The bathroom, toilet and laundry are in daily use in most homes, so the choices we make can make a big difference to the amount and type of waste we produce. With a little thought and planning we can reduce our impact on the environment, improve our wellbeing, and save money.

1. Reduce

  • A great first step is to think about shopping habits. We can do more with less. Buy fewer products. Do you buy multiple products when one will do the job? For example, the same cleaner can be used on your mirrors, tiles and shower recess. Many cosmetic, skin and hair care items end up in our waterways, and as landfill. Keep your beauty routine simple.
  • Buy in bulk. It saves you money, and reduces packaging waste.
  • Reduce your use of chemicals by using environmentally friendly products. Check the labels of the products you buy. Are they biodegradable and free from petrochemicals? You can also clean effectively with no chemicals by using bicarbonate of soda or white vinegar applied with water and a soft cloth.
  • Limit the chemicals and waste that you put down your sink and toilet. What goes down our household drains ends up in our waterways and in the ocean, and many chemicals are harmful. For example phosphates can cause algal blooms. BioSeptic system: read about BioSeptic.

2. Re-use

  • Many things can be re-used rather than bought new, which in turn saves you money.
  • Use old items of cotton clothing for soft cleaning cloths.
  • Re-use existing containers and buy refills.
  • Buy toothbrushes and shavers with replaceable heads.
  • Refill your liquid soap containers.

3. Recycle

  • Buy toilet paper made from recycled paper or plantation wood.
  • Recycle paper products like tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls and boxes that package beauty products.
  • Recycle your bathroom and laundry containers. Be careful to check the recycle number on the bottom of plastic containers to ensure that your local council will accept them in your recycle bin.

4. Dispose of hazardous waste correctly

  • Some waste products from the bathroom and laundry can be hazardous and should be disposed of correctly at a hazardous waste centre. Hazardous waste cannot be disposed of in your regular garbage collection. This is because it can leak into the environment and waterways and cause serious health risks.
  • Hazardous waste may include products like drain cleaners or chemical products. Check with your local council or Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You for collection services available in your area.
  • Old medicines can be dangerous to people and can also impact our unique biodiversity. You can return unwanted and out-of-date medicines to any pharmacy for safe disposal.

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This article was first published on LivingGreener.gov.au and reposted on www.sydneywatertanks.com.au and www.bioseptic.com.au