By: Shannon Haupage
Time to go green – bathroom edition! Here are some helpful tips to transform your bathroom into one that will be easy on both the environment and your conscience. These tips are super easy and I challenge you to try some on your own!
I swear by these! For me, they clean even better than normal shampoo, and they help avoid all the plastic waste created by constantly buying bottles of shampoo. You can either take the bar and rub in on your hair or put some on your hands and rub it in. It suds up so well! A little goes a long way with these, and a Lush Shampoo Bar is said to last up to 80-100 washes. I can’t say enough great things about these!
Some grocery stores, like Fairway, sell bars of bulk soap with no packaging, so bring your own cloth bag and have at it! Bar soap is a great option because you can skip the plastic packaging of a liquid soap bottle. You can also get really fancy handmade ones! Some stores even sell bulk liquid soap, so if you have an old pump bottle, you can bring it to the store and ask them to weigh the bottle before you fill it. Then you can bring it to the cashier and they will subtract the weight of the bottle before you pay.
No more makeup wipes and sheet masks!
This one may seem far-fetched to some, but it’s actually a fairly easy change to make. I recommend removing makeup with a product called Face Halo that just takes water and it removes all makeup and dirt. You can also use a washcloth with product or a gentle face wash. And I know a sheet mask is a great way to relax, but there are other ways! You could use a face mask that doesn’t use a disposable sheet, or you could DIY your own sheet mask with a muslin cloth and some product.
Up-Cycle Your Toothbrushes
Many people use toothbrushes for cleaning purposes, such as cleaning in grout or treads in shoes. You can also up-cycle old toothbrushes into your dogs’ toothbrushes, or use it to touch up your hair color. Instead of opening a new toothbrush for these purposes, why not wait until your last toothbrush is done with its cycle so it can be up-cycled into a cleaning brush?
Micro-beads are tiny pieces of plastic that are in so many bathroom products that we don’t even know about. These plastic beads wash down our drains and into the ocean and are extremely harmful to aquatic ecosystems. The micro-plastics show up as Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), or Nylon (PA) in the ingredients on the back of the product. This link can help you figure out what products to avoid!
A lot of subscription boxes are ones that send you samples of products about every month so you can try them out and decide what you like and dislike. However, these subscription boxes guarantee that you will create waste throughout the year because you’re receiving a box of things you probably won’t need or end up using. I recommend doing your research on products that you know you want and finding the right makeup shades for yourself. And if you still want to give it a try once you do that, many products you can get a sample of at Sephora if you just ask one of the workers for one, or you can contact the brand and see if they can send you a sample size for you to try.
This last one has been a huge one for me, but of course this is only relevant to some people. During a normal cycle, most people throw away plastic tampon applicators and wrappers and/or pad wrappers. But doing this every month adds up over a lifetime. I will never buy another tampon or pad ever again because I have 8 pairs of Thinx and it has me covered through the whole cycle. This is a good option for people with light-medium periods or a backup for people with heavier ones. The best part is that, for me, these are so much more comfortable than a pad or tampon! I highly recommend trying it out if you can.
It’s important to remember that these are all just suggestions! Be easy on yourself and do the best that you can with what you are given in life. Even just reading this article is the first step in understanding how you can make a difference for the environment. I hope you find these tips helpful and that you give some of them a try!