Over 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every single year.
This is the equivalent to the weight of the entire population!
And if that’s not a startingly good enough reason to cut down on single-use and disposable plastic products, and strive for a more sustainable lifestyle, we don’t know what is.
The great news is that a growing number of households are becoming more environmentally aware. But, our research shows the bathroom as remaining somewhat untouched territory when we’re talking sustainability.
We take a deep dive into the average bathroom cabinet to explore what easy changes can be made for a more eco-friendly bathroom routine.
1 – Reducing waste when you… waste
A prime culprit for excess plastic and water is your toilet paper, and more importantly how many rolls you use. Most commercially available toilet paper in our supermarkets uses an excess of plastic packaging as well as almost 40 gallons of water to manufacture a single roll, according to Brondell.
An easy swap to make is to start using responsibly sourced toilet paper. A great option is the brilliantly named Who Gives A Crap, who have various sustainable options. All their rolls are plastic free and made from recycled office paper – giving a new meaning to the phrase ‘work from home’. They also offer an optional subscription service, with their double length rolls lasting four months for a two person household.
2 – (Don’t) Go with the flow
Showering and bathing increases your household water usage more than you probably realise. The key is to manage the length of your daily shower routine. According to research by Harvard University, a common household shower uses an astonishing 2.5 gallons of water every minute.
If you’re a fan of a long, steamy everyday shower a low flow shower head may do the trick in cutting down your water consumption. Low Energy Supermarket have a large range of eco-friendly, affordable low flow shower head options that will cut your water usage by 50-60% each year, reducing your water bill and consumption whilst also meaning you can enjoy a long, refreshing shower.
3 – Toothpaste or toothwaste?
300 million toothpaste tubes go straight to landfill every year in the UK. So it’s certainly time to find a plastic free alternative, according to Business Waste.
Fancy trying 100% plastic free, travel friendly options with all vegan ingredients? With a handy subscription service and entirely compostable/recyclable packaging, Bite offers various eco-friendly mouth care products including toothpaste tablets, floss and mouthwash tablets which will take the plastic out of your everyday dental routine.
4 – Squeaky clean – the eco way
With the move towards a more sustainable lifestyle in our kitchens, there’s certainly no shortage of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market. Some of these can be used in the bathroom too, Ecover Limescale Remover for example, is great for removing limescale around taps, tiles and sinks.
DIY cleaning solutions are also a great option to keep things clean yet sustainable. Find a few of our own household recipes for bathroom cleaners here.
5 – The hair necessities
Haircare bars eliminate the need for bulky, single use plastic bottles. You’ll no longer need to worry about shampoo leakage in your travel bag or dropping a litre bottle of conditioner on your foot while showering. These handy bars solve more problems than one!
With an entirely transparent ingredients page, infamous pledge against animal cruelty and many scent options, LUSH know a thing or two about sustainable products. They have a large range of shampoos, conditioners and body butters all in solid form which quickly get to work after a lather or two.
6 – Sustainably smooth
According to the Independent, in 2018 approximately 55 million people in the UK were using disposable, plastic razors. Regular plastic razors are not easily recycled as they contain various materials that are very difficult to separate – subsequently clogging up landfill sites. The packaging also poses an environmental issue due to the common plastic window feature used by various supermarket brands to showcase the product.
A good alternative is a bamboo or stainless steel safety razor such as the Eco Bravo Double Edge Safety Razor which features a sleek design and compatibility with all standard double edged razor blades. A single blade razor allows for a closer shave and only needs to be replaced every few years, providing a greener solution to shaving.
If you prefer the convenience of a new razor every so often, a subscription service like Estrid will do all the work for you! Simply purchase a starter kit from their site, pick your frequency of razor blade delivery (eg; every two months) and that’s it! A fresh razor delivered straight to your door. There’s no need to change the razor handle either, each handle is made from weighted stainless steel with a matching holder for your convenience.
7 – Get soap happy
A bathroom essential, offering lots of fragrances and skin types, a good quality bar of soap can mean you’re buying less, using less and saving the planet more. Usual hand soaps and body washes from most major retailers are wrapped, bottled or packaged in copious amounts of plastic; each bottle taking as long as 450 years to decompose.
With 10 million tons of plastic making its way into our oceans every year, converting to bars of soap instead of the typical plastic pump applicator helps to keep our oceans free from plastic pollution.
Our range of organic and natural soaps are a heavenly addition to your bathroom; ideal for everyday use and made with the finest natural ingredients and essential oils for a rich, moisturising lather that’s gentle on your skin. All our soaps are long lasting and a little goes a very long way to ensure we reduce the frequency of deliveries to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible!
8 – Shower power
According to a study completed by the Centre for Health, Environment & Justice, plastic shower curtains made with PVC are not only contributing excess plastic to our households but they can actually produce toxic chemicals that are very harmful to the health of consumers. It’s time to embrace some sustainable alternatives.
A shower screen is a worthwhile investment, with prices upwards of just £40 it takes the hassle out of replacing your curtain every few months. A cheaper, limited plastic option is the Edenfield Bath Screen from Wayfair which features toughened safety glass, a sleek design and free delivery.
If you’re keen on keeping the curtain, why not try a cotton alternative such as the Organic Waffle Shower Curtain from Coyuchi which is woven from 100% Turkish cotton, Fairtrade approved and uses 98% less water than conventional cotton during manufacture.
But, don’t just throw away your old shower curtain! It can be repurposed into a furniture cover up when decorating, a tablecloth for messy painting or even for under a picnic blanket on a dewy morning. A quick Google search can give you dozens of more ideas rather than just throwing them away.
9 – Wipe out the wipes
Single use makeup wipes and cotton buds quickly pile up in the bathroom dustbin, clogging our drains, filling the oceans and causing further environmental damage everyday. During a 2018 survey, 22 cotton buds were found for every 100 meters of UK beaches, according to The Cotton Bud Project. In the UK alone, it is estimated that we use 1.8 million of these single use plastic buds every year. According to the BBC, wet wipes and face wipes cause 93% of all major UK drain blockages, as well as being very bad for your skin.
Reusable makeup remover pads and compostable bamboo cotton buds are only a couple of the organic, sustainable products by Leave No Trace. Say goodbye to make up wipes with their reusable makeup pads. They’re machine washable and arrive in a handy mesh bag to ensure safekeeping during washing and they can be used with various make-up remover products such as the Milky Oil from Glossier. This gentle make-up remover is cruelty free and removes even waterproof make-up. You can even cut out the middleman and use without any make-up pads! Leave No Trace also manufactures bamboo cotton buds which are just as impressive, with a pack of 100 bamboo buds arriving at your door in 100% biodegradable packaging – what’s not to love?
10 – Brushed away
You’ve heard of bamboo toothbrushes but have you tried a stainless steel alternative? Barnabys Brushes combine the best of both worlds with their replaceable head toothbrush – utilising the sturdy, naturally antibacterial properties of stainless steel, the toothbrush handle is guaranteed to last you an infinite amount of brushes. The replaceable bamboo and charcoal heads are available to buy separately; dramatically cutting down the usual plastic waste on your average toothbrush.
Over 264 million plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the UK, according to Resolute. Taking over 1000 years to decompose, each toothbrush has a detrimental effect on the environment, filling up landfill sites, polluting our oceans and disrupting marine life.
Even if you made one of these swaps, you’d be making a difference. Or for real eco-hero status make all ten!