Clean and Green

by | Jul 9, 2020 | At Home

Words: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Ashlee deCaires

The bathroom flies under the radar where plastic waste is concerned, yet after the kitchen it is possibly the biggest source of waste. Having a look at the contents of your rubbish bin will give you ideas of where you could start making changes. Creating a system in your bathroom, similar to in your kitchen, is a great start to reducing waste. This means having a recycling and compost bin in the bathroom—making it easy to do the right thing.

Compost bin in the bathroom? Yep, hair, nail clippings, tissues and unbleached cotton balls, bamboo toothbrushes (without the bristles), bamboo cotton buds can all be composted!*

Once you have the bins sorted, slowly replace products as you run out. Make one change, get used to that and then tackle another. Here are 5 ideas on where to start with less waste alternatives.

  1. Make up or baby wipes – When flushed these cause a huge problem for our sewerage and waste water systems. Save money, reduce the chemicals you apply to your skin and reduce waste by using a good old-fashioned flannel. Flannels can also be used in place of cotton balls and pads.

It takes up to 100 years for a single make-up/baby wipe to decompose. Given that these were created back in the 1950s and commercialised in the 70s, it means that every make-up/baby wipe ever created still exists.

  1. Razors – We toss out about 2 billion razors every year. Switch plastic disposable ones to a reusable version.
  2. Dental Floss – You can find plastic free floss sold in refillable glass dispensers from stores like The Herbal Dispensary in Raglan or online.
  3. Menstrual Products Move away from synthetic based pads or plastic wrapped tampons with alternatives such as the menstrual cup, menstrual pants or washable pads.
  4. Refuse the samples – Everyone loves getting a freebie, but those little sample bottles or hotel toiletries are just an example of excessive waste. Pack your own package-free toiletries when you travel. 

*Double check the content of each product to determine compostablility and if these need to be commercially or home composted.

About the Author

Tash McGill

Tash McGill works as a strategy consultant in tourism, hospitality and digital transformation. She is co-founder of The Feed, President of Food Writers NZ, Chair of the New Zealand Whisky Association.

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