New hygiene routines for the whole familyWe’ve got a new challenge for you today. If you’re at home, we dare you to take a look inside your bathroom’s dustbin.
Is it full of mini plastic cosmetic boxes, disposable blades or sanitary napkins? If your rubbish bin is filling up too easily, you may need to rethink some of your hygiene routines.
Every time you throw something away, both your wallet and the environment take a hit. Every family member (even those who haven’t learned to speak yet) can help save on the wallet and positively impact nature. For each generation, there are always eco-friendly alternatives. Get to know some of them.
Baby hygiene: reusable nappies
These aren’t the cloth nappies of days gone by. The reusable nappies of today use liquid-proof covers and absorbent cotton, allowing the baby’s skin to breathe naturally and reducing the child’s contact with chemicals. At the same time, waste is minimised, as less nappies are placed in the bin.
In the first two years of life, a baby uses up more than 5,000 nappies. A waterproof nappy bag and a reusable nappy would certainly help to lower this figure. After use, it is best to wash the nappies in the machine at a temperature of 60 °C.
If you cannot make the transition to reusable nappies, try biodegradable ones, made predominantly of bamboo and paper pulp materials. Decomposition time is cut off and the landfill is free.
Child hygiene: bar soap
Replace your shower gel with soap. Before you get into the details of each soap bar (with their endless list of ingredients, smells, and beneficial effects) you are replacing single-use hard plastic packaging for a paper or cardboard wrapping. And when packing for your next family holiday, you’ll find that there is now one less thing to worry about: soap always gets through airport security.
Mother’s hygiene: menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are as effective as pads and tampons. The change does require some adaptation, but it gives almost two billion women a cheaper, equally hygienic, and much more environmentally friendly alternative. A single menstrual cup can last up to a decade. The monetary savings go up to 90% in comparison with what you’d spend on disposable pads and tampons. Plastic use plummets to 0.4% compared to the production of menstrual pads.
But if menstrual cups take you out of your comfort zone, you still have a way to make your intimate hygiene more sustainable. Reusable pads or menstrual underwear are environmentally friendly options.
Father’s hygiene: paper and sugarcane
It does sound like a strange indie song title, but there’s a reason for the mash-up. All around the world, you can now buy toilet paper made from fibres of sugarcane bagasse. To minimise plastic use, the vegetable fibres can be used to make office paper or biodegradable cups – which will be able to handle your piping hot espresso as well as your favourite latte.
Grandfather hygiene: an old-fashioned shaver
Take a step back to save on razor packs. Commercial razors, with a single double-edged blade, do not have to go to waste every two or three uses. Safety razors don’t make you drop the entire head when the blade is blunt. Just change the actual metal blade, no plastic added. At the end of the month, grandad will also notice that his shaving came off cheaper.
If you are a man with a knack for these things and you’re willing to put up a larger initial investment, a straight razor is a perfect option. Just sharpen the blade often and you’ll have a friend for life.
Grandma’s hygiene: ecological brushes
Bamboo brushes, being to wash your teeth or comb your hair, are increasingly popular, and growing demand makes them more affordable. At the end, you can remove the bristles and put the bamboo handle into a composting bin.
Oh, and don’t forget to close the tap while you’re brushing.