Over the past few months, I’ve posted little things here and there that I’ve done to be cheap and green. So I thought I’d put all of those hints in one list. Most of these things cost little or nothing.
Using plain old bar soap over liquid soap has a couple benefits. Bars are cheaper than the liquid soap, it lasts longer than liquid does and it reduces waste (no plastic bottles to recycle). I’ll be honest, this was a little bit of a difficult transition for me…the liquid pump bottles are just so easy, but after a month or so I’ve grown used to it and so has my family.
My husband uses shampoo more quickly than anyone I know. He can easily polish off a whole bottle in a week. My solution to save money? Pour the shampoo in one of the old liquid soap bottles! Instead of squeezing a big handful of shampoo out, we pump the dispenser twice. That seems to be enough to get a good lather and uses less shampoo. That saves money AND reduces the number of shampoo bottles we need to buy. Eventually, I’d like to move on to bar shampoo, but I’ve yet to find one that I like.
.3. SOAP IN THE SHOWER
You know how your soap ends up as tiny shards and chunks? I bought this little soap bag on eBay that you put those soap bits into. They lather up even better than soap alone and the bag is like a loofah. The husband loves this!
.4. ELECTRIC RAZOR
This took me a little while to transition to but I got used to it. My razor is rechargeable and can be used in or out of the shower. No more disposable razor waste and saves a lot of money- the electric razor cost me $20…much less than the cost of a year’s worth of disposables.
We installed a low flow showerhead(1.5 gallons per minute). I’m really happy with it. I expected it to be “wimpy” and not have the water pressure I was used to, but this is great. Since installing this and 1.5 gpm sink faucet aerators, and watching our water consumption, we are using 30 gallons per day LESS than this time last year. That saves us money as well.
6. SHOWER LENGTH
I know I have posted about this before. I love the long, hot shower, but I’ve been saving that as a treat on days I really need it. Most days, I jump in the shower after setting my timer to 5 minutes. My goal is to make it out before the buzzer. Pretty soon I am getting my long hair cut and the shampoo/rinse will be a shorter time. My son likes to use the timer too, which is great, because taking a shower is way less water than his taking a bath. Now, we need to work on the husband who takes LOOOOOONG showers….
7. SAVE A GALLON WITH EVERY FLUSH
I’m currently pricing low flow toilets, but in the meantime, we have our toilet floaty thing (sorry for the lack of technical terms!) set so the water level is lower and we filled a gallon jug full of water and set it in the tank. This saves us one gallon of water every time the toilet is flushed. Not a pretty picture- but no one will see inside the toilet tank.
8. SHOWER CURTAINS
With recent studies showing the smell from new shower curtains comes from all kinds of nasty chemicals, the best way to go is a fabric shower curtain. I was unsure that this would work as well as the plastic/vinyl, but it does and can go in the washer when needed. Bonus: they look prettier.
Most of these things were pretty cheap to do â€” switching to bar soap (cheaper than liquid), buying an inexpensive soap bag, sink aerators ($2), low flow shower heads ($8-25) and even the razor ($20) show immediate savings or will pay for themselves in a matter of months.
There are many more ways to be cheap and green in the bathroom, including using recycled paper products and environmentally friendly cleaners. How do you save money while being eco-friendly in your bathroom?
Christine Plumer is a 30-something mom, wife and art teacher.Â She writes about her attempts at frugality while living green and eating healthier at Living Cheap and Green.Â