The Green Minute: How to Create a Zero Waste Home – The Bathroom

This week, The Green Minute will be providing our readers tips on how to create a zero waste home. The tips come from a blog developed by Bea Johnson called The Zero Waste Home. Today, we are sharing The Zero Waste Home’s tips for the bathroom.

Before you check out the bathroom tips, view this video from the Today Show that appeared in 2011 during Earth Week, featuring the Johnson family.

Here are the tips for the bathroom (we recommend you check out the Zero Waste Store for Bathrooms) :

  1. Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper individually wrapped in paper (if you have solar you could install an electrical washlet to your toilet seat).
  2. Use a solution of baking soda/water/lavender essential oil in a spray bottle or an alum stone or straight baking soda (most effective) as antiperspirant.
  3. For shaving, (re)use a safety razor and shaving soap (any rich soap, such as Alep soap will do).
  4. Refill your bottles with bulk shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is short, you also have the “no-poo” option: rinse your hair, massage baking soda in, then rinse, with vinegar for shine. Or use a shampoo bar. Instead of hairspray, switch to lemon water in a spray bottle (see Recipes). To go longer between washes, substitute dry shampoo for cornstarch (in bulk).
  5. For body/face soap, find a package-free solid soap or bulk liquid castile soap. To exfoliate, switch to bulk baking soda or oatmeal for the face and salt for the body. For a mask, switch to bulk clays (French, Kaolin, Bentonite, etc…), mixed with water or apple cider vinegar.
  6. Switch from toothpaste to homemade tooth powder (see Recipes), in a glass parmesan dispenser. And until we see a wooden compostable toothbrush “made in the US” on the market, there are no right answers out there yet.
  7. Reduce your cosmetics and consider homemade substitutes such as cocoa powder as bronzer and homemade balm that works on eyes, lips, hair and nails (see Recipes) and in lieu of disposable feminine products, invest in menstrual cup and reusable liners.
  8. All you need for your nails is a nail clipperstainless steel file and the homemade balm for moisture and shine.
  9. Forget about Q-tips, they are not good for you anyway. Do your research.
  10. YOU CAN ALSO… compost hair and nail clippings, put a brick in your toilet tank, collect water in a bucket while your shower heats and water your plants with it, and use zero waste cleaning: microfiber cloths for mirrors, vinegar for mold, baking soda as scrub, a mix of baking soda and vinegar as drain cleaner (see Cleaning and Recipes)…

by Pat Byington, Editor of The Green Register

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