Let’s take a look at how you can move towards having a more eco-friendly bathroom in 6 very easy steps.

We spend a surprising amount of time in the bathroom, on average, 416 days in our lifetime![1] The majority of this time, we use to freshen up and clean our bodies,

Why not spend a fraction of this time and energy cleaning up our bathroom? Transform it into a greener and more sustainable part of the home.

It may seem a daunting task to transform your home into an environmentally friendly sanctuary but remember every little step you take towards this goal will add up.

Praise yourself for taking the initiative to reduce your footprint on the earth rather than shaming yourself for the actions you have not yet undertaken.

I’m going to share with you a few easy swaps and tips you can implement in your bathroom from today, without having to renovate completely!

1. Swap bottles for bars

Shampoo bars in an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Some easy swaps to reduce plastic – Katie Olson

Take a wander around your bathroom now – or use your imagination and inspect from the comforts of your sofa! – how many disposable plastic bottles, tubes, canisters of product can you see?

I’m counting many more than I’d like in my family bathroom. There are hair products, cleansers, moisturiser, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, squirty soap, shower gel, toilet cleaner, the list could go on.

Only 20% of households consistently recycle bathroom products, once discarded the rest of these now useless items clog up landfills[2] or worse, the ocean.

Now I’m not asking you to throw everything away and buy all new plastic-free products at once – that is not an achievable or economical suggestion. Instead to replace your usual bottled products as they run out with eco-friendly alternatives.

Try switching your squirty liquid soap or shower gel for a solid bar; there’s a huge variety out there. From all-natural ingredients to sensitive and unperfumed to brightly coloured and shaped like your favourite fruits!

There are solid versions, packaged without plastic, out there in a variety of your favourite products; soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars are obvious, but you’ll also find a range of moisturisers, deodorants, cleansers, toothpaste and many more.

2. Dispose of disposables

plastic toothbrush swap eco-friendly bathroom
Switch plastic for bamboo – Katie Olson

For a lot of us, the day begins and ends with a trip to the bathroom. Think of your morning or evening routine, how many items do you briefly use and then throw in the bin?

Cotton pads, cotton buds, dental floss, worn-out plastic toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products. What do these all have in common? Single-use plastic that isn’t commonly recyclable.

There are many eco-friendly options available to replace these everyday items, almost too many from which to choose! You can find many of these eco-friendly, sustainable solutions over in the EcoShoots shop.

By replacing even just one of these single-use plastic items today with a reusable or biodegradable alternative eco-product is a positive movement towards reducing your waste and bettering your impact on the environment.

3. Be kind to your water system

Swapping to more eco-friendly products to use on ourselves is a significant first step in the bathroom. The next step is using greener products on our bathroom itself.

We’re always aiming to be kinder to our skin, hair, minds, bodies, but what about being more sympathetic to our water systems?

Many cleaning products designed for use in the bathroom use strong, toxic chemicals that have a detrimental effect on the environment. In particular to the water system and the organisms that live below the surface.

Although what goes down the drain and toilet is treated, a small percentage of these toxic chemicals designed to kill germs and bacteria leak into our rivers, oceans and the wildlife. These chemicals quickly add up and can take a long time to break down into harmless products.

While the toxic compounds linger in the water system, they’re absorbed into the food chain, eaten by animals and eventually by humans.[3]

It’s easy and affordable to make home-made cleaning products such as a simple solution of water, baking soda and vinegar. But if you would prefer to buy premade products then keep an eye out for these in the supermarket.

Several of these eco-products not only contain more environmentally friendly ingredients, but often the packaging is more eco friendly than alternatives too!

4. Not another plastic bag

bin plastic bags eco-friendly bathroom
Swap your plastic liner

Here’s a tip that is not only kind to our environment but kind to our wallets as well! We’re all well aware that we shouldn’t be taking our shopping home in plastic bags, but what about the ones we use inside our homes?

Instead of buying mini plastic bin liners to fit in your bathroom bin, there are two more eco-friendly options. Buy biodegradable bags or, my prefered option, extend the lifespan of bags you already have.

I’m talking about the plastic bag your cereal comes in to keep it airtight, the bag your freshly sliced bread lives in before it becomes a sandwich, the sealed plastic liner that the cute new top you ordered online arrived in or the packaging your spinach came in.

Saving, rinsing then reusing these as bin liners extend the lifespan of the product and therefore lessens its impact on our environment before it reaches the landfill.

5. Dial it down

One of the simplest pleasures in life is enjoying a refreshing shower, feeling cleansed from head to toe then cosying up in a clean, fluffy towel.

It’s easy to overlook the environmental impact that reaching for that clean towel has. A common misconception is that we must wash our linens at high temperatures to kill all bacteria.

Not true, your laundry detergent does that for you! Not only is this false info but twisting the dial to an extra hot cycle is a waste of energy.

To be more fuel-efficient and lessen your impact on the planet, try setting your washing machine to 30°C and air-dry your towels rather than throwing them in the tumble drier.

This change will cut down your laundry’s carbon footprint by 82% compared to washing at 60°C, followed by tumble drying![4] That’s a positively huge difference!

6. More trees, greener bathroom

The fewer trees we cut down the greener the earth. I mean this in more than the literal sense of the word. Trees are one of our essential tools to fix the damaging effects of greenhouse gases on our atmosphere[5].

By converting carbon dioxide into the oxygen that we breathe, trees store carbon that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, damaging the ozone layer.

Reducing the tree usage equates to an easy to implement eco swap. Next time you’re in the toilet roll aisle skip your usual brand of loo roll for rolls composed of recycled paper.

Switching not only extends the life cycle of the initial paper product, but it utilises a source of material that already exists without having to chop down more trees. A quick browse on the internet will also lead you to several great brands of toilet roll without the plastic packaging to be delivered straight to your door.

Whether you implement all of these eco-friendly solutions to your bathroom or just a couple, this is a positive movement towards creating and leading a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.

Over time all of these seemingly small decisions and changes will mount up to have a positive impact on our environment. Start making your bathroom a greener place today!

Let us know which of these changes you’re making in the comments below. What other ideas have you come up with to make your very own eco-friendly bathroom?

Written by Katie Olson

[1] John Anderer, Me Time: The Average Adult Will Spend 416 Days In The Bathroom, Survey Finds, Study Finds, www.studyfinds.org/average-adult-will-spend-416-days-bathroom/

[2] Johnson & Johnson, The 20%, video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHrZ4Va_29w

[3] Green Choices, Environmental Impacts, www.greenchoices.org/green-living/cleaning/environmental-impacts

[4] Mike Berners-Lee & Duncan Clark, What’s the carbon footprint of … a load of laundry? The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/nov/25/carbon-footprint-load-laundry

[5] Fashion Revolution, Measuring the environmental footprint of our clothes, Fashion’s Future: The Sustainable Development Goals, www.futurelearn.com/courses/fashion-s-future-and-the-un-sustainable-development-goals-/

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