Sustainability in the Bathroom
Yikes! I just read an article about how many trees are cut from virgin Canadian boreal forests annually to produce toilet paper. The article included a National Resources Defense Council chart on toilet paper brands that are more sustainable since they use recycled paper. Ok, I told myself, I’m switching brands right away. But I also began to think about other products used primarily in the bathroom. We all use these. How can we purchase those that are more sustainable? I’ve thought about this a lot, so I’ve already been using some I’ve listed here:
Tissues: The older I get, the more my nose annoys me. Several years ago I was appalled at the number of tissues I was consuming and moved to replace the disposable kind with good old-fashioned fabric. I use a pocket handkerchief and sewed up these smaller ones for use in the bathroom. Just a good washing and they are clean and sanitized.
Oral hygiene: I have been buying bamboo toothbrushes for several years. They work just fine and they feel nicer than the plastic ones. I found a reusable glass dispenser of bamboo floss that I love. I keep one in my travel bag, too. There are several options for toothpaste that don’t rely on plastic packaging. Check out “zero waste toothpaste” for ideas.
Body products: There are several deodorant options that aren’t packaged in disposable plastic. Solid bar soap is and always has been free of single-use plastic containers. Some products, like skin lotions and shampoos, can be purchased in bulk containers and used in smaller, refillable dispensers. You might want to look at other items you use, like make-up or other personal care items. Ask for alternative packaging! You may find new items with less environmental impact. I’m sure there are ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastic, paper, and cotton balls consumed.
We are all unique, and each of us has a different set of everyday items in our bathrooms.
Eco-Challenge: Spend some time this week looking at everything in your bathroom (including the products used to clean the bathroom itself) and see if you can replace one item with a more sustainable, zero-waste option.
(And if you're feeling especially earth-frisky, write about your product switch in the comments. We'd LOVE to hear your ideas! And who knows? You may inspire someone else with your ideas.)