It’s simple to create a more sustainable bathroom. I’ve been on a journey to reduce waste for over a year. I am conscious of the impact of my product purchases on the Earth and the living space I will be leaving to my children when I am no longer here. As a result, I am excited to share some of the successful products I’ve found in hopes that you too can create a more sustainable bathroom.
I am not perfect. Nor am I not zero waste. I still use many products that are wasteful. There are some “non-negotiable” items when it comes to my personal care products. While some of the products I use in the bathroom are still not great for the environment, I am always on the lookout for new products to replace my “tried and true” products with ones that are more eco-friendly. It’s a process and a journey to create a more sustainable bathroom. As they say, “Rome was not built in a day.” These things take time. Have grace with yourself.
This is one of the top offenders in the environment. Over 1 billion toothpaste tubes are discarded into landfills each year in the U.S. alone. Not only do you have the toothpaste tube, but also the packaging containing the toothpaste tube. The cardboard from the toothpaste box contributes to deforestation, increased water consumption, and higher greenhouse gas emissions according to the America Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. While some of this paperboard is recyclable, if it is soiled or contaminated by food or other particles, it is no longer recyclable.
There are a variety of ways to reduce your toothpaste waste:
- Make your own toothpaste (recipe idea from Wellness Mama)
- Find Eco-Friendly Companies – Tom’s is working on a recycle-able tube.
- Tablet toothpaste
My toothpaste of Choice
My recommendation to date is tablet toothpaste. After seeing many ads on Facebook and YouTube about Bite Toothpaste Bits, I decided to give it a try. They are constantly doing promotions so you can save some money but I will admit, this may be the most expensive of the toothpaste tablet options.
You should also know that there is a learning curve to this type of toothpaste. To activate, you bite down and chew it, add water to your toothbrush, then start brushing. The number of times you need to chew will take some practice. However, the toothpaste does foam up similar to other natural toothpaste brands I’ve used in the past. I do think the mint flavor is more prominent than other natural toothpaste brands we have used.
There are a variety of soaps in the bathroom so I will cover several of them separately. This is one of the easiest and likely more cost-effective ways to create a more sustainable bathroom. Did you know that when you wash your face with lukewarm water instead of cold, you can raise the skin’s temperature slightly causing blood vessels and pores to dilate in an effort to cool you down? I find that fascinating. But also a reminder of the complexity in our skin. It’s so important to be mindful of the ingredients we put on our skin.
Face & Body Soap
In prior years, I was a huge proponent of face wash and multiple types of face wash. Facial products are filled with added chemicals to get skin-perfecting results. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Whatever you put onto your skin is likely to also end up in your bloodstream.
I’ve tried several ways to wash my face and body over the years. Bar soap, microfiber towels, and of course the most commonly used: body wash. I have avoided body wash for quite some time since most body washes have added dyes and artificial ingredients to create scents. Now that I am more focused on reducing waste and looking to create a more sustainable bathroom, I started to look for waste-reducing products as well. +
My Face & Body Soap of Choice
Just like body wash companies, bar soap companies find ways to add chemicals and dyes to their product. I found a small company in Ohio that makes natural and organic, eco-friendly packaged products with no synthetic or artificial ingredients. Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company makes a variety of products from bar soap, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner bars, and more. I have only used their bar soap, dry shampoo, and bath salts. I use their soap bars on both my face and body.
You will find their soaps are not only scented but many are created with varying ailments in mind. For example, I use both their charcoal bar and the Sea Buckthorn & Tea tree soap for my face. Charcoal is detoxing and Sea Buckthorn along with Tea Tree is known for calming inflammatory skin problems. Since using their soap, I have noticed my skin is clearer. Their soaps smell amazing and I’ve really been enjoying them in and out of the shower.
This has become my new favorite trick to share. Are you a fan of the foaming hand soaps? Is that why you think you can never “go green” in this category? Well, I’m here to provide you relief! The foaming action of the hand soaps is not the soap but the dispenser. Okay maybe you knew that, but it was new information to me last year! As a result, I found soap dispensers on Amazon and started using Castille soap for all my hand soap needs.
Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based hard soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile region of Spain. I use Castille soap at every sink in our house. It’s also easily available in grocery stores and superstores stores like Target and Walmart. Even Amazon has varying brands in their marketplace. If you look, you may be able to find local companies as well. We have one here in NC that sells on Amazon called Carolina Castille Soap. I support local and small businesses whenever I can.
Not only is Castille soap great for handwashing, but it’s also great for cleaning dishes and random messes. You can use Castile soap to do just about anything. Dr. Bronner, one of the more popular brands, has a dilution cheat sheet on their website. You name it, you can use Castille soap for your cleaning needs.
Depending on the level of cleaning, the dilution of the soap will vary. There are scented versions but you can also customize them to your own scent by adding essential oils of your choice. So keep buying the same soap and vary up your scents each season or however frequently you choose with essential oils. I have not bought hand or dish soap in more than a year since discovering this awesome product.
While there is still the waste of the Castille soap container, if you are using this product for multiple purposes and buying in bulk, you. can reduce waste. The container can also be recycled.
Deodorant & Lotion
Deodorant is yet another personal care product that comes with an environmental cost. Most deodorant containers, just like toothpaste, are not recycle-able and ultimately end up in a landfill.
I am currently using cream deodorant from a company introduced to me by my best friend who lives in Vermont. When I gave birth to my daughter she sent me a care package including a huge tub of Booda Butter Daily Moisturizer. Again this is another one of those products that are multi-purpose. It makes my minimalist heart sing!
One of the main purposes I ended up using it for was nipple cream while breast-feeding. It worked wonders and I could avoid lanolin which contains chemicals. This lotion is not only super moisturizing but it’s long-lasting and made with only 5 organic ingredients. The product site shares 50+ ways to use their product. I have very dry skin on my legs and when I use it consistently, it allows my dry skin to actually heal like no other product. I also love the fact that it’s another small company that I can support. A little goes a long way so it’s cost-effective as well. Not to mention. it smells like the beach.
Booda Butter makes other products too including deodorant. After having such great success with the lotion, I tried their deodorant. They produce a baking soda based deodorant that effectively prevents body odor. With it being baking soda, you do have to be mindful of the amount you put on your skin. Too much can cause irritation. Even on days when I do not put on deodorant (yes we all have those days) I find that I am less likely to have body odor. I think our pores get clogged with the big brand deodorants which hold onto the smell. At least that has been my experience.
Other Ways to create a Sustainable bathroom
- Find eco-friendly razors or other shaving methods.
- Use or make your own shaving cream. (Chagrin Valley makes one)
- Find eco-friendly toothbrushes
- Reduce washing frequency of bathroom towels
- Wait to purchase new products until you have finished old ones.
- Re-purpose products that didn’t work out (i.e. shampoo for hand soap by diluting or conditioner for shaving cream (if not a skin irritant))
There is more
In another post, I will share more about facial, makeup, and hair products that I have found to be not only effective but also focused on reducing waste in our environment.
Shop this post to create a sustainable bathroom
- Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company (my favorite soap right now is Winter Survival)
- Bites Toothpaste Bits
- Carolina Castille Soap
- Foaming Soap Dispensers
- Booda Butter Daily Moisturizer (this is a large size but they sell a smaller tin)
- Booda Butter Cream Deodorant
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