“If I want to be alone, some place I can write, I can read, I can pray, I can cry, I can do whatever I want - I go to the bathroom.” - Alicia Keys.
Gone are the days of large verandas and terraces where a quiet evening of star gazing brought you peace at the end of a tiring day. Today, the modern man’s bathroom has undeniably become a sanctuary, providing respite from the noise and bustle of home and world alike. As much as we love the idea of spending hours contemplating life in the shower, we often fail to recognize the massive environmental strain our daily choices have on the planet.
Over the past few years, awareness towards the adoption of conservation mechanisms within our homes has increased, with several conscious citizens now making efforts to opt for a sustainable lifestyle.
While integrating major remodeling may be a slower process, we have some quick and easy changes to your daily bath & hygiene products, that can help you make a positive impact on the planet while leading a sustainable life:
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes:
In the list of buying decisions made for the bathroom, probably the least mulled over is the choice of a toothbrush. Buying a toothbrush is often a snap decision made at the local store. Most of the advertised and commonly available brushes by brands both big and small, are those made of plastic - a substance famous for its toxic qualities & lack of biodegradability.
Alternatively, bamboo toothbrushes are soft on the gums and highly biodegradable. Sustainability advocating brands have created a wide variety of bamboo based dental hygiene products to make this swap an accessible choice. Choose from a wide range of Bamboo Toothrushes here.
2. Cruelty-Free Vegan Handmade soaps:
One for a milky glow, one for acne, one for babies, one for freshness - the list of soaps sold & advertised daily is endlessly saturated. The fact remains, that your ‘special’ soaps are nothing but mounds of chemicals and fragrances designed to appease your senses for a short period of time.
Commonly used acid regulators, sulphates and parabens could be damaging to both, your health and the environment. Replace your generic soap with Vegan brands that make their products with natural ingredients and exotic floral scents like Sandalwood and Jasmine. Check this large variety of organic soaps made from extracts of Neem, Turmeric, Almonds and Aloe Vera here.
For many, hair is the root of confidence. When hair quality is damaged, it may take years to regain its strength. Just like your cleansing soaps, you can now bid goodbye to the damaging bottles of chemicalized hair cleansers. Generic shampoos, mass-produced by large corporations also strain the environment owing to their eco-harming production models - biodegradability & ethical packaging not being their key attributes.
Instead, opt for brands that create hair cleansers made of organic ingredients and herbs. These products increase hair health without damaging your scalp and are made using natural formulations that come in ethical & eco-conscious packaging.
Try these Hair Wash Powders, Shampoo Powders, Shampoo Bars
4. Reusable wipes:
Your bed-time skincare routine, be it 10-steps or one, always begins with cleansing. Every time you reach out for your box of disposable face wipes, your planet bears the damage. Generic makeup wipes are made of synthetic fibers that turn toxic once disposed of as waste. They take years to disintegrate, adding pressure to the already high list of non-biodegradable waste harming the global ecosystem.
Reusable bamboo or cotton wipes, are earth-friendly alternatives that are made in alignment with the principles of recyclability and a minimal-waste living. In fact, they have a reusable capacity of up to 200 washes!
Buy a set of these cost-effective bamboo wipes by OnEarth or reusable makeup wipes by Bare Necessities.
5. Natural loofah sponges:
The benefits of dead-skin removal through exfoliation dates back to ancient scriptures. A modern adaptation of exfoliants such as loofah and mittens are currently available in the market. The high carbon footprint generated by the manufacture, use and disposal of these synthetic loofahs is akin to your makeup wipes.
Conscious-living brands have invented greener alternatives, made of natural fibers like dried gourd or coconut husk. They are suitable to even the most sensitive skin types and reduce the strain of ecological damage. You can order a set of these affordable and natural loofahs from here.
6. Bamboo Toilet & Tissue rolls:
In India, toilet paper is a fairly nascent adoption of the common western practice. While some households have accepted this western cleaning method, many are unaware of the process behind manufacturing a few rolls of paper. Forests are felled, water and chemicals are used in large quantities to cure the pulp and eventually it all adds up as river & landfill polluting waste.
If yours is a household that often uses this bathroom essential, you can cut down your contribution to this wasteful practice by switching to an environmentally conscious bamboo alternative brand like Beco. Beco has a range of 100% biodegradable bamboo rolls that are paraben-free, hypo-allergenic and eco-friendly.
7. Natural Air Cleansing Candles:
Bad bathroom odors often tend to ruin the pleasing aesthetic of your home. Using scented air fresheners & sprays in our toilets helps combat the issue but at a large environmental cost. Air fresheners contain toxic chemicals like Aerosol which contribute towards the build-up of ground level ozone and the emission of harmful CFCs.
A natural alternative for refreshing your bathroom is the use of Soy Wax Candles made of plant-based extracts and essential oils. Home-grown brand Onearth has created a range of Soy wax candles in coconut shell cases that along with being eco-friendly also look appealing once displayed in your bathroom. Buy from a variety of natural candles in exotic fragrances here.
8. Plastic-Free Ear Cleaning Buds:
A bathroom essential found in every household is a box of ear-cleaning buds. Usually designed as a single-use product, the cotton buds we commonly use have a huge strain on the environment. The sticks made of plastic take years to decompose. Aquatic life is severely impacted by the toxic waste build-up from such products.
Several ecologically aligned brands have adopted the manufacturing of biodegradable bamboo cleaning buds that are as efficient as their plastic counterparts, without the eco-strain. Local brands like The Bamboo Bae, Gift Green, & GreenFootPrint have a range of biodegradable bamboo products for the home, including an effective alternative for your ear cleaning buds.
9. Bamboo Bath towels:
Bamboo can easily be called the ‘wonder fiber’ of sustainable living. When it comes to alternate options, bamboo products often arise as the champions of the environment, owing to their adaptable nature. So, when it comes to your bath towels, there is no reason bamboo won’t come to your rescue again. Bamboo-fiber towels absorb 40% more water than cotton, are also lighter in weight and hypo-allergenic, making it safe for even the most sensitive skin types.
10. Plant-Based Petroleum-Free Deodorants:
Similar to air fresheners, another highly damaging daily essential is deodorant sprays. Besides their eco-damaging packaging, these fragrant cans contain harmful agents like aluminum & parabens that have been linked to skin and hormonal cancers.
A natural solution to this daily need product can be found with brands like TreeWear. They have a line of deodorants called ‘Forest Fragrant’ that make 100% organic deodorants in ecologically responsible packaging. Naturally scented with fragrances like Citrus, Spice and Herbal infusion, they combat odor causing bacteria with minimal damage to the environment.
Environmental sustainability can be achieved steadily by adopting simple lifestyle changes from the grass-root levels of our homes. Besides the ideas above, several other lifestyle swaps, like the adoption of menstrual cups to using cane storage containers instead of plastic ones can go a long way in creating a toxin and waste-free world.