Sustainable Bathroom

Solo Real Estate Renting

Your bathroom can be the most sustainable room in your home or the most wasteful, depending on your choices. We’ve put together a guide to help you create a bathroom that is not only more eco-friendly but also a pleasure to experience, from plush organic towels to the products you use daily like soap, toothpaste, and more.

Green Bathroom Supplies

Chances are that every time you purchase a bottle of shampoo or shower gel it comes in disposable plastic packaging, adding to the landfill waste. Fortunately, Philly has purveyors that eliminate this unnecessary waste by encouraging you to bring your own container to their store to fill and reuse.

Ray’s Reusables, 935 N. 2nd St. in Northern Liberties, is a general store that welcomes shoppers to bring empty containers for refills of organic body wash, face wash, shampoo, hand soap, hair gel, and more. While you are there, pick up a bamboo toothbrush, bamboo toilet paper, vegan soap bar, vegan dental floss, exfoliating loofah, and more. Far from Northern Liberties? Look for Ray’s Pop-Ups in Clark Park and East Falls. You can also shop online.

“Solid shampoos and soaps are a great way to replace plastic bottles. That even includes toothpaste tabs,” said Ray. “If you prefer using a liquid, the best scenario to keep reusing the original bottle or get a new glass bottle.” Her hottest products? “Dip and Hi Bar solid shampoos. You can rub it right on your scalp. They last so much longer than liquid soaps and are great for travel.” Another best seller? Stainless steel safety razors. “We recycle the blades and they get made into cutlery,” she said.

A popular brand at Ray’s Reusables, Good Buy Supply, Weavers Way Mercantile, and other local shops are products by Vellum Street Soap Co, makers of soaps, lip balms, bath salts and beeswax candles. All of their products are handmade with tallow, otherwise known as animal fat. Tallow is a byproduct that would otherwise be discarded, making it a more responsible choice.

Vellum Street Soap Bars. Image: Vellum St.

After dealing with autoimmune disease for several years, Melissa Lynne Torre, founder of Vellum Street Soaps, was seeking skincare products devoid of the chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients found in commercial soaps and lotions.

“I had really bad eczema and tried everything under the sun. At my grandmother’s recommendation, I tried bacon fat and it worked!” said Torre. “In the beginning, I used lard, duck, and goat fat. The majority of the tallow I use now is cow fat.”

Melissa Lynne Torre, founder of Vellum Street Soaps. Image: Vellum Street

A former chef, Torre closed her Queen Village bakery because working with wheat flour made her eczema worse. Since 2015, she has been whipping up batches of skincare products under the Vellum Street Co label which sell online and in shops across the nation. Her products sound good enough to eat.

“Our best seller is Fat Marshmallow Fluff, a whipped body butter moisturizer to be used after showering. It is made with tallow, vanilla bean, and marshmallow root which forms a protective layer. It also comes in a hard bar of soap,” said Torre. (Don’t go looking on the map for Vellum Street. It’s just the name Torre made up.) Now about those cows, Torre sources tallow from animals raised on small, local, farms, pastured and humanely raised.

Conserve Water

According to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replacing older faucet aerators with
new ones with lower flow rates is one of the best ways to conserve water. Look for “WaterSense” faucets and aerators for your sinks, shower, bathtubs and toilets. A low-flush toilet uses significantly less water than conventional models while a dual-flush toilet uses a handle mechanism to flush different amounts of water.

Replacing old, inefficient bathroom faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models can save the average family nearly 11,000 gallons of water over the faucets’ lifetime. All products bearing the WaterSense label complete an independent certification process to ensure they meet EPA criteria.

Organic Towels and Bath Mats

Choose 100% organic cotton towels and mats made in the US. There are many domestic brands from which to choose, including: Lifekind, American Blossom Linens, The Company Store and 1888 Mills. You can find less expensive organic cotton towels at Target and other chain stores, but they are manufactured abroad and transported in ways that impact our climate.

Shower Curtains

Ditch the plastic! Embrace ecofriendly, organic shower curtains. No liner needed. No outgassing, PVC or BPA. They are pricier than vinyl shower curtains but better for the environment and a bonus for your decor. Consider a Hemp or Organic Cotton shower curtain.

Eco-Cleaning Products & Services

Another Philly find is Holistic Home, 616 South 6th Street. They stock chemical-free soaps that look and smell good enough to eat. Check out their Coffee Soap, containing real coffee beans and bath salts containing natural flowers – all made on-site. They also offer eco-friendly, chemical-free, non-toxic cleaning products safe for pets and children. Plus, a full range of home cleaning services, including Steam disinfection. Another local company, Philly Maid Green, is a Green America certified business that offers eco-friendly cleaning services.

We encourage you to explore and support these local shops that share our passion for sustainability.

Interested in learning other ways you can help reduce your environmental footprint? Check out our article focused on creating a Sustainable Kitchen or read up on Four Ways to Minimize your Waste Footprint in Philadelphia. If you’re a Solo tenant or owner and want to sign up for a special 2 month trial offer from Bennett Compost, please e-mail us!

* indicates required
I'm interested in receiving information about
We’re committed to your privacy. Solo uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our privacy policy.