Low Waste Bathroom, Laundry & Pets
Living with less waste starts in the home. Tackle your daily routines and you can make a solid dent in the waste you create - eco home here we come!
How To Use This Guide:
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We created these guides so they are easy to use and you don't need to scroll through heaps of information. Simple click the + sign and you will see all the plastic-free info relevant to that topic and links to New Zealand stores.
2. Check Out The Other Topics:
This is guide 3 of 3 for the Plastic Free Living Guides - we are talking about everything YOU. Those personal products and choices that make up your daily routine.
3. ** Means Discount For You With Code 'CALIWOODS':
See two asterisks (like this**) next to a brand link? This means there will be a discount for you if you follow and buy from the link and enter the code at Checkout. Some of our friends give us a percentage of the sale as well - since we are a Social Enterprise, this money goes back into reaching more people with this and other Sustainability info. Win for you, Win for us, Win for our friends, Win for the Planet!
Let’s see how we can make some easy plastic-free swaps at home. Choose only 1 or 2 things to change at one time and come back to the guide later when you are ready for more!BATHROOM
🚫 A collection of plastic bottle cleaning products
✔️ Refill like a boss: Head to the Bulk/Organic Store in your area. You should be able to find most Cleaning Products here. Remember to bring a bottle to refill! If you need to learn how to do this then check out our Bulk Food Shopping Guide.
✔️ Go Natural: Look for more natural cleaning products and use regularly to avoid build up. These are better for your health and for the planet when they go down the drain. Conscious NZ have a great cleansing paste that is perfect for the shower. Most Bulk Stores also have Ecostore cleaners available for refills.
✔️ DIY: with simple Vinegar & water or Alcohol & water in a spray bottle will do the trick for most bathroom requirements. You can find awesome hard-wearing bottles HERE from The Honest Eco - they do a cool online return and refill system for all your household needs as well. Our friends at Green Elephant did a whole blog on safe home cleaning products so you can check out more ideas HERE.
🚫 Letting Litres of water unnecessarily pour down the drain
✔️ If brushing your teeth with the water off is a thing, then short showers should be too. Limiting yourself by timing and turning off the water while lathering your hair and body will save litres of useful water from heading down the drain.
🚫 Using more electricity than needed and steaming up your house
✔️ Installing one of these puppies means that your shower stays way warmer without raising the water temp. Save in electricity as well as keeping your home healthy and dry, especially in those winter months. See what they are about HERE.
LOW FLOW SHOWER HEAD:
🚫 Excess water being used
✔️ Install a low-flow shower head when yours needs replacing. These can reduce your waste usage by half or more! Low flow is considered a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm - so look out for that.
PERSONAL BODY AND HAIR PRODUCTS:
🚫 Multiple products and a plastic bottle overload in your shower!
✔️ Simple & Natural Swaps: Sorting out the products you use on your body is super easy now - there are so many product you can choose from too.
See the full details in the ‘Low Waste You: Beauty and Personal Products’ post. Click HERE to view.
🚫 A home that is neither good for you or the planet.
✔️ Doing renovations or building? Considering more Earth-Friendly materials is becoming more and more popular - and rightly so! This is a HUGE topic that we won’t cover in this guide but here are a few basic articles to get you started:
Eco Plumbing: Check out how to green your plumbing HERE
Eco Building: Consider how you can reduce your waste, save money and care for the environment. See tips HERE.
Permaculture: We love this! See HERE.
Natural Paint in NZ: The Natural Paint Co.
🚫 Wasteful toilet habits - these really add up over a year!
✔️ Toilet Paper: No need to buy your toilet paper wrapped in plastic. Greencane deliver a box right to your door and there’s no packaging involved. Check out their options HERE.
✔️ Toilet Cleaning: Take your bottle or jar and most Bulk/Organic Stores have refills for toilet cleaners. Learn more about refilling in our Bulk Food Shopping Guide. Make your own Toilet Cleaning Bombs - recipe HERE - or find plastic free, natural Toilet Cleanser HERE. Additionally, plastic-free toilet cleaning brushes are great and are just as good if not better! Check them out HERE.
✔️ Flushing: Stick to the old saying "if it's yellow let it mellow"
✔️ DIY Recipes: Here's my super easy bathroom spray recipe. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whichever scent you personally prefer.
🌻 50ML Lavender Hydrosol
🌻 8-10drops of your favourite Essential Oil
Combine in a small spray bottle. I use Absolute Essential for their delicious blends (West Auckland) as well as Aromaflex (Nelson) for their hydrosols, supplies and more basic oils. You can return their packaging to them too!
