Wondering how to transition to a zero waste bathroom? Here are some tips for starting to live sustainably in the bathroom.
Starting on the Journey of a Zero Waste Bathroom
Aside from the kitchen, the bathroom is the second most wasteful room in your home; especially if you have kids. Between cosmetic waste, paper products, and wasted power and water, the amount of money you’re wasting and your carbon footprint can drastically add up. While reducing waste in the kitchen can be somewhat easy, reducing bathroom waste or having a zero waste bathroom can be harder if you have a family. After all, it is the one room in the home that everyone uses multiple times a day.
When you’re looking for ways to reduce waste in the bathroom, you will need to take a step back and look at the different areas in your bathroom. There can be many that are causing high waste so taking an overall approach does not typically work too well. Tackle each area one at a time and you will slowly and very simply build a zero waste bathroom.
Tips for a Zero Waste Bathroom
Reduce Disposable Product Use
Reducing disposable products should almost always be the first step you take when you’re trying to reduce waste in your home, but especially in the bathroom. Hand towels, disposable beauty swabs, cotton swabs, plastic shampoo, and body wash bottles, and more are all causing an extremely large amount of waste.
Instead, opt for as many reusable products as you can. Since this is the bathroom, you may have some you don’t really care to wash and reuse. That is perfectly acceptable and no one will judge you for it.
A few good places to start are:
- Reusable Hand Towels
- Bar Soap Instead of Body Wash
- An Ear Wax Cleaning Kit
- Cloth Feminine Pads
- Family Cloth
- Razors with Refills vs. Low Use Disposables
Don’t Buy What You Won’t Use
We all have bought something in the past that we have not liked. There is nothing wrong with trying new products! But when we don’t like them and leave them just to sit, the product and the money have gone to waste. Instead, pass that product on to someone else who may like it.
Doing this will serve three purposes. You won’t be wasting the product or it’s packaging. The money won’t go to waste and finally, you won’t be cluttering up your bathroom. Not sure who might want that lotion you didn’t love? Put it up in your local buy nothing group!
Open Only One at a Time
If you have kids, you have probably dealt with more than one package of the same thing being opened plenty of times. This most often happens in the kitchen, but it can happen in the bathroom as well. When it does, it leads to product waste, since one will usually expire, dry out, or not be used in one way or the other.
Instead, do what you can to ensure that only one of each type of product is opened. This will cut down on the waste from them. If you do have kids who are opening multiples, consider storing those products in a different location so they are not easily accessible to them.
Curb Water Waste
It may seem the opposite way, but your shower uses more water than your bath. While a bath fills up gallons of water in the tub, your shower spits out several gallons per second with most of it going down the drain instead of being used to wash your body. This is in addition to water that is run but not used while shaving, brushing your teeth, or washing your hands.
Being mindful of water waste is important in a lot of ways, but it is bathroom waste that most never consider trying to change. It can be hard to do things like shutting the water off while you’re soaping up your body or shaving, but if you are trying to have a zero waste bathroom, it is worth giving a shot.
Another thing to watch for with water waste is toilets that do not stop running or sinks that do not stop dripping. This will not only create a high water bill for your family but will also waste quite a bit of water over time. It is far better and will create far less bathroom waste to fix the problem than to allow it to continue.
Repeat after me: just turn off the water faucet! Brushing your teeth? Turn off the water while doing so. Washing your hands? Turn off the water while you sing Happy Birthday and lather up those hands.
Turn the Power Off
Bathroom waste doesn’t just come in forms of disposable products, it can also come in the form of wasted power or water like we just mentioned. Power is often wasted in the bathroom as well. Leaving the light on when you leave the room, leaving small appliances plugged in, or forgetting to shut off the exhaust fan are all great ways to increase the wasted energy from your bathroom. Try to remember to shut these things off when you leave the room so that you’re not wasting energy.
Reducing bathroom waste isn’t something that every family will consider, but once you get started, it can be hard to stop. Knowing that you’re working toward having a zero waste bathroom can feel good and doing something like this that makes us feel good is never a bad thing.
For more tips on living more sustainably, check out these posts: