Sustainable Changes in the Bathroom

As we started our journey on living sustainably, the first place to make changes was the bathroom. It seemed the easiest place to start, and I thought it would be, but I was so surprised with how much we used in the bathroom that was unsustainable. If I am honest, it was mainly a lot of my products I seemed to have a crazy amount of products for one person, there had to be a way to reduce.

First to try, shampoo bars this was a tough one for Mr N, like most men they want a body wash that does everything in one bottle. Convincing him to swap was not going to be easy, so with a little bit of begging to give it a go, he reluctantly followed me in Lush with no high expectations. We got a shampoo bar each as our hair types are so different, I have very fine hair, that is greasy within hours whereas Mr N has lusciously thick hair (ggrrr).

Unfortunately, I have to admit I am not brought by sales assistants banging on about loads of products just to get sales, having been in the industry myself, I understand the pressures given from above, but when you are trying to be sustainable you do not want to fill up your bathroom with products that are not really needed. It is almost impossible to walk into a shop and just ask which product is best for two different requirements, this did happen on this particular shopping trip which was frustrating for someone in tow considering how much convincing it took me to get him in there. I just had to remember to go in for what I wanted and stand strong. ‘Do not buy that product unless you need it.’ (Repeat) after all my bathroom was full of products, I was trying to get through.

Anyway, back to the shampoo bars, Mr N was not convinced but he went with it, he was pleasantly surprised after the first wash. Not because of his hair, this was going to take time to strip from all the plastic chemicals washed in before but what impressed him was how much they foam up when you use them, proving a little goes a long way and these bars with last him longer than his body wash all in one.

We brought these in November and now we are in August two purchases of shampoo as lasted us well I think. What I love about these, no plastic and we are saving money as they last, making these a favourite for the bathroom.

The next bathroom swap, body washes. So we had to wait to finish all of the plastic bottles before we had to think about this change but it was pretty easy as when I reorganised the bathroom cabinet, I found a few bars of soap that were gifted over a period of time. Why did we not use them before? So we are still going through these, I cannot say we have a favourite yet, although I am partial to this Le Petit Marseillais the unfortunate thing is, it is wrapped in plastic, so this is banished.

Another one to throw at my husband was his toothbrush. He has not really ever thought that the plastic toothbrush is probably the most important thing to swap in the bathroom. I have mentioned the amazing Humble Brush before so it was time to turn the rest of my family’s attention to these, this meant being sneaky and just popping these in the toothbrush pot.

The next swap was down to me, makeup removal. Argh! What can I say about this, in the past, I have used wipes, eye makeup remover, micellar water, cotton wool balls and pads it was a lot of environmentally impacting products, but also a lot of stuff for the bathroom too, why? If I am honest half the time it did not remove my makeup and I was still left with an orange tinge on my towel. I found two great swaps for this

Invest in a makeup removal cloth from Norwex. This is a complete game-changer, a friend of mine became an independent consultant for Norwex and I was intrigued by the products which claimed to be long-lasting, and no need for harsh chemicals whilst being effective and not just in the bathroom. One evening my friend did a demonstration of how their make up removal cloth worked. With a full face of makeup, I watched her make up wash off her face with just water! Yes, water! Nothing else, just this cloth and water. For someone who wears heavy makeup at times, this was amazing!

I frantically typed her a message saying I need one of these, take my money! I admit this was when the cloth was on offer but honestly if it was not I would have ordered it anyway. So, what’s amazing about it well it effectively removes all traces of makeup including eyeliner and mascara with its ultra-soft suede-like microfibre perfect for all skin types. No need for any harsh face washes. I could not believe how it removes my mascara and my liquid eyeliner without me looking like a panda! My towels are now saved from that orange leftover tinge. The best bit, pop it in the washing machine and it is as good as new.

If you fancy trying one of these amazing cloths you can get them here:

My next makeup removal swap but really is a general bathroom tool was Reusable Removal Pads, these replaced cotton wool. I could use them for my toner, to remove my nail varnish again something else I could put in the washing machine and would come out as good as new.

I brought these from Etsy but you can make them yourself using your old towels or flannel material.

I thought my hardest swap would be my monthly Mother Nature visits. I am one for hygiene and the thought of period pants or fabric pads made me cringe. I spent four months deciding on what way to do this. My options were:

  1. Period Pants – expensive at £35-45 each pair! Ouch!
  2. Moon Cup – £20 for one cup but did I have the stomach to empty this out?
  3. Fabric Period Pads – you have a choice of fabrics, affordable as a set of 3 for £14 or around £6 each, make-able but would they be hygienic?

I finally went with the fabric period pads, I did some research on Etsy at designs and then looked at the reviews and ways to wash them. I spoke to many friends about their thoughts on these pads and the majority did not like the idea of this, would they smell? Cleaning them put a lot of them off too. However, when I tried them they were really simple to use, after wearing them you pop them in cold water to soak before washing them in the washing machine. As for the major concern of smell, well actually that is down to the person and their hygiene, myself, I take it seriously so I did not have a problem with smell.

For affordability, I recommend these and if you are a dab hand on the sewing machine making them is easy with lots of tutorials on Pinterest.

I am slightly struggling with finding a swap for my deodorant. After years and years of using products such as Sure and Dove, my underarms needed to adjust to not using something so harsh and becoming aluminium free. Last summer I made the switch, having tried a few from Lush and Neals Yard Remedies I can not seem to find the perfect fix, so suggestions welcome. The ones from Lush either dried out or dried my skin out causing irritation. My Neals Yard Remedies Deodorant was effective in keeping me dry, but possibly the chosen smell doesn’t work for me.

My final swap was a slightly expensive one, my razor. I was so sick of buying the plastic razors, replacing the heads after a couple of uses and getting shredded and spotty legs.

At a local fair, I stumbled across a pitch selling a lifetime razor. I had read about all the new companies out there offering a postal service razor but it was literally a decision on deciding which one to go with and I certainly did not want a subscription which added up.

Norse razors are thin handled double-edged safety razors made into a classic design that has stood the test of time. Recommend for all areas you shave, your face, head, legs, chest, bikini line and whatever else you might choose to shave. Made in the UK this was a big tick from me, made from steel, brass and chrome and the handle is made from recycled plastic. The guy on the stand explained all the benefits of shaving with this double-edged safety razor:

  1. it’s a Single blade so it is less irritation on the skin, which this means less rashing and spotting and your legs have less itchy grow back and ingrown hairs – perfect as this as become a problem for me.
  2. You can purchase 200 razor blades for about £20 so you save a fortune on razor blades.
  3. No single-use disposable plastic so the environmental impact is reduced,

I was sold, and I have had a really good shave since it has been brilliant. I admit sitting in the bath at first slightly scared as it is heavier than other razors in the past and I thought I was going to cut my legs, but it was so easy to use and glided perfectly. The razor costs around £40 but it will last years. 10 blades cost £1.50 which can be recycled too, what a brilliant sustainable swap for your bathroom.

You can order yours here:

My favourite product for the bathroom is Lush’s Bubble Bars, however, they are a treat for me as they do not last as long as a bubble bath in a bottle, I get through one a week and bath bombs are also a great alternative.

So, there you have it, the swaps we made in the bathroom, there were quite a few changes and it was surprising how easy it was to swap. I would love to hear your swaps and suggestions so I could give them a try and if you haven’t tried the suggestions above why not give them a go and let me know what you think.



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