Minimal Living is a new blog series I’ve come up with, looking at lower impact plastic-free alternatives for nearly every room in the house.
I thought I’d start the Minimal Living series by looking at the bathroom because our quest to be clean shouldn’t dirty the planet (or something like that!). I’ve put together some plastic free bathroom supplies and toiletries ideas available via mail order – you can try your local shops too to see what they have or you can have a go at DIYs for soaps, etc.
Plastic Free Ideas For The Bathroom
Bath Salts* (£5) from Michelle Good Soaps – plastic free and made in small batches by the lovely Grimsby based Michelle.
Hemp & Honey Solid Shampoo Bar* (£4.60) from Aromawakening. Plastic free and free from SLES, SLS, parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrance & preservatives.
Wooden Vegan Hairbrush (£18) from Cebra. Most brushes I’ve found have boar bristles but this lovely vegan one has sisal bristles.
Salt of the Earth Soap from Washed Out Soap Co (£5). Free of all nasties and plastics and great for sensitive skins/allergy suffers.
Andrex Toilet Paper (2 Pack) (approx £1.50) – the only toilet paper I can find that’s wrapped in paper, not plastic. Most commonly available in small convenience stores!
Bamboo toothbrush (£3.19) from Ecco Verde. Genius, because you can buy different colours so you can easily tell which toothbrush belongs to which family member. They also sell kids bamboo toothbrushes (also £3.19).
Preserve Toothbrush* (£3.50) from Planet Organic. So far I’ve sadly found that bamboo toothbrushes are not my bag. If they’re not yours then the Preserve toothbrush is your next best option. Made from recycled yoghurt pots and fully recyclable, it’s got some mighty fine green credentials.
Eco-Dent Dental Floss (£6.89) – comes in a cardboard box rather than plastic, and is 100% vegan as rather than being coated with beeswax, the floss is coated in rice bran and essential oils.
Natual Peppermint Toothpaste* from Georganics (£6.80). Lush used to sell tooth cleaning tabs in a cardboard box but they’ve now altered the packaging to a plastic bottle for some reason. I didn’t get on with the tabs – you can read more about the sorry tale here – but this natural toothpaste in a glass jar looks like it might be a better alternative.
Shaving Soap* (£8.50) from Holistic Treats – for men or women is handmade in the UK and free of any nasties.
Any other plastic-free bathroom supplies and toiletries? Do pop them in the comments below!
I’ve got a great guest post for you today that will hopefully give you lots of green bathroom inspiration if you’re considering refurbishing the smallest room in your house. It’s been written for Moral Fibres readers by Rebecca Moore, who is currently studying for a degree in interior design.
Rebecca has particular interest in eco-friendly design and says growing up on Hayling Island, with it’s beautiful surroundings, sparked her interest in eco-friendly design. Rebecca is looking to start her blogging journey whilst she studies, so is dipping her toes into the world of green blogging with this green bathroom post for Moral Fibres .
Being eco-friendly has a lot more history than most of us know! Believe it or not, the environmental movement can be traced back as far as 1830’s America, but didn’t begin to gain public recognition until around 1903, when Teddy Roosevelt made a visit to Yosemite National park in California and the US Government began to take preservation action. Widespread public recognition of the need to protect the environment didn’t really occur until the 1960’s though, when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring, about the damaging effects of agricultural chemicals. This raised public awareness massively, and between the 1960’s and 1990’s we saw various ‘acts’ put in place and the start of some radical movements such as PETA and Green Peace.
Fast forward to 2015 and the environmental movement has stood the test of time, proving to those who have doubted it that it isn’t just a ‘trend’ or a form of hysteria but an important crusade that is slowly but surely integrating itself into our daily lives and in more recent years, our homes.
The bathroom is one room in the household that is used most frequently and it is common to overindulge in water and energy! But fear not, it IS possible to create a green bathroom, and lower your consumption while creating an elegant and enviable space. The green attitude of ‘Generation Y’ have forced the luxury bathroom industry to comply, and it is an easier task than it once was to find beautiful fixtures and fittings whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.
Baths are one of the biggest statement pieces of furniture you will find in any bathroom, and in modern times acrylic has over taken steel in retail sales. However, buying a steel bath is the option with more eco-friendly credentials. A raw natural material, steel is not only 100% recyclable when it comes to the end of its life but is a far ‘greener’ option in its production compared to acrylic. Steel doesn’t exhale environmentally harmful waste products into our precious environment during the manufacturing process like its acrylic counter parts. Although steel baths are invariably more expensive, there are some beautiful styles out there that will create a real ‘wow’ factor, regardless of the size of the room.
Not only that, but a steel bath can aid you in reducing your water and electricity consumption due to its conductive powers. Initially cold to the touch, once you fill your bath with hot water, it will stay warmer for far longer and will eliminate the need to top up throughout your soak.
Flooring and wall coverings are another great way to inject your personality whilst upholding your green bathroom standards. Natural or sustainable materials much as glass (made from recycled bottles), and cork are becoming increasingly popular as interior designers are having to seek out materials that are eco-friendly for their carbon-conscious clients.
Sheet metal is another industrial material that it becoming a popular design trend this year. Shimmering and highly stylish – sheet metal is predicted to grow rapidly in popularity for both those wanting to create distinctly designed spaces and those wanting to create an eco-friendly surrounding. Meanwhile corrugated steel is having a bit of a moment in bathrooms.
Photo by Sandberg Schoffel Architects via Decorfox.
If metal isn’t to your taste, and you want to go down the traditional bathroom tile route then there are some greener tile options out there too. Recently thrust into the limelight by house and home guru, Kevin McCloud, Eco Friendly Tiles are the first Carbon Neutral Company in the UK to offer innovative and quality products that are sourced ethically.
When it comes to water, although it is widely known that showers use less water than baths, you can still use between 40-60 litres per shower. Water saving showers and faucets have been around for some time now and are the number one way for the modern family to save water in the bathroom. Some of the newer models even claim to save you over £150 per year on water and heating bills.
If you are re-designing your green bathroom on a budget, or, if you already have the suite of your dreams, it is actually possible to make your dream bathroom eco-friendly by simply changing your existing shower head to a flow regulated shower head, rather than replacing the whole shower system. The buzz words to look out for when choosing your shower heads are ‘Aircore Technology’ and ‘Flow Regulator’.
Another easy way to go green in the bathroom is to switch to LED lighting. LED lights typically use 85% less energy than standard light bulbs, and can last up to 25 years, making them a great green bathroom option. Look for lights suitable for use in Zone 1 if you plan on installing them inside a shower, or Zone 2 if you plan on installing them above a shower or bath.
When it comes to every girl’s favourite topic – accessories! – there are a range of stylish bathroom accessories available made from natural and recycled materials, such as coconut husk, bamboo, resin and recycled glass accessories. With such a wide range of products available it will be no problem making sure that your green bathroom theme can be carried on throughout your whole bathroom.
Some will argue that the term ‘eco–chic’ is a widespread marketing strategy, but in reality it is the latest shift in the environmentalist movement; with the emerging trends in eco-friendly fashion for the house and home, being ‘green’ is now resonating with a far wider audience and making it a much more viable trend to bring into every room in the home.
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog. I believe that sustainable living should be hip, not hippie. Here you'll find all sorts of easy hints and tips here for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style.
As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home was published on 1st February 2018!
Want to know more? Check out the about page for more information or explore the archives using the category tabs above.