Sustainable Living

9 Ways To Make Everything You Do in the Bathroom More Eco-Friendly, According to a Sustainability Expert

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/Dougal Waters

Your bathroom is due for an eco-friendly makeover. Get this: Humans flush 270,000 trees down the toilet every day, which means that right now is the best moment to invest in a bidet. But if a butt spray isn’t your thing, there are plenty of environmentally friendly bathroom products and lifestyle changes you can—and should—make, considering only about 50 percent of bathroom waste is recycled.

Sustainability expert Ashlee Piper writes extensively about the ins-and-outs of the sustainable bathroom in her book Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. She knows real change happens when we make small tweaks to our routines. For example, limiting your towels can make a huge difference. I have two towels per person in my household—one is getting cleaned while the other is in use—and one hand towel for the bathroom,” says Piper. “Limiting towels means less washing and water waste.” But there are also things you can add to your cabinet and countertops to give the powder room a sustainable upgrade. Below, a few environmentally friendly bathroom products that Piper recommends.

The most environmentally-friendly bathroom products to buy, according to a sustainability expert

1. Bamboo Toothbrushes

If you don’t have a trusty electric toothbrush, chances are you go through plastic-handled drug store buys, getting a new dental hygiene tool whenever you get to the point of, “Yeah, this feels gross.” Break the cycle with these adorable, pastel-tipped bamboo toothbrushes.

Shop now: Bamboo Toothbrush, $11

2. Toothpaste Bits

Um, how fun are toothpaste bites? You just use one of these instead of constantly tossing something that still has minty green sludge inside. Piper also suggests that you can do powdered toothpaste, homemade DIY toothpaste,  or shop David’s Natural toothpaste ($10) with a metal, recyclable tube. 

Shop now: Bite Fresh Mint Toothpaste Bits, Bottle of 62, $12

3. Reusable Razors

Piper is a personal fan of Leaf Razor, which at first blush might seem pricey. But it’s an investment that you’ll see returns on; these are sharp and chic razors with a pivoting head, and some people can go up to two months without switching out a blade. Ultimately about an estimated 2 billion plastic razors and refill blades end up in the landfill every year, you and the planet benefit long term.

Shop now: The Leaf Razor One Blade Razor + 10 Blade Starter Pack, $84

4. Compostable Cotton Swabs

Those plastic stems are a huge waste on something that like, very literally clears out ear wax. Getting something compostable will be way kinder to the environment.

Shop now: Bamboo Stem Cotton Swabs, $10 for 225

5. Reusable Cotton Rounds

You could also just buy washcloths, but Piper suggests reusable cotton rounds and washcloths to replace the cotton balls and makeup wipes in your cabinet.

Shop now: Ecoroots Organic Reusable Cotton Rounds, Set of 10, $11

6. Refillable Body Wash

You probably want to do the same with refillable hand soap or just switch to bar soap. Personally, I can’t sacrifice lathering up with a body wash, so this refillable option by Public Goods fits the bill. It’s also power-packed with essential oils from of citruses. Who wouldn’t want to shower with that?

Shop now: Public Goods Body Wash, $11

7. Sustainable and Refillable Cleaners

And whenever you need to give your tub a scrub, you can rely on a refillable cleaner. This one by Pur Home has refills that retail at $12, and comes in Lavender, Rosemary Citrus, Citrus and Mint. 

Shop now: Pur Home Bathroom Cleaner, $8

8. Water Filters

This isn’t because you’re going to start drinking your bathwater in order to make it really count. Water filters limit the amount of water wasted on faucets, showers, and toilets. If nothing else, be a little more mindful about those long showers and start with this.

Shop now: Rainshow’r RS-502 Dechlorinating Shower Filter with Chrome Shower Head, $44

9. Recycled Toilet Paper

To bring it back home, we basically need to find a better way to wipe our asses, because as Piper previously told Well+Good, “Conventional toilet paper, especially so-called ‘flushable wipes,’ are terrible for the environment and plumbing, causing costly fatbergs.” Fatberg are basically as unappealing as they sound, they’re giant masses of disgusting nonbiodegradable waste. Anyway, she recommends these super precious rolls from Who Gives a Crap.

Shop now: Who Gives a Crap, 48 Rolls, $48

Experts Referenced
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