Working Towards a Sustainable(ish) Bathroom

Apologies for the layout of this post – the website has changed so that I would have to pay even more money to display pictures how I used to. I also can’t put links in, but I think I have found a way around that.

If you don’t like bathrooms look away now!

I have been working hard on trying to create an ethical bathroom.  There are so many strands to being sustainable – waste, energy use, water use, biodiversity, transport and healthy living to name a few.  It’s impossible to take everything into account at the same time so I have concentrated on plastic waste as single-use plastic is my biggest bugbear.  Luckily by swapping to no-plastic items it often means that the chemicals used in the products are much kinder to the environment so I’m making a difference to biodiversity too.

Hopefully you may gain an idea or two from the following swaps.  Do let me know if you do.

Handwashing, Hair Care and Shower Gel  We’ve gone to bars for all of these!  I tried shampoo bars before and didn’t get on well but then sent for a free sample from Gruum.  It was great and makes a good lather.  You can apply for yours here. * Inspired, I tried the conditioner bar too and use it every time now.  It’s not quite as easy to comb through so sometimes I add a dab of liquid conditioner, of which I have a fair amount to use up.  We both use bar soap at the sink and in the shower.  Obviously you can buy bar soap in supermarkets and chemists but we’ve found it difficult to find plastic free (I was so proud of the Pears soap in a cardboard box, only to find that the individual bars wrapped in plastic inside).  We’ve been given a load of soaps though so it won’t be a problem for a least a year, when I will be ordering soap from one of the eco websites.  During the bathroom project I found loads of sites I hadn’t seen before, including Bodykind.  Use this link to go there and you will get 15% at checkout (the other great thing is that you only have to spend £15 to get free delivery): Bodykind If you don’t get the discount automatically, put Alison Spurrell in the voucher code box.

My tray in the shower – soap, shampoo and conditioner

Tooth Care  Having smashed the last category, we’ll go onto one which is ‘in progress’.  We both use an electric toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and Colin uses mouthwash.  For toothbrush heads we now use LiveCoco.com which is a closed loop system (you send the old ones back for recycling).  If anyone ever hears of a bamboo one please let me know.

I asked the oracle (the  Sustainable(ish) with Jen Gale Facebook Group) about plastic-free toothpaste for sensitive teeth in the hope that there might have been developments since I tried before and there was!  I am starting with Ben & Anna which comes in a glass jar but because it doesn’t contain fluoride and I need all the help I can get I will only use it half of the time and use toothpaste the rest.  Sensodyne generally comes in small (75ml) tubes but we have found a Colgate one which is 125ml, so marginally less plastic.  The oracle also told me about Ethical Market which I intend to also try.

Toothpaste in a glass jar, silk floss and mouthwash tablets

I have also found some dissolvable mouthwash tablets, the cheapest of which I found on ebay.  Unfortunately I was sent the wrong item so there’s no feedback on that yet.

For dental floss I have bought some from Non Plastic Beach  – no plastic at all.

Deodorant – I tried quite a few roll-ons in cardboard tubes which I ordered from Peace with the Wild.  They were all fine but my favourite was Your Nature.  I also have one from Ben & Anna to try, which I ordered so that I could get free delivery on the toothpaste.

Far left was a bit messy! All the others good, just be aware that you ‘ll need a pen/knitting needle as you get towards the end to push up the inner tube. Lasts ages then.

Cotton Buds  – Plastic-free ones are now widely available.  I prefer bamboo to paper ones which bend, so I usually tack a box onto one of my other orders. Orgering from one of the ethical sites means they come in a cardboard box.

Cleaning I haven’t found refillable cleaning stuff for the bathroom so have gone for the next best.  For the spray cleaner I am trying concentrated refills ( see Ocean saver photo).  For shower spray and toilet cleaner I have ordered 5L bottles which we can decant, so still single-use plastic but less of it.

Loo Rolls I’ve stuck with Who Gives a Crap bamboo rolls.  There are quite a few on the market which don’t include plastic but after trying several we’ve gone back to WGAC.

Static Items We have cotton bath and toilet mats, a metal toilet brush and bin, a wooden nailbrush and four wooden soap dishes.  The mat in the bottom of the shower is still plastic, but in my defence, it’s not single use (I will try and replace it with something better though).

Stainless Steel Toilet Cleaner and wooden nailbrush & Soapdish

And Last of all, the Water  My reader may remember my previous post about water use when we tried to keep our water use to below 2 cubic metres per week.  The exciting (well, I think so) news is that we have revised our weekly target DOWN to below 1.8m3!  We’ve installed more aerators in taps, run the hot tap into a jug to warm up (using the cold water for making coffee) and we’re using less in the washing up bowl.  Cheaper as well as good for the world!

I’m hoping I may have inspired you to make ONE change?  Look through the ethical shopping websites, there’s so much there to give you ideas

*Apologies – I found a couple of links not working – hopefully ok now

One thought on “Working Towards a Sustainable(ish) Bathroom

  1. Hi Alison,
    Thanks for this blog post. I struggle with reducing single-use plastic in the kitchen and bathroom.
    I have made changes, for example I use a bamboo toothbrush, and bamboo tissues etc.
    One company that makes sustainable eco-friendly products is ‘Cheeky Panda’, for tissues, toilet rolls, biodegradable wet wipes etc. You can order direct from cheekypanda.com OR from the Milk & More Website (delivered to your doorstep!)
    ‘Milk and More’ have introduced more products in their ‘At Home’ section that are sustainable and reduce plastic use/waste. A new brand there, is called ‘FILL’. Glass bottles full of hand wash or conditioner etc. You buy a one time plastic pump to reuse with each bottle. You just put the empty bottle out for collection, and get a refill from the milkman! I haven’t tried it yet as it looks quite expensive, but I will give it a try and report back! (-:
    Becky x

    Liked by 1 person

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