the water when you need to put your brush under it. Likewise, when you’re having a shower, turn off the water while you’re lathering up to cut back on how much unnecessarily goes down the drain.
If you want to reduce the amount of water that your toilet uses, you can add a brick into the tank. That way there’s less space to fill with water when you flush. Finally, make sure you regularly check for leaks, which not only waste water but can significantly raise your water bill!
Use refillable containers
There is a lot of single-use plastic in our bathrooms in the form of shampoo, conditioner, and other beauty product bottles. Instead of replacing a small bottle every single time, you could consider purchasing these products in bulk and refilling reusable bottles.
Bulk beauty products might seem like a strange purchase, but there are plenty of places you can get your hands on some of them. Green Cricket and Gentle Earth are both online Canadian retailers that allow you to purchase bulk body care products.
If bulk buying isn’t the best solution for you, you could opt for solid shampoo and conditioner – there are many new plastic-free beauty companies out there that make products for different skin and hair types, including Habitat and Unwrapped Life. You could also try creating DIY beauty products—just make sure you look into the best at-home ingredients for you and your hair (or skin).
Change out your lights
When we move towards more energy-efficient lighting, we sometimes forget about smaller rooms like the bathroom. But older light fixtures such as incandescent light bulbs use a lot of unnecessary energy, so consider making a positive lighting change in your bathroom by using LED bulbs.
You can also switch out heavy curtains and drapes for lighter choices that allow for natural light into the bathroom (so long as they still keep you shaded from prying eyes). And, if you’re one of those that can’t give up your relaxing evening bath, maybe opt for some mood-setting candles to reduce your energy consumption—just make sure you’re careful!
Consider a paperless toilet
Not everyone is in a position to switch out their current toilet. But if you are in the market and you can afford a little more upfront cost, consider going with a paperless automatic toilet. Imagine not having to purchase toilet paper again!
A paperless toilet—or a wash and dry toilet—is a high-tech machine that combines a toilet, bidet, and drier, all in one convenient unit. This means you can do your business and leave with a clean tush, no paper needed!
But you don’t need to replace your entire toilet to have a paperless toilet experience – you can add a bidet attachment to your toilet. A Tushy bidet is an affordable option that has easy installation that can be used on the toilet you already have.
Use sustainable and zero-waste products
Chances are there’s an eco-friendly alternative to every product you use in the bathroom. From switching out your plastic-based dental floss to biodegradable silk floss, to opting for a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic, even the smallest changes you make in your bathroom can help reduce waste.
Now, no one is saying that you have to go out and replace your entire personal care suite to be sustainable. Throwing out perfectly good products, even if they aren’t zero waste or sustainable, is incredibly wasteful. Instead, consider changing to sustainable and zero waste products as you replace different bathroom products.
Switch paper products
Not everyone is prepared to do away with paper products completely, but there are green options when it comes to creating a more eco-friendly bathroom.
While toilet paper is biodegradable, try opting for a more sustainable paper that is made out of recycled materials instead of made directly from trees.
Scrap the tampons
Single-use tampons aren’t the most environmentally friendly option. Research shows that regular tampons can take between 500 and 1,000 years to break down, and organic options between six months and five years. Not to mention some are made with gross chemicals like dioxins and furans, and can even have pesticide residue on them.
For women looking to switch out the classic tampon for something more eco-friendly, menstrual cups offer a reusable option. Menstrual cups are said to be more affordable, eco-friendly, and safer to use than tampons. But you might want to chat with your family doctor before you make the switch.
Implement small changes to create an eco-friendly bathroom
Lasting changes are not made overnight and, to be completely honest, it could get mighty expensive trying to change out everything in one fell swoop. Instead, focus on making small changes and finding the best eco-friendly products for you.
There’s a chance for all of us to be a little more eco-friendly. If you’re looking to live a greener life, download the Garbage Day app and get tips and tricks delivered right to you!