7 Easy Ways You Can Make Your Bathroom Eco-Friendly | the ReFab Diaries

Making the decision to live in a way that is more environmentally friendly can be daunting and exciting; you know you want to have a positive impact on the planet (or at least less of an impact) and have all the energy that comes with starting a new and worthy project. You probably know that you’re in for a huge learning curve, but you feel ready. The following will explore a few easy steps you can take to make your bathroom more eco-friendly. The goal is to find those initial changes that can get the ball rolling and give you the emotional enjoyment of some smaller wins early on in your eco-friendly journey.

Photo by Phil Hearing

Before diving in, it’s a good idea to remind yourself that smaller changes made consistently over a long period of time are far better than hardcore changes that uproot your entire day or life made for only a few days or weeks. If a task feels too big to take on at the moment, that’s okay. Find the changes that you can comfortably make with your current income and energy and make those. Every positive change helps!

Next Time You Need A New Toothbrush

The next time you need a new toothbrush, why not make the switch to a plastic-free option? Believe it or not, it’s estimated that over one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in America. While toothbrushes aren’t single-use, common advice is to get a new one every three months. The switch to bamboo or other natural fibers is pretty easy to make and costs only a tiny bit more than a standard toothbrush. If you buy them in bulk online, you might even find they’re less expensive than the plastic options you are familiar with.

Rethink Dental Floss

When it comes to single-use plastic, most people don’t think about dental floss, but they should. Most floss is a wax-coated string of plastic used once and then tossed away, adding to the ever-growing microplastics issue the world is facing. Microplastics are found in every water source on the planet as well as in human blood. When you run out of floss, look for a plastic-free option. Silk floss is becoming particularly popular.

Think About Hand-Drying

One of the most common things people do in bathrooms is wash their hands. Children might dry their hands on their clothing, but most adults look for an absorbent material nearby. There are lots of eco-friendly options in this regard, including towels and hand drying machines. If you take the time to compare the impact of a switch away from disposable hand-drying options like comparing hand dryers vs paper towels, for instance, you might be shocked at how much good can be done by making a switch. If you’re managing a bathroom that is open to the public, this is even more critical as so many people will be using it. Business owners worried about the cost of installing a hand dryer should calculate how much they pay for paper towels on a regular basis; paper towels are more expensive than you think.

Consider The Toilet Paper Problem

Toilet paper is expensive; it’s also a tree product coated in dyes and bleached to a fake, bright white that we’ve been trained by the media to think of as clean. A simple bidet attachment for a toilet can cut down on a household’s toilet paper use by an insane amount. Not only do most people with access to a bidet feel like it’s cleaner and more sanitary, but they save a ton of money on toilet paper. You probably don’t even realise how much it’s costing you.

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Learn About Menstrual Product Alternatives

New research is coming out, and it’s not kind to traditional menstrual products. It turns out they’re packed with bleaches and harmful chemicals that are easily absorbed by the delicate parts of the body that they come in contact with. In addition to the toxicity issues, traditional menstrual products tend to include a ton of plastic packaging, which contributes to landfill and microplastic issues. You can avoid these problems (and again, save a nice chunk of money) if you switch to organic, natural menstrual products, menstrual cups (but avoid silicone options because silicone is made from fossil fuels making it scarily similar to plastic), or period panties (avoid polyester and other plastic-based materials).

When It’s Time To Replace The Shower Curtain

Shower curtains are highly functional, but they don’t last forever, and this means these PVC and plastic-rich bathroom essentials are contributing to the landfill problems the world is facing. Of course, because they’re getting damp on the regular, you need to be careful about which options you choose to replace them. Organic hemp shower curtains are resistant to mildew and bacteria, and they dry incredibly quickly. There are tons of colors and styles available as well, so you’re sure to find something that suits your bathroom decor. Don’t forget to get an eco-friendly stone bath mat that matches any shower curtain.

Rethink Cleaning Products

Within the next year, you can expect that one of the big eco-friendly trends is going to revolve around fragrances and cleaning products. It turns out that we’ve been trained to think toxicity smells clean when actually it’s wreaking havoc on our health by damaging our endocrine systems, causing tons of inflammation, and increasing our risk of getting cancer. Vinegar is your new best friend (and it’s marvelous at getting rid of soap scum while leaving a streak-free, dry spot-free shine). If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, know that it dissipates very quickly and that the smell isn’t doing you any harm. When you look into studies about the contaminants in the air we breathe both inside and outside, you’re going to want to do your part to minimize the clean air crisis. Harvard released a study recently that found 1 in 5 deaths worldwide were premature deaths caused by poor air quality. When you combine that data with the studies that find indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, you might get a little scared.

The above list should have given you an idea of a few things you can do to encourage more planetary kindness in your bathroom. If budget is a concern for you, remind yourself that it’s okay to make changes slowly, buying something new and eco-friendly only after you’ve run out of something and were planning on purchasing a replacement anyway.

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