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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Zero Waste in the Bathroom

It’s where we go to clean up and clean out. Try these tips to make less trash in the bathroom:

- Switch to recycled, unbleached toilet paper. Why buy virgin paper just to flush it down the toilet? Reduce packaging by buying in bulk, or switching to paper-wrapped individual rolls. You can recycle, compost, or reuse the paper wrapper, unlike a plastic one.

- Buy a reusable razor. The plastic from disposable ones are a horrible waste, when a good quality safety razor will last for years.

- Refill. Buy shampoo in bulk and refill your containers. Switch to liquid castille soap for your body.

- Make your own toothpaste. In a small container, place 10 tablespoons of baking soda and 5-6 tablespoons of glycerin and stir. Add 1— 2 teaspoons of peppermint oil and combine. Use a baby spoon to apply paste to the toothbrush.

- Streamline your cosmetics collection. Buy only those items you will use on a regular basis, and buy them in the largest quantity available to minimize packaging.

- Put a one-liter soda bottle filled with water in your toilet tank. This will displace water, reducing the amount it takes to refill your tank when you flush, saving gallons every week. Don’t use a brick, which can dissolve and leave harmful residue in your plumbing.

- If it’s yellow, let it mellow … You can save even more water by only flushing solid waste.

- Compost yourself. Whether it’s hair, nail clippings, or facial tissues, anything that comes from your body is organic matter and can be composted. It may sound gross, but it’s better to send those nutrients back into the ground than have them sitting in a landfill. Some people even use composting toilets, though, unless you’re building a new house, that option is unlikely to be practical for most people.

There are many other rooms in the house where you can reduce your trash footprint. Use the lists from this week as inspiration to spur your own creative problem-solving. And don’t forget to share your ideas below!

3 comments

1 jim { 04.25.11 at 11:35 pm }

I have bought a dual flush conversion from my toilet six months ago and its worked great! Its never clogged up and by only flushing half the tank for Urine it has payed for it self several times in reduced water bills!

2 matt morgan { 04.24.11 at 7:05 am }

are the 1.5 gallon water closets enough to flush the line properly? from. m.m

3 K Koesler { 04.22.11 at 2:01 pm }

My husband does plumbing repair, and HATES low flush toilets. In many houses, the drop on the waste pipe isn’t steep enough to carry the waste away with the reduced amount of flush water, especially in older slab construction homes. The “crap” doesn’t get flushed fully out of the house in many cases, builds up, and solidifies – clogging the pipes. The homeowners/renters then call him to come and snake the sewer and break up the clogs.
Personally, I say “Go fo it! Save that water!” Keeps my family in groceries.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.