Today we’ll be continuing with the “Keepin’ It Green” series, which gives some helpful tips for reducing your household waste. Our area of focus: the bathroom. There is so much plastic lurking in the bathroom. From toothbrushes, shampoo/conditioner, It’s an area that I find really difficult to be eco-friendly in, but I have been able to make some successful swaps.
Choose your towels in a natural fibre. 100% Cotton isn’t hard to find, and if you can swing it try to get organic! This may seem like a super obvious thing, but use your hand, face, and body towels more than once. They are towels. They like…dry out. It’s this radical thing. As a general rule, if it touched your genitals, it doesn’t need to touch your face, but hey, I’m not going to judge you if that’s your thing.
An alternative to disposable makeup remover clothes are the Norwex brand makeup remover cloths. While they are not made of 100% natural fibres, they are super soft, durable, and work like a hot damn. All you need to do is wet the cloth & boom, wiping off makeup is a breeze! My skin feels soft and clean after I remove my makeup, never dry. Additionally, the cloths are made with a microsilver agent that prevents bacterial growth, so no stanky smell!
Personally, my next bathroom swap will be reusable cotton pads for applying toner/wiping mascara off. I have been working through my last sleeve of disposable cotton pads, and when they are gone I am switching to some handmade reusables!
If you’re uncomfortable talking about periods, you might want to get over yourself, think about the fact that 50% of the population menstruates, grow the heck up, & keep reading.
Tampons & pads contribute a huge amount to our landfills. In fact, approximately 73 million menstruating people in North America will throw away 125 to 150kg of disposable menstrual products in their lifetime (Lunapads.ca). Plastic applicators and wrappers that won’t decompose until well after their users are dead. Additionally, most pads and tampons are processed with bleach and other nasty chemicals…not exactly the best stuff to be cuddling your lady bits.
A SUPER easy eco-friendly hygiene swap is going from Tampons to a Menstrual Cup!
If there’s one thing I LOVE talking about, it’s my menstrual cup. It’s amazing. I do yoga in it. I put it in before I head to work and don’t even think about it until before I go to bed. I’ve had moments of friends seeing me and the first thing they say is “Amy, I got a Diva Cup!”, and I swell with pride. It might seem weird to put a silicone cup inside yourself (and yeah, be prepared to have at least one horror movie explosion when you’re learning how to remove it) but I think it’s a LOT nicer than bleached piece of cotton entering your most sensitive area.
I’ve met a few women who haven’t loved the menstrual cup, for comfort reasons or preformance. If you are one of those gals, I encourage you to try another brand. Vaginas are like snowflakes, not one is the exact same! Lost in a sea of cups? Take this fantastic quiz from PutACupInIt.com (then check out their coupons page!).
Another alternative for my menstruating sisters are reusable pads. If you’re not a cup-fan, give a reusable pad product a try. Smartliner Pads created reusable Daily Liners and Pads (and bonus - they’re Canadian!). They are made from 100% organic cotton and do not use any harmful chemicals or glues. I have also heard great things (although haven’t tried) about THINX underwear, which are branded as “Period Proof Underwear”. There are so many options available!
A big plastic producer in my bathroom is soap. Whether in the form of shampoo bottles, hand soap pumps, or facial cleansers, plastic is everywhere in the bathroom. We’ve been using up bottles in our home and replacing them with unwrapped or paper wrapped soaps (locally made as much as possible). It’s a simple way to reduce your footprint and stay smelling fresh!
The rising popularity of “no-poo” and bar shampoos has given way to a ton of options for a plastic-free shower. Again, this is an area that I encourage you to try a few different brands/methods out before you throw in the towel!
Safety razor (made entirely out of steel with replaceable blades) instead of disposable razors
Homemade exfoliant (try a sugar scrub) instead of commercially produced exfoliant containing microbeads
Bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic toothbrush
Compostable floss (disclaimer: I have not tried this - only have seen online) in lieu of traditional floss
Bidet seat (we have the Tushy and love it) to reduce your toilet paper use
Green cleaning supplies (like Thieves, Norwex clothes, or infused white vinegar)
I’d love to hear how you’re keeping your own bathroom green. And remember, just do your best - small steps can make a big impact! Thanks for reading.