As you may have heard, we removed the waste bin in our bathroom in favour of our “central kitchen recycling system”. The idea being that if we only have one area to deal with our trash, we’re more likely to separate it properly and less likely to have little bins all over the house that then need to be sorted (or ignored as the case used to be).
Case in point: toilet paper tubes. They’re cardboard and recyclable, but previously they always seemed to end up in our bathroom waste bin because we (myself included) were too lazy to actually walk 10 steps to the kitchen recycling bin. Now that we have no option in the bathroom, all paper products, even little ones, get to their proper recycling areas.
Besides removing the waste bin, we have been doing a few other little things to help keep the bathroom waste to a minimum. Here’s a list of what we’ve done so far:
1) Removing the waste bin
2) Dental Hygine. So, we’ve been making our own toothpaste. I checked with my aunt who is a hygienist, and she said it’s a-ok, but you have to add flouride if you’re developing new cavities or have soft teeth (which we don’t). I’ve been using this recipe. It actually makes your teeth feel like they were just polished like at the dentist, but it’s not as over-all fresh feeling as regular toothpaste. The peppermint is a must have addition.
3) The Diva. I know the guys don’t care whatsoever, and every green-type blog I’ve come across promotes the diva cup to no end, but seriously, it is the best way to be waste free in the bathroom. Plus you only have to change it every 12 hours. Depending on which calculations you use, the average woman uses between 9,000 and 16,800 (quite the range, I know) tampons/pads in her lifetime. That’s a lot of trash. Buying the Diva Cup was the last thing I bought before we started the Clean Bin Project, and it’s the primary reason why we don’t need a garbage can in the bathroom any more.
4) Green Clean. We scrub the tub with baking soda and wash with vinegar. It works just as well as special products, and it doesn’t knock you out with harsh chemical smell. (I do still have a random bottle of glass cleaner which I refuse to throw out, but once it’s empty, it’s gone)
5) The Bottles Under the Sink. One of the main reasons we decided “we have too much stuff” in the first place was the enormous collection of bottles under the bathroom sink. We’ve got lotions and bubbles, shampoos and gels, powders and rinses, peels and scrubs. . . I could go on, but you get the idea. We have a lot of “product”.
As part of the project, we are allowed to buy basic personal hygiene products, BUT we must first use up what we have. Bear with me as I am suffering through a year of the dredges of discarded and expired shampoos. Seriously though, we have done quite well. Neither Grant nor I have bought anything hygiene related in the past 3 months, and Rhyannon only purchased a giant bottle of shampoo.
When we final run out, I’m planning of getting a shampoo bar like these ones at lush.
6) Deodorant. Grant uses (use a mystic tone of voice when you read this) “the crystal” which, although packaged in hard plastic, lasts for frikin’ ever. Seriously, we’ve had it for years. Doesn’t do the trick for me, but when I run out of my regular deoderant, I’ve decided to give one of the many package-free options a try like a deoderant bar from lush or (eek) a homemade baking soda concoction. Will let you know how that one goes.
coated with beeswax and packaged in cardboard. Seems like you can have any but not all of these attributes in a floss. Up to this point, I’ve been putting my (polyester or some such) dental floss in the garbage bin, but I recently ran out, and am now dentalflossless. I’ll have to resume my search for biodegradable floss immediately.
6) TP. Ok now, I have not reached the extreme that others have and stopped using TP or started using spray bottles or washable cloth wipes. For now, we’re just buying recycled toilet paper and using in moderation. Who knows, maybe we’ll become more extreme over time.
So, that’s about it so far. If you have suggestions on ways we can improve, or want to share what you have been doing to cut down on bathroom waste, let us know. We can always learn more!