Are you guys on “off the grid” Tok? Those people seem happy living in their little cabins, growing their own food, composting their turds. They inspire us—not to get rid of our Wi-Fi, but to be kinder to the Earth. We may not be ready to give up a flushing toilet, but we can be more conscious about the mundane purchases and decisions we make, like which toilet paper to buy. It can seem futile sometimes, doing your little part with your glass containers, beeswax wraps, and reusable bags, but it’s worth it. Even though most greenhouse gas-emissions can be attributed to around 100 mega-corporations doing the most damage to our glorious Mother Earth, it really can make an impact when we all do our part. By making thoughtful, sustainable choices, you’re not just reducing your footprint of carbon, chemical, and plastic waste; you’re also signaling a bigger cultural shift and putting pressure on the big guys to clean up their act.
Plus, one of the greatest things about making your home a more eco-friendly place is that you can also save a lot of money and hassle (taking out the garbage sucks). And one of the easiest places to start is the bathroom; there are tons of products out there designed to make cleaning your bod, well, cleaner; cut down on single-use plastic; and reduce excess water usage. These sustainable bathroom products will reduce the amount you use and spend, but don’t worry—they are just as chic and luxurious as your current fancy-hand-soap lifestyle demands. You won’t feel like you are sacrificing quality or looks for the good of the planet, because we all know that in order to make a permanent change, it has to serve us just as well, if not better, than the super-easy, slovenly ways of our (formerly) selfish selves.
We’ve got the most effective, aesthetically pleasing products for you to simply ‘add to cart’ during your next big doomsday haul—because you really can never have enough eco-friendly TP. We’ve included all of our favorite products that’ll make a little dent in saving the Earth, including from independent waste-reducing brands that are doing their part.
Pick up a water-saving showerhead
The days of low-flow showerheads delivering a sad trickle of water not powerful enough to rinse out our Head & Shoulders are over. There are high-tech showerheads that conserve water, deliver a powerful stream, and even have Bluetooth connectability to further optimize your bath time.
Hai is a smart luxury shower head that not only conserves water, but comes in six punchy colors that accent any bathroom decor. It has a 1.8 gallon per minute output (compared to the average 2.5) and water-powered Bluetooth technology that tracks your water usage and shows your environmental impact over time. Hai will also alert you when the water has reached your ideal temp and has an awesome slide button on the handle that lets you switch from rain shower, to high pressure, to a gentle mist, so you can pretend you’re at Equinox and not in your shower in the kitchen (our condolences, New Yorkers).
The SparkPod showerhead is a best-seller on Amazon, with over 36,000 reviews and a very high 4.7-star rating. For less than 30 bucks, making the swap to this eco-friendly upgrade is pretty much a no-brainer. It comes in eight finishes (including chromatic rainbow) and also has a maximum outflow of 1.8 gallons per minute, but that doesn’t keep it from feeling powerful and spa-like. One overjoyed reviewer wrote, “The pressure is perfect—relaxing, but hard enough to feel slightly therapeutic, and no doubts that my hair is being fully rinsed! A+!” I’m sold.
… And a smaller tank for your toilet
Bet you didn’t know conserving water is as easy as putting a giant wine bag in the back of your toilet. OK, fine—it’s not a sack of wine pulled from a Franzia box, but it does look like it. If you already have a fancy low-flush toilet, you probably don’t need this simple hack. But if you’re not ready to shell out for a whole new commode, just fill this Niagara Conservation displacement bag with water and hang it on the edge of your toilet tank. It will save around 0.8 gallons per flush, which adds up quickly.
Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
I’m sure you’ve heard about bamboo toothbrushes by now, but maybe you haven’t considered switching because someone would have to pry your electric toothbrush from your cold, dead hands before you ever went back to analog. Well you’re in luck, because not only can you buy Isshah’s conveniently numbered bamboo brushes (so nobody gets confused), but you can also procure them in the form of Booheads brush heads, which fit all Sonicare styles. Not only are the brushes completely biodegradable, they’re also compostable and come in equally sustainable packaging.
When it comes to sustainable toothpaste, chewable tablets were the first big thing to hit the oral hygiene circuit. They massively cut down on the amount of plastic, and water used in production and packaging, making them all around better for the planet. If chewing your paste seems counterintuitive, there are plenty of just-as-Earth-friendly products that are similar to what you’re used to. They come in non-plastic packaging and are easy to reuse or recycle. We’re partial to David’s Natural, as it comes in a very chic metal tube with a free tube roller so you can squeeze out every last ounce. People are definitely going to be asking where you got your fancy toothpaste.
