October 2020

One of the rooms in our house which we’ve worked hard to make eco-friendly is our bathroom, and we’re pleased to report we’re (almost) there. The way we see an eco-friendly bathroom is free of plastics and toxic chemicals, and with minimal water and energy use. These are some of the changes we made to get us there:

  1. Using bars of soap (including shampoo soap for hair) to avoid consuming plastic bottles of shampoo and shower gel. To our good fortune, we live very close to someone who produces handmade soap, so we’re buying local and supporting our neighbours too. (Tip: the Hebridean Soap Company does lovely gift sets via mail order).
  2. Installing a timer in the shower (and placing an additional notice in the guest bathroom) to help keep shower time under 4 minutes.
  3. Switching to homemade toothpowder. There are many recipes to be found online – the one we’re using at the moment we’re making from kaolin and bentonite.
  4. Buying recycled toilet paper in compostable packaging.
  5. Buying reusable cleaning cloths instead of single-use wet wipes (which are really bad for the environment).
  6. Upcycling old furniture, so that we didn’t have to buy new cupboards.
  7. (Almost) eliminating waste. We have a very small bin in our bathroom and it rarely gets used. In the guest bathroom we separate compostables (clean paper towels) from non-recyclable waste.
  8. [This final one by Helen is for women and girls who are menstruating.] One of the biggest switches I made was to a silicone menstrual cup. I found out about them in 2005, shortly after they first appeared on the market, and I can only begin to imagine how much money I’ve saved on sanitary products since then, not to mention how many tampons and towels I’ve saved from ending up in landfills and other waste disposal sites. I’m sure we could end period poverty by distributing menstrual cups to all girls of school age and to women with low income.

For more eco-friendly bathroom ideas, take a look at the products at Non Plastic Beach. And for books on the subject, try Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson or Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth.

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