Feb 10, 2023 • Annie Cao
Spending time in our bathrooms is a daily ritual for most of us — it’s where we refresh ourselves in the morning and wind down for the evening. It’s also a space where we potentially generate waste (no pun intended) from plastic packaging or non-biodegradable products. Thankfully, there are sustainable options that will upgrade our bathrooms while helping the planet.
Here are five easy swaps for a more sustainable bathroom:
According to the National Geographic, over one billion traditional plastic toothbrushes are thrown away annually because they aren’t recyclable.
Bamboo toothbrushes are a biodegradable alternative that can reduce landfill waste. The bamboo handles are compostable, while the bristles — usually made from nylon or castor oil — are removable and recyclable.
Another option to look into is electric toothbrushes. While the product itself may not be as sustainable, they’re meant to last for years, and many companies now offer recycling programs for their toothbrush heads.
EcoRoots | $14.90 | Biodegradable, recyclable bristles, 1% for the Planet, plastic-free packaging
Foreo | $149 | Non-toxic, petroleum-free silicone bristles, rechargeable, toothbrush head to be replaced annually
Image by Bite via bitetoothpastebits.com
Just like toothbrushes, over a billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills every year due to the plastic and aluminum packaging. Switching to toothpastes with recyclable tubes or zero-waste toothpaste tablets are sustainable options that can cut down on waste.
David’s | $9.95 | Recyclable metal tube, vegan, EWG-verified, plastic-free packaging, subscription service available
BITE | $7+ | Plastic-free packaging, refillable, subscription service available
Image by Dental Lace via dentallace.com
Typically packaged in plastic, dental floss is made from synthetic materials and coated with potentially harmful chemicals, which isn’t something we necessarily want in our mouths. Silk floss is a biodegradable and environmentally-friendly substitute that can help maintain a healthy smile.
Another possible option is a water flosser. By using pressurized water to clean between the teeth, water flossers are a long-term investment that’s a bit less wasteful compared to string floss.
Dental Lace | $12 | Zero waste, biodegradable, plastic-free packaging, refillable, subscription service available
WaterPik® | $39.99+ | ADA Seal of Acceptance
Image by Plant Paper via zerowastestore.com
Approximately 27,000 trees are cut down every day to make toilet paper, and it takes 37 gallons of water and a gallon of chemicals to make just one roll. With a single person using an average of over 100 rolls a year, it’s clear that traditional toilet paper is rapidly contributing to deforestation and hurting our septic systems.
One alternative is switching to tree-free toilet paper — made from bamboo, plant-based toilet paper breaks down more easily in septic systems and doesn’t use plastic packaging or chemicals that can affect our health.
It’s also possible to ditch toilet paper altogether and make the transition to bidets. Bidets are used in many countries, and while it might feel strange to skip the wipe, our bums and the environment will be happier for it by saving trees and water.
Plant Paper | $48+ | Tree-free, toxin-free, plastic-free packaging, subscription service available
Tushy | $99+ | DIY installation, minimizes toilet paper use, carbon-neutral
Image by Coyuchi via coyuchi.com
After a long day, it’s nice to step into the shower and wash away any dirt, oils, or buildup from products and pollution. Taking baths has also become a popular step in self-care routines to de-stress and relax. For those of us who use shower curtains in our bathrooms, taking the sustainable route is a great way to support eco-conscious businesses.
Coyuchi | $98+ | Organic cotton construction, circular initiative, Fair Trade Certified™, MADE SAFE® seal, 1% for the Planet
Our daily routines can produce a lot of waste that hurts the planet. By switching to eco-friendly alternatives, we can create more sustainable bathrooms and help the environment, one swap at a time.