As an aspiring zero-waster, I sometimes fall into the trap of auto-piloting. Especially in the bathroom, especially in the early morning and late at night. Y’know, when I’m doing the majority of my hygiene routines.
To move away from this, I’m ditching my bathroom garbage bins. My downstairs bathroom (which I typically only use during the day time) is connected to the kitchen and thus the recycling, composting, and garbage bins. It really didn’t need a bin, so I snagged it for upstairs.
In the upstairs bathroom, I labeled two bins, one compost and one recycling. (I just free-handed symbols on the back of some scrap paper.) The idea is that it will be easier to send waste to more environmentally-friendly outcomes and when I come across something that I can’t recycle or compost I must consciously bring it downstairs (and be thinking whether I need it or can find an alternative on the way down).
This isn’t my idea. I got it from “Detrashed Zero Waste Living” Channel on YouTube. But I think it is brilliant!
Here is a picture of my swanky set-up:
One Year Later:
It’s been a year now and I still have those two bins, the signs are a little rattier, but we haven’t needed to replace them yet. I rarely find items in there that aren’t appropriate and usually only with visitors. Sometimes my husband and I need to research a new addition for its “compostability”.
The newest question regarded earbuds or Q-tips (and the answer is also touched upon on Detrashed Zero Waste Living). When my husband’s current stock runs out, we’ll be getting organic compostable ones.
Here is what I’ve found: we actually have a 5 bin system: the 2 bins described above, one for regular laundry (towels & clothes), one for cloth diapers and wipes, and one garbage.
Yes, garbage. It’s back up there. Here’s why: we actually fell away from cloth diapers for awhile as our stash became too smelly and no amount of “stripping” (that’s the technical term) techniques were reviving them. We hesitated buying more because we kept thinking our kids were this side of potty training. We’re still potty training (so, we were wrong in thinking the break through was imminent), but now that a new baby is on the way, we’ve spent the money for a new stash.
I’m using our stash with my youngest and keeping my eldest in underwear throughout the day, but we still reach for disposables at night. I’m thinking that as our disposable stash dwindles, I won’t replace it.
Then there is the dental floss. All the zero waste dental floss solutions I have found seem to rely on animal products, mostly silk. I’m considering the water pick, but am not sure that the manufacture and electricity use could really offset the tiny plastic string. I don’t have an answer to this, but walking downstairs to put dental floss in the garbage on a daily basis is annoying.
As the disposable diapers run out, I think what I will do is replace the bathroom garbage with a clear jar to better see what we’re still throwing out.
How About You?
How do you keep a lid on your bathroom waste? Does this system make sense to you?
Until next time, keep that talk walking!
I love the compost label you made! I’m using a sherbet container that I wrote “COMPOST” on, so it’s nowhere near as decorative. Fortunately, we don’t use many different products in the bathroom so we can get by without a recycle bin in that room… although occasionally I find recyclables just left on the counter in there. Maybe I should rethink that. 🙂
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Thank you! I think of composting as the ultimate recycling, thus the circle. I love your re-use of the sherbet bucket. Every family is going to be different, I don’t yet know if the two bin system will work for us.
Love this! I don’t have a lot of space so I have two jars instead of bins! They require taking out a little more often but it does disincentivise making waste!
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