Non-Toxic Alternatives That Have A Positive Impact On Your Health, Your Home, And The Environment!
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For the record, I don’t live a zero waste lifestyle. I don’t think that I could ever completely live a zero waste lifestyle. It’s just not practical for my family and I.
I do however, strive to live a green lifestyle and enjoy incorporating small amounts of zero-waste, eco-friendly, and sustainable practices into my home and community as much as possible. My bathroom and kitchen being one of them!
You don’t have to be perfect, just do what’s best for your situation. A lifestyle modification takes time—and making at least one small change within your home is fantastic. In fact, start with the bathroom!
The two areas within your home where most waste tends to accumulate the most is the kitchen and the bathroom. So it’s practical to tackle those two living spaces first. And since bathrooms tend to be smaller than a kitchen, begin your swap or “makeover” there first.
Start by doing an assessment. Look around and determine what can be modified or switched out to save you money on your water bill or electricity. What plastic accessories can you swap out for more environmentally friendly versions? And lastly, what products do you currently use that contain harsh ingredients (cleaners, cleansing products and toiletries).
Once you’ve completed your assessment, go over your list and swap a couple of things out, little by little, until you feel that you have created the green bathroom of your dreams. And if you need a little help with swaps, I’ve included a few tips and product recommendations below to help jumpstart your project.
Lower Your Electricity Bill
When it comes to saving money on your electricity bill, it’s best to use energy efficient light bulbs—which you probably already knew about. But did you know that you can also use a device called an “electricity saving box” that balances the electrical current within your home—saving you 20-35% on your electric bill. It looks no different than a plug-in air freshener and you can use up to two within a household.
There a couple of things that you can do to conserve water. One of them consists of using a bucket to catch the cold water in the shower while you’re waiting for it to warm up. You can then use that water to water your plants (both indoor and out). You can also switch your shower head to a low flow shower head which can help save up to 40% of water or more.
Switch To Non-Toxic Cleaners
A year ago I used a well known bleach brand to clean my shower with—and I thought I would pass out from the smell and chemicals I was breathing in. It was horrible. So I started researching alternatives that not only have a pleasant smell, and work great, but are good for the environment, as they lessen both water and air pollution. Plus, if you have children or pets, you don’t want them breathing this stuff in.
A common misconception about eco-friendly, plant based bathroom cleaners is that they don’t work as well as traditional cleaners, and that they’re more expensive. That’s simply not the case. Many work just as well, and are around the same price range, plus, many are packaged in earth-friendly containers.
Some really well trusted eco-friendly and non-toxic brands that I enjoy using are:
Consider A PVC-Free Shower Liner
Many shower liners are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—which is actually a hormone disruptor. Have you ever opened up a fresh liner and noticed that “smell”? Those are chemicals leaching into the air. So what can you replace it with? That’s actually a tough one. And here’s why.
You may have read that liners made of EVA (ethelyne vinyl acetate) are a safer alternative because they don’t contain as many chemicals as PVC. But, unfortunately, that’s just the dilemma—they still contain chemicals because they’re still made of vinyl. Manufacturers like to push these as “eco-friendly” because unlike PVC, they don’t contain an odor and are “antimicrobial”, which by the way, doesn’t really work that well and just means it’s covered in yet more chemicals.
This really leaves you with limited options: you can either get something synthetic like polyester, hemp or tightly woven cotton. These alternatives are a little pricier, have the potential to mold and take longer to dry, but on the plus side, they can be washed in the laundry machine and are chemical free.
Switch From Shampoo Bottles To Shampoo Bars
Traditional shampoo is packaged in plastic bottles, and over time, it accumulates in landfills because it doesn’t biodegrade. When you think about it, the average person goes through a bottle or two of shampoo (and conditioner) a month. Multiply that by billions of people, and you’ve got a ton of plastic waste.
Shampoo bars, on the other hand, don’t come in plastic packaging! They’re also made of non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients, and are super easy to travel with, which is a plus! And these days, shampoo bars for men are finally becoming more and more available as well! In fact, check out my article on “Best Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars For Men” to learn more!
Switch To Bamboo Toiletry Items
When it comes to toilet paper, I’m sure you’ve heard all about alternatives like bamboo toilet paper. After all, bamboo is a sustainable material, it’s biodegradable, it’s chemical free and it’s antibacterial. The only drawback is the price. They can be really expensive. It may not be practical for a family of 4 or larger, but for a single individual or couple, it’s a pretty good earth-friendly switch to make. You can also replace your toilet bowl cleaning brush (which tend to be plastic) to bamboo as well (but only when it’s time for it to be thrown out, we don’t want to throw out plastic “just because”).
Bathroom Air Freshners
Bathrooms tend to smell, especially if you live in a house full of boys. And our instinct is to just plug in fancy chemical-filled air fresheners that mask the smell. But why do that when you can just get some activated charcoal purifying bags and have them trap the odors? It’s a non-toxic and chemical free way to keep your bathroom smelling fresh. With that said, it’s safe for you, your kids and your pets.
Activated charcoal air purifying bags can last up to 2 years and can be cleaned monthly by simply being placed outside in the sunlight. I happen to also use these in my car in lieu of the little “hanging trees”.
Let me know if you have any other ideas, and as always, thanks so much for reading and sharing!
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