When it comes to mouthwash, no one likes looking at a giant plastic bottle of Listerine to begin with. Add a little pizzazz to your countertop with By Humankind’s ingenious mouthwash tabs and coordinating glass containers. You can choose from three colors, and the clever design both stores the tabs and provides the perfect vessel for mixing your mouthwash. It comes in four flavor options: peppermint, mint-lemon, ginger, and cinnamon. The cup also has an indicator line for measuring the correct amount of water. When you swish, you’ll feel good knowing it’s all-natural, alcohol free, and gets its power from pH-balancing tartaric acid derived from grapes.
Don’t forget to floss (at least once a day) with floss that isn’t made out of plastic! There are a ton of sustainable dental floss on the market, usually made from biodegradable silk or bamboo. By Humankind’s refillable floss is made with silk, vegetable wax, and jojoba oil and tastes like peppermint and cardamom, while Quip’s ingenious reusable floss pick is the perfect alternative to those of us addicted to our highly plastic flossers.
Swap out plastic bottles for better-for-Earth shampoo and conditioner
Solid shampoo and conditioner bars are nothing new—Lush has been slinging package-free products for decades. Only recently, however, has the entire world hopped on board, which is probably because eco-friendly bath and beauty products used to have a “crunchy stigma,” thanks to less-than-effective, all-natural formulas and strong patchouli scents. But hippies deserve clean hair, too—and better yet, you no longer have to sacrifice efficacy or appeal for ecofriendliness. These days, there are endless hunks of high-performance, zero-waste hair care products to suit every type of coiffure and scalp, from oily to dry to peroxide blonde. Ethique makes a variety of bars that lets you mix and match to your specific needs. One bar is equivalent to three shampoo or five conditioner bottles, and are good for up to 80 uses. The brand also makes a concentrate for those of us that just can’t get behind rubbing a bar on their head.
Open your mind (adn ears) to reusable cotton swabs
Before you make a weird face and say ‘ew,’ hear me out. This LastSwab reusable Q-tip is made out of a super-sanitary stiff, compact nylon core with flexible and soft medical silicone on each end and is meant to replace 1,000 single-use cotton buds. Plus, its sanitary case is made from ocean-bound plastic; you’ll be doing double duty to divert more waste from our landfills and seas.
…and reusable makeup-removing cloths
Microfiber make-up removers can be used without cleanser and only need water to work: The insanely dense fibers of the cult-fave MakeUp Eraser use gentle friction to lift then absorb make-up and can be washed and reused nearly indefinitely. (Once I started using reusable cotton pads and microfiber cloths to remove my makeup and execute my nightly routine, my skin really perked up.) Greenzla’s reusable bamboo and cotton pads are also excellent for applying toner, removing nail polish—you name it. Just throw them in the wash, et voila—you never have to buy a cotton ball ever again.
Let’s talk about butt stuff
Listen, we’re not gonna to tell you to use reusable, washable toilet paper (even though that’s a thing) unless you want to. The whole point of these swaps is to make a sustainable change that’s sustainable for you, too. And who knows, in a few years you might be ready to install your own composting toilet. Still, there are ways to improve the environmental impact of your TP supply.
The editors of Rec Room have already boarded the bidet express, and we are just as excited as TikTok’s “train guy” about Tushy—a super easy to install bidet attachment that leaves you out-the-shower clean. Writer Mary Frances Knapp referred to her inaugural bidet baptism as “bringing [her] closer to God,” exclaiming, “sweet waters of Jordan—I’m a newborn baby dolphin upon first post-poo use.” This is the kind of born-again we’re aiming to be, TBH.
When it comes to sustainable toilet tissue, a lot of brands have turned to bamboo as an alternative to traditional paper products, as bamboo trees grow incredibly fast (up to 3 feet a day), making it a renewable resource. But not all bamboo is created equal—both Betterway and Cloud Paper source their bamboo from FSC-certified farms, which means they are “responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits,” according to the Forest Stewardship Council.
If you’re not sold on bamboo, old standby Seventh Generation and a very millennial-marketed brand called Who Gives A Crap sell toilet paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Plus, rolls of Who Gives A Crap come in funky patterned wrappers that sit pretty on your shelf. You can even buy a limited-edition set of Earth-inspired rolls adorned with lovely images of the planet’s natural wonders.
Don’t forget to tell mother Gaia you love her, she worries about you.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.