Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keeping it the bathroom Part 2

Other than shampoo/conditioner and deodorant, what are some other ways to be kinder to the environment in your bathroom?

If you're up to speed at all regarding green living, then you've probably heard about how much water is wasted whenever you're brushing your teeth. The estimated amount of water used when doing this daily task is about five gallons per person. According to The Green Book, if everyone across the U.S. would simply turn off the water while brushing, up to 1.5 billion gallons of water could be saved each day. Whoa. So, wet your toothbrush and then turn off the tap until you're done brushing. Easy enough.

Now let's go back to products used in the bathroom, starting with cotton balls. I know, you're thinking, What now? What could be wrong with cotton balls? Nothing, necessarily, unless they're not made from cotton. Many cotton balls actually contain polyester and it requires over 65% more energy to produce this synthetic material than it does to produce cotton. However, if you remember my posting about the chemicals used to treat cotton, your best option here is organic cotton balls or at least buy the ones not treated with chlorine bleach.

The next time you buy soap, consider this: for each plastic bottle of body wash per household in the U.S., approximately two and a half million pounds of plastic containers are used. However, bars of soap require minimal packaging, or none at all, and do not add to the growing plastic problem in the country. It's true that an average bar only lasts for about 20 showers, while a 16 oz. bottle of body wash lasts four times longer. But, when considering the cost, it still can be cheaper to go with soap. If money's not an issue, at least consider the environment when making your sudsing purchases, including your hand soap bar vs pump bottle buys.

And when it comes to sponges, skip the synthetic nylon ones -- you know --  the puffs we all love. Plain old washclothes worked really well for all those years. Why not go back to the "old-fashioned ways" I often promote. Or try natural, biodegradable loofahs. Why? Because in order to produce nylon, there is a need for petroleum. I can think of better uses for petroleum than in our bathroom products, can't you? Besides nylon is non-recyclable.

So, if you checked out my bathrooms, what would you find? Well, you'd find plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. If you went to wash your hands, you'd have a pump bottle conveniently at your disposal. Pull back the shower curtain and you'll find not one, but two, nylon puffs. What?! Isn't that a bit hypocritical? I guess you could say that. The bottom line is that I'm learning new things every day. And while I'm learning, I'm using up the things I already have. The real test will come when it's time to replace the items. That's when my true colors will be challenged. My goal is for those colors to be beautiful shades of green!

Keeping it green,


Bonus tip: Have you ever wondered what to do with the little slivers of soap you end up with when the bar is almost gone? Well, I've started "harvesting" them in one of my old soap pump bottles. I add a bit of water, let it sit and soon I have my own, homemade liquid soap.


  1. Hana, I LOVE reading you blog...I especially love the household tips and hints.

    I'd like to add to the "soap sliver" thing: When the bar is too small to suds up a washcloth, but still too big to fit into a soap pump bottle, I like to use it to lather my legs prior to shaving. I use Dove soap, so it moisturizes and I actually prefer it to shave gels or creams.

    Thanks for the soap sliver/pump tip...I can't wait to try it!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jill. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!


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