8 practical tips for creating a more eco-friendly bathroom

A glass jar on a windowsill with four wood toothbrushes and a pot plant

Traditionally, bathrooms create a lot of waste. From the many plastic bottles you throw away to the number of times you wash your towels, there are changes you can make to become greener.

1. Bars are better

Use bars rather than soaps and shampoos in bottles. There are good quality soaps made right here in New Zealand using nothing but natural ingredients and essential oils. We also have wonderful shampoo and conditioner bars too. If you can’t quite make the change to shampoo bars, or need to have bottles of lotion and other things in your bathroom, buy lovely glass bottles and then refill them with bulk-buy lotions, shampoos and conditioner.

2. Get rid of disposable razors

Use an old-fashioned metal razor, which lasts forever. You only need to change the blades. It does take a bit of adjusting to get used to a new way of shaving, so find someone over 50 who can remember how you do it to teach you.

3. Do not have wipes in your bathroom

If you need to remove make-up, use a cotton cloth or flannel with some almond oil. Most things you use a wipe for can be dealt with using a cloth and water, and maybe a bit of liquid soap.

4. Try to train yourself out of using single-use cotton buds and period products

There are many other options out there, such as reusable cotton buds that you wash. There are Mooncups and washable pads for periods. And instead of tissues, try cloth handkerchiefs.

5. Do not wash your towels too much

Your towel will quite happily sit in your bathroom for a week or two, as long as it gets the chance to dry out. You might want to consider hanging it where it will see sunlight during the day or by the fire at night. When you do wash towels, don’t use hot water and don’t dry them using a tumble dryer. Use cold water and hang them in the sun, which is a natural sanitiser and bleach.

6. Make showers quicker

Unless you are washing long hair in the shower, studies have shown that you really can do the essentials in three minutes. Some people have a timer in the shower to help children remember not to spend too long in there. By having a shorter shower, you are saving water as well as the energy needed to heat it. During dry periods, pop a bucket in the shower with you to catch extra water and use it to water your plants.

7. Air things out

If you have windows in your bathroom, open them. Fresh, drying air blowing through the room will help stop it getting mouldy and damp.

8. A clear view

To stop bathroom mirrors steaming up, rub the mirror with a few drops of shampoo, or wipe with a cloth dipped in glycerine.


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