- Energy-efficient living
- Appliances and equipment
- Your home and rental
- Hot water
- Heating and cooling
- Solar, wind and hydro power
- Plastic free July challenge 2018
- World Environment Day 2018: Beat Plastic Pollution
- At work—what can I do?
- At work—what can we do?
- Babies and budgets
- Energy-saving guide for Northern Australia
- Home-based businesses
- Home entertainment and technology
- Outdoor living
- Reduce your energy bills
- Seniors' guide to energy saving
- Sustainable House Day
- Take action
Minimise bathroom, toilet and laundry waste
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 waste, save money and improve our wellbeing.
- The bathroom, laundry and toilet can be high-use areas for chemicals
- Put you and your family’s health first
At a glance
- Savings 1
- Ease 3
- Impact 1
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.
- 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?
- Clean effectively without chemicals, for example use 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.
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.
- Buy toilet paper made from recycled paper or plantation timber.
- 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.
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 leach into the landfill site 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 RecyclingNearYou for collection services available in your area. Victoria has a mobile toxic waste service which travels to regional areas.
Medicines of all kinds shouldn't be flushed down the sink or toilet as they pollute waterways. Don't throw medicines into the rubbish bin either as they end up in landfill and can leach into the environment and waterways causing damage. Instead, bag up your unwanted and expired items and take them into your local pharmacy. Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids and creams can all be returned.
You may also like...
There are three easy ways to cut down waste that ends up in landfill: reduce, re-use and recycle.
Find ways to reduce waste from kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and gardens.
Find out how to reduce your household electronic waste and save precious resources.