🚫 Soaps products that are synthetic, not good for Mama Earth AND you are using them on your biggest organ (your skin1) multiple times a day.
✔️ Liquid Soaps: You can find refillable, liquid Hand and Body Soap HERE. Made locally from natural ingredients and in a glass amber bottle with no plastic label, they are a great sustainable option. There are also low waste Soap Refills available too.
We have gone into detail with specific examples in the ‘Low Waste You: Beauty and Personal Products’ post. Click HERE to view.
✔️ Spot Washing: This is particularly useful for synthetic and delicate fabrics. It can save water and electricity if you only need to wash a small load. By spot washing synthetics you are reducing the amount of micro-plastics entering the ocean, we explain this more HERE.
✔️ Longer Life: Hand washing can extend the life of your clothing, especially delicates! Making, buying and consuming less stuff is one of the best things we can do for the planet so make what your already have go the distance.
🚫 Excess water and power used
🚫 Washing products that are harmful on our environment
✔️ Front Loader vs Top Loader: Studies have found that top loading washing machines release 7 times more microplastics than front loaders! Making the switch to a front loader is a great step to reduce microfibre quantities being released into the water.
✔️ Natural Laundry Powder: You can find both lavender and unscented natural Laundry Powder HERE. They come in recyclable cardboard, and are grey water system safe too.
✔️ Eco Egg: A washing powder/liquid alternative. These eggs are reusable, and quick and easy to pop in the machine, reducing the waste that comes from measuring. Check them out HERE.
✔️ Cora Ball: Did you know that during the wash, the synthetic fabrics in our clothes shed microfibres. These head out to the ocean as Plastic Pollution as Microplastics!
Cora balls collect microfibres from your clothes which in turn helps protect our precious marine life, our soils and in turn us. You can find Cora Balls HERE.
🚫 Unnecessary power used and money spent
✔️ Sunshine: Trumps all, free and energy saving.
✔️ Dryer Machine: For those winter months and those who do not have access to druing outdoors, choosing a dryer with a good energy rating and one that vents tooutside is important. See more eco tips HERE.
✔️ Use Dryer Balls: NZ Wool Dryer Balls bounce around in the dryrer with your laundry, creating air pockets which reduces drying time (approximately by a third) saving electricity and therefore your wallet! Dryer Balls can be found HERE.
🚫 Synthetic Fabrics which release mircoplastics
✔️ Invest Getting the right products from the get-go can save a lot of resources. You might have to go on a hunt at the second hand stores or buying new, they might be a bit more of an investment up front. BUT - you will value your closet, have less clutter and less impact on the people who made your clothes.
🚫 Chemicals and plastic packaging
✔️ If you are in Auckland, Green Box Dry Cleaners have a strong eco focus, as do Regal Dry Cleaners. Request for no plastic when you drop off or remove and give the store back the plastic if they forget. (Regal Dry Cleaners use a Biodegradable film - This is technically ‘oxo degradable’ so rather than necessarily needing sunlight, so long as a sufficient amount of oxygen is present, the bags will degrade completely. They can also degrade from exposure to sunlight. The degrading process does not release methane.)
✔️ Request for no plastic when you drop off or remove and give the store back the plastic if they forget. A little kind feedback about the plastic they are using goes a long way!
🚫 Single-use Plastic Bags used on walks
✔️ DIY Pet Poop Composter: Using a dedicated poop scooper and container, or swapping to compostable bags means you can compost your dog poo. No more cringing at plastic poo bags. Interested in setting up a DIY pet poo compost? Check out how to HERE.
(Watch out for the word ‘biodegradable’ and make sure the bags say ‘home compostable’)
🚫 Waste from plastic packaging
✔️ Bulk Options available at Bin Inns for cats, dogs and birds.
✔️ Considering the packaging on your pet food. Is Cardboard an option over plastic?
✔️ A little note from our Blue Events, no one should be feeding Tuna to their pets. They are an apex predator and this fish is facing a dire end - the film compares eating Tuna to Snow Leopard and vividly portrays that we are feeding a fish on the brink of collapse casually to our pets. Here's the Blue Living Guide which is the support material for the film if you want to read more on this topic.
🚫 Businesses that don't have a sustainability focus
✔️ Next time you are at the vets, ask about their sustainability practices. Are they aware of their electricity usage and waste?
✔️ Some businesses will be a lot more aware of these factors than others. Using our money to support someone else doing good things is super important, it's how change is magnified! Plus your furry friends will perhaps benefit from a more holsitic approach as well.
Additional Plastic-Free Living Guides: