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    Updated on May 12, 2020. Posted on Apr 26, 2020

    23 Things To Replace In Your Bathroom To Make It More Sustainable

    And some *facts* about why they're worth it.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A 16-pack of these reusable "cotton" rounds made from bamboo, because single-use cotton rounds may not be plastic, but they're still bad for the environment.

    amazon.com

    Each kilogram of cotton takes 20,000 liters of water to produce, according to the WWF, and involves substantial use of fertilizers and pesticides that threaten the quality of soil and water — not to mention farmers and nearby populations.

    Promising Review: "These cloths are super soft and perfect for removing make-up, cleansing with micellar water, or applying toner. I like these better than wash cloths because they are not abrasive at all (don't buy these if you were hoping for a little exfoliation). They are easily washable and nicely absorbent. I go through a lot of cotton squares in my skin care routine, and I wanted to be less wasteful. These are a great solution. I am planning on buying more!" —Steve P

    Get a pack of 16 with a mesh pouch from Amazon for $9.99 (available in six colors).

    2. This affordable but effective attachable bidet so you get a squeaky clean butt every time, never use toilet paper again, and get one step closer to being zero-waste.

    Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

    On average, research shows one single American uses 23.6 toilet paper rolls each year — which means 7.7 million trees are turned into toilet paper annually. On the other hand, bidets are popular in numerous countries around the world and provide a great, sustainable T.P.-alternative.

    Not convinced yet? Check out our more in-depth piece about why you should just get a bidet already or read an in-depth review of the Tushy Classic!

    Promising Review: "At first a was very nervous about using the Tushy, especially since I didn't purchase the temperature controlled one. But I have to say, I love how refreshing it is and feel super clean every time. Will never go back" —Kristen C.

    Get it from Tushy for $89.

    3. A fabric shower curtain liner that is machine-washable and free of PVC — the most toxic and environmentally-damaging plastic — plus, you can just launder it instead of replacing it.

    amazon.com

    Sure, plastic shower curtains aren't really single-use products in the traditional sense, but they're not great for the environment. Even when it's time to replace them, they're hard to dispose of. Another type of shower curtain to try is one made of hemp ($109). They're pricier but are also a lot better for the environment.

    Promising Review: "I've had this up for a month, in a shower that has very strong water pressure and is used at least twice a day, and I've been surprised by the quality. Water has not come through at all. As a matter of fact, it the curtain has a kind of weird quality, almost like it's got some sort of waterproofing because if you move it at all, any droplets of water on it fly right off towards you. It doesn't have any weights on the bottom, but has not flown inward at all and stays put wherever you put it. Also, mine had strong metal grommets. I'd give it a definite thumbs up." —Rodney Nottingham

    Get a polyester curtain from Amazon for $7.83 (available in numerous dimensions and eight colors).

    4. Some 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper if you're not quite ready for bidets but still want to do your part for the planet.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Our use of toilet paper is scary enough, but it turns out the process to produce it is harmful, too. According to Brondell, just bleaching toilet paper takes 235,000 tons of chlorine, which goes on to pollute local water. So if you prefer toilet paper, Seventh Generation offers unbleached T.P. to lessen the environmental impact.

    Due to high demand, this TP is currently sold out basically anywhere you can find it online, including on Amazon. We will update this post when more becomes available, but we included this because we still wanted you to know about this alternative in case you want to make the swap!

    5. Some certified compostable trash bags so you can reduce the number of teeny plastic bits that end up in the ocean.

    amazon.com

    TBH compostable trash bags are not a perfect solution, especially if your trash isn't composted or the bags are not actually certified compostable (you can check if a company or product is certified compostable here). But they're a great first step to reducing plastic when there aren't as many alternatives. According to reviewers, these bags break down pretty easily — so don't use them in places with extreme temperatures or get them wet.

    Promising Review: "I bought these to use as liners for my smaller wastebaskets (bathroom, bedroom, and one to set by the door for junk mail). I am trying to reduce plastic in our household, so these seem perfect for that mission! I use these for when I clean the cat’s litter box as well. I feel better knowing that these bags will break down faster and not clog up the landfills, like the old bags I used to use as wastebasket liners. The bags are pretty affordable, too, which makes it easier to go green." –Laura P

    Get a 100-count box from Amazon for $24.95 (also available in 50- and 200-count).

    6. A life-changing Divacup because periods can suck no matter what, but why should Earth suffer too?

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Plus, they're cost-effective and environmentally friendly, as they can last up to 10 years. One study shows that a menstrual cup costs 5% of the purchase costs of single-use pads and generates only 0.4% of the plastic waste. Compared to tampons, the same study shows that a menstrual cup costs 7% of the purchase costs and 6% of the plastic waste.

    Promising Review: "I hesitated on getting a diva cup for a loooong time. What’s the holdup? I was scared of insertion/removal, blood in a cup, and cleaning out a menstrual cup anywhere but home. First, insertion/removal is SO MUCH EASIER WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRICKS! (Editor's Note: This reviewer leaves incredible tips that we cut for length, but read them all there!) Blood in a cup sucks. You’d be amazed at how unappealing it looks. Prepare yourself. If you’re queasy, this might be a struggle for you. Where and when?? Every 12 hours is SOOO NICE! Trust me, you’re usually home within 12 hours. If you’re not, find a private bathroom, take it out, rinse it off, stick it back in. One reviewer mentioned she does this in the shower at night — genius. Overall, this has been really exciting! Pads suck! Tampons turn your precious ecosystem into a desert! The diva cup isn’t perfect, but it’s the best menstrual product I have ever tried." —Aevi

    (And if you'd feel better reading additional thorough and useful reviews before you make the switch, see here, here, here or here! Plus, a roundup of tips from people who use them!)

    Get it from Amazon for $26.45+ (available in three sizes).

    7. This zero-waste Ethique shampoo bar so that you don't have to worry about constantly throwing away the bottles.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Johnson & Johnson shared an animated video for their Care To Recycle program to encourage consumers to at least recycle their shampoo bottles. And the video shows that 552 million shampoo bottles end up in US landfills every year — which is enough to fill 1,164 football fields. Shampoo bars completely bypass this problem by eliminating bottles altogether. Plus, they're so much easier to travel with.

    Promising Review: "I’m trying to be a little more environmentally conscious, and this is the second brand of shampoo bar that I’ve tried. I did not have high expectations, because the shampoo bar I was using before left my hair feeling dry and lifeless. However, I am absolutely thrilled with Ethique’s Spice shampoo bar. Just three to four swipes from the roots to ends (and I have short hair) and it lathers better than any traditional shampoo I’ve used in a long time. My hair is left feeling very clean, fast, and it doesn’t dry it out! Anyone who is new to using shampoo bars should know that it is important to have a container to keep the bars dry. Plus, I can feel good about using an environmentally conscious product that isn’t tested on animals!" —Kristin

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99 (available in eight scents).

    8. These biodegradable and hypoallergenic bamboo cotton swabs that are good for your body and for the environment — especially if you're someone who flushes them down the toilet.

    Amazon

    Like most plastics, cotton swabs are particularly harmful to marine life. Just check out this picture of a seahorse. The Clean Ocean Foundation has stated that volunteers have picked up over 18,000 identifiable cotton swabs on one beach alone. They also explain that plastic fragments from cotton swabs tend to absorb bad POPs (persistent organic pollutants) in the ocean, making them even more toxic.

    Promising Review: "Great natural attractive packaging. So happy to help the environment and also use a non toxic product on my body. Great for cleaning ears, removing make up and nail polish and small cleaning projects. Very durable and soft." —Leah

    Get a 200-piece pack from Amazon for $6.59 (available in four pack sizes).

    9. Or the world's first reusable cotton swab so you can eliminate single-use cotton swabs and keep the oceans clean.

    LastSwab

    If you're willing to go all the way, check out LastSwab. Created by LastObject, this reusable cotton swab comes in two types: basic, for cleaning, and beauty, for makeup. Their carry case is corn-based, and you only need soap and water to clean it. Yes, they're sanitary (with proper care). They're even dishwasher-safe.

    Get it from Last Object for $12 (available in two tips and seven colors).

    10. This aesthetically pleasing bamboo bath mat that upgrades your bathroom to a spa, doesn't absorb water like fabric, and is made from the fastest-growing renewable resource.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Yes, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth! Because of that plus it's renewability, bamboo bath mats are way more environmentally-friendly than your typical polyester fabric ones. Plus, bamboo dries quickly and repels water.

    Promising Review: "The material is great. It's soft but flexible so it feels comfortable to step on but also sturdy beneath your feet. I got a bigger size and it actually pulls the room together making my tiny bathroom look rather chic. Honestly, I think it's great and better for the environment because I don't have launder it every week." —JamieJo

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in four sizes and in black).

    11. The reusable Makeup Eraser that magically removes all your makeup with just water, saves you money and doesn't get tossed out every night.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    According to Real Simple, one of the biggest environmental problems with makeup remover wipes is just how many we throw away — which is estimated to be 20 million pounds every day.

    Promising Review: "I was definitely a makeup remover wipe kinda girl (Nutrogena, Equate, etc.), but it always felt like I ran out of them too fast. Some of them burned the heck out of my eyes. Not to mention, they’re so expensive to buy over and over again! I decided to give this makeup eraser cloth a try. I was very skeptical at first, because how can a plain cloth with nothing in it take off all your makeup? With just water? Well, I still don’t know, but I do know it works wonderfully! It definitely takes off my full-coverage foundation, waterproof eyeliner and mascara as well. It’s super soft and doesn’t feel like I’m tugging at my skin at all. I love that it’s kind of big, so you can use different sections of it for a week and then throw it in the wash. And apparently it lasts 3-5 years?! I’m going to save so much money! And then I’ll buy a new one! Works best when fully saturated with water. Don’t squeeze the water out, just wipe!" —Nicole Johnson

    Get it from Amazon for $20 (also available in black).

    12. These simple bamboo toothbrushes so you can feel better about replacing your toothbrush every three to four months.

    Amazon

    Point blank, the bristles for bamboo brushes are not biodegradable. However, bamboo toothbrushes are still way better for the environment than your standard plastic toothbrushes. You can easily remove the bristles (with pliers or just snap the head off), and the bamboo will decompose in your backyard in five to ten years (three if you bury it). It definitely makes a difference when you consider the average American will throw away 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime.

    Promising Review: "These toothbrushes are really nice. They came individually packaged for easy storage. Getting used to the wood taste while brushing took a couple days, but wasn't overwhelming. Bristles are very soft and none have come out so far. Very pleased with the price — plastic toothbrushes cost much more in the store!" —madeline audry

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $11.95.

    13. Some cute reusable cloth pads that help minimize disposable, single-use pads made of cotton and plastic (and are machine-washable!).

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Let's face it, periods cost us a lot and period poverty is totally a thing. Disposable pads are one of the less-taboo menstrual products out there, but they're still single-use and contain plastic (2.4 grams per pad on average). These cloth pads are reusable, though, saving you money and reducing waste.

    Promising Review: "I was a bit timid about trying the cloth pads but decided to give them a try since I have always had issues with skin irritation from the adhesives used in disposables. I didn't know how this would work but I love them! They're so soft against your skin and there is little to no odor with proper personal care. These are super easy to clean. Just rinse with cool water. They stay in place pretty well. I don't find that they slide front to back too much. Easy to wash. I just wash mine on the perm press cycle with unscented detergent and hang dry. They dry overnight in the house. Adjustable snaps make it so you can wear them with a variety of undergarment styles. Very convenient! I've had mine for four cycles now and the quality is holding up very well. Stitching is great quality. Snaps are plastic making them hold up longer than metal due to the moist environment they are exposed to. Great quality, saved me money already and so comfy to wear. I loved them so much I ordered more in other patterns." –Katie

    Get a pack of six pads and one mini wet bag from Amazon for $13.99 (available in sizes S-L and in five colors).

    14. This activated charcoal and Dead Sea salt scrub so you get all the exfoliation but without those harmful microbeads that harm marine life (and human life).

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Microbeads are terrible for the environment for an insane amount of reasons and have been banned across the world. But that doesn't mean they didn't have their uses. Luckily, sea salt scrubs are a natural alternative that purify your skin. PSA: Charcoal can always be a bit messy, so make sure you're rinsing down your sink or tub after using this.

