• Mon, 7, Oct, 2019 - 5:00:AM

The green home: 6 environmentally friendly swaps for your bathroom

If you’ve ever done a trash audit, you’ll know that the bathroom is an area of the home that can regularly generate a lot of waste. But that needn’t be the case - it’s incredibly easy to drastically reduce the volume of trash involved in your oral care, skincare, hair care and general ablutions. Take greening your home step by step: here are six environmentally friendly swaps to implement in your bathroom. 


1. Zero waste toothpaste. 

I’ve been using bamboo toothbrushes for several months now, but only recently discovered a New Zealand company called SOLID Oral Care that makes eco-friendly toothpaste. Their tooth paste and tablets come in recyclable glass bottles, the labels are made of paper, their products are packaged in an environmentally conscious manner (they even use gummed paper tape instead of plastic) and you can purchase refills to reduce your waste even further. What’s more, with the founder of the company being an oral health therapist, the tablets - unlike many others on the market - contain fluoride to help protect your teeth.


2. Refillable shampoo & conditioner. 

If the formulation of eco-friendly solid bar alternatives to shampoo and conditioner just don’t seem to work for your hair (I’ve tried 5 different kinds of solid shampoo and have yet to find one that doesn’t make my hair a bird’s nest/steel wool imitation exhibit), why not opt for a refillable liquid option? Though not yet available in every part of the country, Ecostore is leading the way in making eco-friendly consumer choices accessible for New Zealanders. With 61 stores across the country that let you refill your recycled bottles with liquid shampoo/conditioner/body wash, it’s become that much easier for us to decrease our plastic pollution.  


3. Refillable dental floss.

There are many companies selling degradable dental floss in glass packaging that also sell refills. This means you can minimise the resources used to produce the little plastic container for your floss. A note of caution: though many of these flosses may be marketed as compostable/biodegradable, be careful before tossing it into your home systems. If made of PLA, a bioplastic made from corn, it will take much much longer than other materials to break down, or fail to do so if the conditions in your home system aren’t ideal for its degradation. 


4. Bar soap instead of liquid handwash.

Liquid soap is a relatively new invention in the timeline of human hygiene. Prior to the nineteenth century, humans made do with solid soap. And having swapped out our household’s liquid handwash for the simple bar soap several months ago, it baffles me as to why we started using liquid handwash in the first place. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to find bar soap that comes in recyclable/home-compostable packaging, it also lasts for months and months. This means you can save a little on your weekly expenses, or indulge in slightly fancier soaps since their cost per use is much lower than their liquid equivalents. 


5. Reusable facial rounds.

It’s widely known that cotton and its processing causes a lot of harm to our planet. So if you’re purchasing cotton products always opt for items made of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)- certified cotton. Even better, go for reusable organic rounds that you can pop in the laundry in a delicates bag between uses. Skincare is a daily ritual for many people - making it a sustainable one is easy, and the positive ecological impact of doing it more mindfully will accumulate throughout your lifetime. 


6. Safety razor.

The removal of body hair is a practice that usually involves a lot of plastic packaging. If you go to your average supermarket, you’ll find that the razor is plastic. The replaceable blade attachments have a plastic component. Both items are packaged in a lot of plastic. Safety razors are a stainless steel alternative that are designed to last longer. With these, you use a replaceable, recyclable and much cheaper aluminium blade. It might take a bit of practice getting used to, but safety razor converts insist that this eco-friendly razor provides a closer, cleaner shave.


  • Sustainability /
  • Zero waste /
  • Environment /
  • Plastic /
  • Bamboo /
  • Recycling /
  • Lifestyle /
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