We all want to do better for the Earth and most of us would probably be more open to doing so if we knew just how easy it really can be! I’m sharing my 4 easy and sustainable bathroom swaps with you so you can learn how easy being sustainable is.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of sustainable bathroom items. I am only sharing what we, a family of four, have done to cut down on waste and give back to the Earth in doing so.
I also want to mention that I don’t think there is a perfect way to be sustainable. Holding that kind of standard is unattainable and I think that’s where a lot of people end up just giving in and purchasing more convenient and conventional (wasteful) products.
Pick a starting point, an item you feel would be the easiest to replace with something more sustainable. Just start with one single item, you don’t have to do an entire overhaul of your bathroom. After choosing that one sustainable item, you might gain some more momentum and within a few weeks decide to invest in another easy bathroom swap.
You’ve got this.
Now lets look at the conventional standard bathroom
The bathroom is known to be one of the most wasteful rooms in our households. Crazy, right? I mean, how much time do you really spend in there and what is it that you are even doing that is creating so much waste?!
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What kinds of products are wasteful in a conventional bathroom?
Think of your bathroom. When you walk in, you probably see the sink at some point…whats on the sink?
Soap. Most likely you have a liquid soap in a plastic single use container that may or may not be recyclable.
Do you have a plastic single use air freshener plugged in?
What about in the shower, more single use plastic containers filled with soap, conditioner and shampoo?
How about that plastic razor? Sure some razor companies have started using plastic that can be recyclable but you have to be sure to separate you metal blade from the plastic or its deemed hazardous sharp materials and is unsafe to recycle.
Let’s look in your bathroom cabinets. Toilet paper, throw away menstrual products and single use plastic containers filled with lotions and sprays.
What about your cosmetics? Your first aid kit (here’s our first aid kit for home and travel)?
Yeesh, so many things in the bathroom are made from single use plastics!
I can totally understand how taking a look through your cabinets and countertops trying to figure out what to swap out can be very overwhelming.
This is why I thought I would share what easy and sustainable bathroom swaps we have done. I do not like finicky products, I want things simple and straight to the point.
So, if you are the same way, maybe this will help you!
What easy and sustainable bathroom swaps do we use?
Toothbrushes were probably the easiest things to swap out in the bathroom.
Did you know that a plastic toothbrush can take 500 years to decompose? WHAT? That is insane. (source)
Swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one is easy peasy. There are so many options and you don’t have to sacrifice the hardness of bristles either. You can still make your own choice from super soft to hard.
A bamboo toothbrush will be compostable, just use tweezers to pull the bristles out before composting or snap the head off if you’re short on time.
We love these toothbrushes. And in our family of four, I painted the ends of the toothbrush handle to help us easily differentiate who’s is who’s.
Stainless Steel Safety Razor
This thing does look intimidating but I really love it. The heaviness of it just gives it a good quality feel.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that over 2 million plastic razors and their blades are thrown in to landfills every year! Thats a whole lot of plastic. Most recycling programs will not accept plastic razors because they are sharp objects with mixed materials.
Stainless steel safety razors are 100% recyclable. Even the blades can be recycled. Here are the blades we use that come in a huge box that will last for quite some time!
Most people keep used blades in a small tin (think used and cleaned soup can) and take to a recycling center once full. Filling a soup can with razor blades will take a very long, long time. Its not like you are going to be making a special trip every month.
Yes, the stainless steel razor can be a little intimidating when first starting out. Just start slow, keep it at a 45 degree angle and be sure to use a good lathering of soap!
Here is the stainless steel razor we use. Its been over a year using this model and I will never go back to a plastic razor again!
Tallow bar soap
Tallow bar soap is our most recent sustainable bathroom swap! Its very minimal in ingredients and it is amazing for my daughter’s eczema. Here is the lovely small shop we ordered our tallow bar soaps from. To get the most out of even very small bar soap pieces, we keep each bar in its own little soap sock, here is the one we use.
We use a bar soap for washing hands at our sink (without the soap sock) and then we also use them in our showers. I have loved using the tallow soap on my face and I love knowing that its not going to dry out my daughter’s sensitive skin or cause welts for her.
So how is bar soap an easy and sustainable bathroom swap?
Every year, over 1 billion plastic soap bottles are dumped into our garbage and recycling bins (source). I don’t have to recite any more data for you to know about how much of that trash actually makes it into our oceans and the huge problems that have been occurring as a result of that. I’m sure everyone knows that we should be using less single use plastics as much as possible.
What about the common body wash chemicals found in liquid soaps?
Many chemicals found in body wash and soaps are not biodegradable. They go down the drain and int our oceans and affect our water tables and so forth.
Using a hand crafted bar soap like the tallow soap I mentioned above is a great way to keep ingredients clean and to a minimum. Its also a great way to support a small business and cut down on your plastic use!
The last of the 4 easy and sustainable bathroom swap list is menstrual products! Bare with me here, this doesn’t have to get too personal.
Close to 20 billion menstrual products are dumped into landfills each year. The actual breakdown time of these products differ slightly but the plastic lining used to back these products, along with the plastic used for applications them can take actual centuries to biodegrade.
So, not only is the plastic in these menstrual products taking literal lifetimes to biodegrade but also the chemical and machine processing- the fossil fuel energy needed to create these plastics is causing harmful emissions to be spewed into our atmosphere.
Not to mention all of the chemicals in the actual menstrual products themselves. Many conventional tampons and pads have been found to have synthetic additives, chlorine, pesticides, asbestos and BPA. Here is a source that lists more about those ingredients.
What kind of menstrual products are an easy and sustainable swap?
For starters, if you aren’t into reusable menstrual products you can totally find organic chlorine free pads and tampons! I think those are a good start but I would really encourage you to go a little further that that.
I tend to switch between those two depending on my needs.
Another option which I haven’t tried but I hear many of my friends do love are period underwear. Essentially they are washable underwear with extra absorbent centers.
I encourage you do do some personal research and try at least one of these menstrual product options and make that easy and sustainable bathroom swap!
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What are the 4 easy and sustainable bathroom swaps?
Let us recap and briefly go back down the list of 4 easy and sustainable bathroom swaps:
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Stainless steel safety razor
- Tallow bar soap
- Reusable menstrual products
A few that were not mentioned but also totally doable are:
- Shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottled products
- Essential oils and diffuser instead of synthetic fragrance plug ins
- Large pump bottle of Castile soap for entire family vs multiple soaps for baby and older family members
- Washable toilet wipes
- Washable face rounds instead of disposable face cloths
There you have it, my 4 easy and sustainable bathroom swaps!
Create less waste with these easy bathroom swaps!
Like I stated earlier, this doesn’t have to be hard. Pick one of these items that stands out to you and give it a try. And then in a few weeks try another. You’ll have a much more sustainable bathroom in no time!
I hope this post helps you to confidently swap out a few items in your bathroom 🙂