A complete bathroom commonly includes toothbrush, toothpaste, tongue cleaner, loofahs, soaps, body wash, hand wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner and brushes along with scrubs and salts.
These usually come in plastic packaging, and all these products need to be replaced or replenished about every couple of months. Put these together and we have every person disposing an average of 512 kg of only bathroom waste every year.
80% of these liquid bathroom products are only water. Transporting water means a higher carbon footprint and water is becoming an increasingly rare resource, which we must conserve as best as we can.
These products also come with a lot of chemicals which may be detrimental to our health. Eventually those chemicals will be released into common water bodies, polluting them.
The bathroom is one of the easiest places to start the journey of being sustainable as there are so many alternatives available, and available easily. Here are three switches you can make to get started.
Toothbrushes made of recyclable bio-plastics, and natural materials like bamboo are a great alternative to regular toothbrushes. Tooth powders or dental tablets are natural and chemical free. They are a great replacement for toothpastes in plastic tubes that release microplastics. Tongue cleaners made of old-school steel or bamboo are better than plastic ones.
Natural body care is chemical free, which means that body care products do not affect us or the water used negatively. They come packaged in paper and are thus plastic free.
Soap bars are a great choice to reduce that carbon footprint from transportation of water. Their solid nature allows them to last longer, and they are more portable. Soap bars can be infused with natural goodness from a variety of essential oils. They are available for face, body, hair and hands. The face and body soap bars sometimes have the added advantage of being sold with loofahs and scrubs.
Conditioners also come in the form of bars that require less water to rinse off and last longer than liquid conditioners.
Loofahs crocheted with natural threads like nettle or made of dried vegetables are a good solution to replace those made of plastic and then packaged in plastic.
Your favourite liquid washes can be replaced with powder to liquid washes, packaged in an eco-friendly manner. These are your best bet for a sustainable bathroom and are easy to use as well. All you need to do is pour the powder in an old bottle, add water, close it, shake it up and leave it for a few hours. Voilà! You have your favourite liquid wash ready.
Many natural cleaners are out there for the toilet bowl, tiles and floor. This also means no polluted water will be released from the bathroom. They are packaged in glass bottles or refillable plastic bottles, unlike the single-use plastic ones. This helps you in leaving behind minimal waste.
Bio-enzymes can be made at home or can be bought at the store. They are multi-purpose and can be used to clean more than just the bathroom.