    Promising Review: "Scrub is fantastic. Makes skin very soft and smooth. It made my pores smaller, it made my hands softer too from using my hands to apply to my face. The clean and fresh feel my skin is left with is impossible to duplicate in any other brand I’ve tried. The scrub shows up dry, don’t be alarmed, it glides smoothly on damp skin. It washed off with simple water for me, although I’ve see posts that say otherwise. There was not much of a smell like some charcoal scrubs, if anything it just smelled clean. Way better than Biore or Garnier brand charcoal face washes. Yes it’s expensive, it’s worth it. And it lasts long time. Already purchased again." —Ethan Elsbernd

    Get it from Amazon for $29.71.

    15. A sleek WaterPik so that you can "floss" without the floss.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Flossing is great for your oral hygiene — just ask your dentist. Unfortunately, floss is typically made from nylon filaments or plastic monofilaments, i.e. they're difficult to recycle and tend to get stuck in MRFs (materials recovery facilities). If you're interested in a zero-waste alternative, try a water flosser. They're reusable and long-lasting.

    Promising Reviews: "I ordered the Aquarius model and have used it twice-daily for a week. Guess what? No more bleeding gums! And after every use, my mouth feels like it was cleaned by a dental hygienist. Love, love, love this thing, and it's super easy to use! After reading numerous reviews here, I have to say that it makes a low, vibrating noise when in use, but it's not loud. Buy one. You'll love it. I'll never be without a WaterPik again!" —Nancy A. Keller

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99 (available in eight colors).

    16. Or this vegan, biodegradable dental floss (not silk!) that keeps your teeth and the environment clean — they even come in glass vials.

    Amazon

    If you're not into water flossers, there's still hope. This natural floss is made from corn — no plastic and no silk — so you can feel good about your gum health without feeling bad about waste. Plus, glass vials are recyclable and reusable.

    Promising Review: "Wanted to get away from plasticky dental floss for a biodegradable version. Tried the silk kind, but it broke a lot and yet was also a bit too thick. This plant-based floss almost never breaks and doesn’t make me feel like I’m trying to force a shoelace between my teeth. Will definitely keep using this zero-waste product!" —S. Lee

    Get one pack from Amazon for $6.96 or two refills for $7.96.

    17. A biodegradable eco-friendly loofah to replace your synthetic one and rejuvenate your skin.

    amazon.com

    Standard synthetic loofahs are made from plastic netting. That's obviously not great for the environment. These sustainable loofahs are organically farmed in Egypt, and they're BPA-free, too.

    Promising Review: "Great natural alternative to cheap, plastic substitutes! The initial shape is (as indicated in the packaging) temporary as the sponge puffs up within the first shower or bath. In fact, I didn’t require the suggested pre-soak. Although the sponge is — by default — a bit more abrasive than a cheap plastic loofah, I was able to gently scrub my two-year-old’s body with no problem! But the best benefit was the fact that the product can be used for far longer than a plastic loofah without getting that foul, mildew smell and dingy texture. We will be never go back to plastic again! Overall, excellent purchase that has great results, is cleaner, and environmentally responsible!" —Jazz E.

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $15.97.

    18. The incredible Billie razor that delivers you new conforming razor heads only as needed, so you stop going through disposable plastic razors — and all without the Pink Tax. (Plus, it comes with a cute magnetic holder!)

    Billie

    Even a study from the 90s estimated that the US produced 2 billion disposable razors, recommending razors with replaceable heads. And most of those disposable ones are made of a combination of plastic, rubber, and metal, making them difficult to properly recycle.

    Promising Review: "I decided to listen to the reviews and buy. Got mine a few days ago and used it for the first time Friday. I was sooooo amazed by this product. My expectations were exceeded. I am prone to razor burn and I have really coarse hair, so I have to go over the same spot multiple times while shaving... not with Billie. It shaved my armpits with ease, no burning, itching or bumps after the shower. My legs are still smooth today. When shaving with other razors, I would already feel the hair growing back." —Bettyanne Mitchell

    Get a subscription from Billie starting at $9.

