Today I wanted to zero in on one of the areas in our homes that provides us with lots of opportunities for living a little greener – the bathroom! I’ve got a few easy changes you can make to create a more sustainable bathroom, and I’d love to hear your suggestions as well.
1. Introduce plants
Indoor plants are amazing for purifying the air and bringing additional oxygen into spaces, and thankfully lots of them do particularly well in bathrooms. Adding some plants to your bathroom will not only add some gorgeous colour but will up the eco credentials of the room as well. Peace Lily’s and ferns are excellent bathroom plant options, and I’ve talked a little more about indoor plants in a previous post right here.
2. Use green cleaning products
Bathrooms tend to be where we turn to the harshest cleaning products, introducing all kinds of bleaches and chemicals into the room. There are plenty of natural, homemade cleaning products you can turn to instead which rely on a combination of vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. Removing harsh cleaning products from your bathroom will not only make the room much more sustainable but will save you a whole host of money too! I’ve shared my go to green cleaning products here on the blog before, so you can find them right here!
3. Reduce water use
Unsurprisingly the bathroom is responsible for much of the water use in people’s homes, so reducing that is an excellent way to create a more sustainable bathroom, and a more sustainable home. Showers are the obvious place to start, so try and keep them to 4 minutes or less, and use a timer if you find yourself losing track of time in there (I know I’m guilty of that one!). Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth is another easy way to save water, as well as installing low-flow shower heads and taps and using the half-flush function on the toilet. Each change is only small, but they all definitely add up to a huge reduction in water usage.
4. Avoid disposable items
Bathrooms can be responsible for a whole lot of waste if we’re not careful, as many of the products are designed to be single-use for ‘convenience’. Try and avoid disposable items like makeup wipes and cotton pads, and instead opt for a reusable face cloth to remove your makeup. Similarly, skip the paper towel or single-use cleaning cloths and choose microfibre cloths for your cleaning instead. And whatever you do, please avoid ‘flushable’ wipes which are most definitely not flushable!
5. Think about skincare, body & makeup ingredients
The products we use for our skincare, body and makeup can have a huge impact on how eco friendly our bathrooms are as not only do these ingredients end up on our skin, but eventually down our drains too. Choosing products that are free from ingredients like parabens, microbeads, SLS, petroleum, palm oil and synthetic fragrances is huge step towards a more sustainable bathroom, and these products are much better for our skin too! Some of my favourite brands that tick these boxes are Sukin, Nude by Nature & Lush, and I’d love to hear your suggestions too!
6. Choose bamboo & organic cotton
Switching your bath and hand towels to either bamboo or organic cotton options is an excellent way to bring some added sustainability into your bathroom. Not only are they normally excellent quality towels but you can be sure that the production of them had a much lower impact on the planet as well. Bamboo in particular is great due to its microbial and moisture wicking properties, so keep an eye out for them when you next buy towels.
7. Reduce & recycle packaging
All the various bottles and jars of products we all tend to have in our bathrooms means a whole lot of extra packaging and waste can be created, so an excellent way to create a more sustainable bathroom is to first reduce the amount of packaging you bring into your bathroom, then be sure to recycle everything you can.
Choosing bars of soap over liquid soap is one easy way to do this, as they tend to come in either no packaging or in some more easily recyclable cardboard. Similarly, try and choose toilet paper wrapped in paper not plastic (I personally use Who Gives A Crap toilet paper) and take advantage of any recycling programs for packaging offered by brands, such as the one through Lush. When my current shampoo & conditioner are finished I’m going to make the switch to solid shampoo & conditioner bars which will mean two less bottles in my bathroom with no real change to my life.