How to make your bathroom more sustainable

When we think about improving sustainability, we often think about the biggest culprits – fossils fuels and our energy suppliers, or diets and the way we travel. These are all great things to think about and be aware of, but can seem overwhelming to change overnight. 
There are plenty of things we can be doing, however, right at home to decrease our impact on the environment. 
Plastic waste
One of the biggest aspects affecting the sustainability of our bathroom products is plastic waste. For some items that are chemically active, plastic is a necessity. However, for the most part, plastic can be easily reduced throughout our bathrooms, from cleaning products to toiletries and beyond. 
  • Cleaning products – where cleaning products are involved, more and more refillable options are coming to the market. These are beneficial because instead of buying a new bottle each time you run out, you can get refill packets or bottles, significantly cutting out the amount of plastic needed per unit of volume. Brands like Iron & Velvet, Oceansaver and Fill and improving things further by providing concentrate or ‘tab’ versions of cleaning products, meaning even greater reductions in packaging – you have one bottle that you reuse for life.
  • Toothpaste/mouthwash – we get through countless tubes of toothpaste in our lives, each one contributing to the plastic that ends up in landfill (and often with some unideal chemicals in too). Instead of opting for mainstream toothpastes and mouthwashes, look for brands such as Georganics that use natural ingredients and package in recyclable glass and compostable packaging. Each bottle of mouthwash is another item of plastic thrown in landfill (or hopefully recycled) after just a few uses. Georganics mouthwash tablets provide the same benefits but with none of the packaging. 
  • Toothbrush – rather than opting for a disposable plastic toothbrush, why not switch to bamboo? Leo’s Box stocks Truthbrush, a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. It can be as simple as pulling out the bristles before throwing in the compost.
  • Shampoo and conditioner – similar to above, shampoos and conditioners are a mainstay of most people’s bathrooms. However, with a huge amount of plastic packaging, they’re not known for being eco-friendly. By opting for shampoo and conditioner bars, you can cut out all plastic packaging entirely. While this option isn’t for everyone, it’s the most environmentally friendly solution – next best is to get refillable shampoos, though this isn’t widely available. 
  • Loo paper – most loo papers available at supermarkets are wrapped in plastic, In the UK more than 90% of our loo paper is produced from virgin forests in Scandinavia. Aside from forgoing all loo paper and opting for a bidet (does anyone even have one anymore?), there are a few brands reducing or forgoing plastic and opting for fast-growing bamboo instead of virgin pulp, such as Cheeky Panda, Who Gives A Crap, Bumboo and (the best name ever) Uranus Wipes. 
Chemicals are not necessarily bad. Water contains chemicals. Our food contains chemicals – organic or not. Many chemicals are needed for us to survive. However, some chemicals can be toxic to life, especially when released into waterways, and with the amount we wash down the sink each day, it’s important to choose products with the least harmful chemicals in.
  • Cleaning products – one of the biggest concerns surrounding cleaning products is their impact on waterways. Products such as bleach can be hugely toxic when used in excess, so opting for cleaning products that minimise their toxicity is a good idea. It is possible to make your own cleaners with home ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, or buy Borax substitute, which is gentler on the environment. 
  • Toothpaste/mouth wash – Toothpastes contain a wide variety of compounds which may harm waterways in large quantities. Opting for more ‘natural’ toothpastes can reduce both harm to the environment and also improve your mouth health too! 
  • Shampoo/conditioner – parabens and phthalates are chemicals known to have hormone-disrupting properties, raising concerns of their safety when used frequently. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of shampoos and conditioners that have replaced these products. Look for organic and cruelty free.
  • Loo paper – many loo papers use bleach in their production. Recycled papers generally use less bleach than virgin pulp, and while some concerns have been raised about BPA in recycled papers, the quantities are so low – significantly lower than in receipts, for example - they’re unlikely to cause any damage. 
Although water scarcity is less of an issue in the UK than elsewhere, it’s both important for the environment and for our wallets to save as much water as possible day to day. The Environment Agency is warning that the UK could face serious water shortages within the next 25 years thanks to climate change and population growth. On average we receive 885mm of rain each year, but while parts of the UK seem wet most of the time, areas like East Anglia are actually semi-arid. Saving water is a great habit to get into. 
  • Bath/shower – take a shower instead of a bath. Baths use almost 3x the water of a 10 minute shower, so limit them to when you really need them. 
  • Loo – If you don’t have the option to fit a low-flow loo, instead fill a 1L bottle of water and put it in the loo tank to reduce the amount of water in the tank. This will reduce the water your loo uses to flush, saving up to 3000 gallons per year! 
At Leo’s Box we aim to do all this research for you to make choosing the most sustainable options easier. These are complex topics to cover, and we understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to research all the available options to choose what’s best for the environment, affordable, and most importantly, works. By signing up for a membership, you can have access to a range of products at reduced prices that are leading the way in reducing environmental impact in our bathrooms and beyond. 
There’s no obligation with membership, so why not sign up for a month and see how much you can lighten your environmental footprint and reduce waste!
Sign up now
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