    19. These revolutionary Dame tampons that come with a reusable applicator, so if you prefer tampons, you can at least cut back on single-use plastic applicators.

    Dame

    Approximately 7 billion tampons are discarded in U.S. each year, and a plastic applicator could take over 20 years to break down. Of course, everyone has a preferred menstrual product. Dame's reusable applicator lets you cut down on single-use plastic applicators while still using tampons. Read more about Dame's mission in their 2020 impact report.

    Get it from Dame: a starter kit with the reusable applicator and six tampons for $30.83 and subscription of 34 tampons for $10.49 (and choose how frequently you'd like refills delivered).

    20. A natural and vegan coffee scrub that offers you an aromatic alternative to microbeads so you can keep scrubbin' along.

    Frank Body

    Sure there are sea salt scrubs, but if sea salt isn't appealing enough for you, there's always coffee scrubs. They're made of coffee grounds, so they help reduce inflammation and give you that real coffee scent. And, again — most importantly — they're microbead-free!

    Promising Review: "I am so happy I decided to try out this body scrub!! It is the BEST exfoliator and leaves my skin feeling fresh and soft! I've dealt with acne on my shoulders for years and after using this coffee scrub for only a few weeks, my shoulders have significantly cleared up!" —Lauren C.

    Get it from Frank Body for $16.95.

    21. Some ingenious Bite toothpaste bits so that you don't have to worry about disposing of your toothpaste tubes, using excess toothpaste or trying to get every last drop out.

    Bite

    Over 1 billion toothpaste tubes with harsh chemical residues end up in landfills each year, and that's just one statistic from Bite's Sustainability page. Bite delivers refillable and recyclable glass bottles. Their envelopes are made from recycled newspaper, and their cardboard boxes are sealed with paper tape.

    Promising Review: "I started using Bite bits two weeks ago and so far I am in love! This toothpaste works far better the other tablet toothpaste I was previously using. It is smoother to chew, leaves absolutely no grittiness in my teeth, and makes my mouth feel so clean! I am also so impressed with their full commitment to sustainability in every way. This is so very important to me so I am proud to buy into a product I so fully believe in." —Nina

    Get a jar from Bite for $12 or subscribe to receive a new jar every four months for $7.50/month (available in two flavors).

    22. Or this super smart naturally sourced toothpaste that is thoughtfully packaged in a metal tube and comes with a metal key to make sure you're not mindlessly wasting any.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    For their part to reduce the 1 billion toothpaste tubes that end up in US landfills every year, this toothpaste company uses recyclable metal tubes. They even include a metal key to ensure you're getting every last ounce of paste out. The tubes are lined with a food-grade, non-BPA liner to prevent the toothpaste from touching the metal.

    Promising Review: "Absolutely love this toothpaste. I bought it since it is the closest to a zero-waste toothpaste tube available, with the cap being the only plastic part. The key is very helpful to get the remaining toothpaste out. The taste of this toothpaste is great as well. I also don’t have any trouble using the metal tube. Wish this item was shipped completely zero waste, though the plastic cushions in the box from Amazon’s shipping were recyclable. Giving the product 5 stars for its eco-consciousness and excellent functioning." —Kittykatykat

    Get one metal tube and roller from Amazon for $9.95 (available in four flavors).

    23. This game-changing Blueland cleaning kit with ~forever bottles~ and tablet-based formulas so you can keep basically everything clean without single-use plastic bottles.

    Blueland

    Blueland's Mission page emphasizes their goal to eliminate over 100 billion single-use plastic bottles by starting with cleaning products. Their bottles are 100% reusable. To clean, just fill a bottle with water and drop a tablet in. No shaking required.

    Interested? Multiple BuzzFeed writers have shared their experiences using Blueland. Check out this mini review or this GIF-documented review!

    Promising Review: "I was excited about the possibility of being smarter with my cleaning products but skeptical about how well they would clean. These products exceeded my expectations and then some. They are amazing, smell great and clean better than most products." —Mary P.

    Get your first kit (three forever bottles and three tablets) from Blueland for $29.

    Now go stock a bathroom that Captain Planet would be proud of!

    DIC Enterprises, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons / Via giphy.com

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    BuzzFeed

    Make your life even tidier. Check out the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.