If you'd like to live in a greener way, your bathroom is a good place to start.
Fact number one. Most people have way too many products in their bathrooms. I used to be guilty of it myself - I'd pop into a shop for something and come out with lots of things, (usually on offer and mostly that I never used).
To get it green, keep it simple in the bathroom
This is the number one rule. It's easier to clean and cheaper too. What you save on not buying all the things you don't need can be spent on a few better quality products instead.
Green cleaning in your bathroomKeep it clean and it doesn't get dirty! Swill out that sink and shower after you use it, give it a quick clean regularly and the muck won't mount up.
Our green, cleaning bathroom products
- Ecoleaf toilet cleaner - no prizes for guessing where this gets used.
- Vinegar and water solution - cleans the sink, shower, toilet and surfaces.
- Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar - I use this occasionally to keep the limescale at bay.
Use an old, clean, dry towel - buff your taps and mirrors to sparkle point without any chemicals. Just use elbow grease and the towel.
I dust the skirting boards and hoover and wash the floor every week. The beauty of not having much in the room means that it's easy to lift a couple of things out and give the floor a proper clean. As I do it often, I just use warm water with a dash of vinegar.
Our green toiletries
Once again, less is more. Here are the contents of our bathroom:
- Tea tree oil (for making mouthwash and most things medicinal)
- Peppermint oil (for making toothpaste, mouthwash and deodorant)
- Toothpaste (homemade, therefore no micro beads or empty toothpaste tubes)
Greener living - things we do without
- Talcum powder - some studies say that its really bad for you and it covers everything in dust too.
- Air freshener - let's face it, your room then smells of this plus whatever you are trying to mask! Open the window instead.
- Face masks, body scrubs etc etc, how many of these are hanging around, half used? Better to make your own DIY Facial Scrub and use it straight away. No plastic or hidden ingredients either.
- Shower gel - having once been a fan of this, I now loathe it. Most of it slips straight off your body and down the sink. It takes ages (and more water than soap) to rinse it off. Many products are full of awful things that you are putting on your skin and I find that I no longer need to apply a ton of moisturiser after bathing. Shower gel never lasts very long and ok, plastic bottles can be recycled, but our soap comes without any packaging, lasts ages, is organic and probably works out at a fraction of the cost. Took about a week to get used to it. I'm now searching for a bar of shampoo (like soap) as this could eliminate the shampoo bottle as well. Can anyone recommend one?
- Commercial mouthwash - make your own! Use filtered or boiled, cooled water, add 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda, and a couple of drops of tea tree and peppermint oils. Shake before use. Keeps in a glass bottle.
- Tampons and pads. A Mooncup solves this, or make make your own pads.
- Shaving foam - use soap and a good shaving brush.
- Moisturiser, lotions and potions - Olive Oil, Coconut oil or Shea Butter are great, natural moisturisers.
Green toothbrush options
You can buy toothbrushes with handles made of bamboo, or replacement heads for normal toothbrushes. I use this once a day and an electric toothbrush for the other clean which (so far) has lasted over ten years. I don't go through the heads nearly as often as I do with conventional toothbrushes and the electricity I use to re-charge the toothbrush comes from 100% sustainable energy. I also use the bamboo toothbrush when I go away.
A greener laundry basketSometimes it's easier or automatic to put clothes in the wash basket, but if you have any hand-wash only clothes, you may notice that they don't get washed as often! If you have spilt some food on your sleeve, or down your top, just wash it off by hand and leave to dry. Try airing your clothes outside and getting another wear or two out of them too. Obviously, I'm not talking about undies here - clean pants every day please!
Train others to be green!Make sure it's not just you doing this. Have a family pow-wow and encourage everyone to do their bit. See if there are any other ideas you come up with.
What do you have in your bathroom? Would anybody like my toothpaste recipe?