Posts tagged "bathroom"

How can I reuse or recycle toilet seats?

Apologies for the break in blogging – I’ve been super busy with other things over the last month. And in my absence, Recycle This had its sixth birthday! Happy Birthday website! :D

Anyway, moving on: we’ve had an email from Stephanie about toilet seats:

I just came into about 25 toilet seat all different colors (red, yellow, green, blue….) I know they can be reused but I’m stuck. I thought the game horse shoes but they don’t have the open front, I was even suggested picture frames! Please help.

An unusual thing to suddenly acquire but they would make very fun (ok, silly) picture frames in a bathroom.

I’ve got half an idea in my mind about using them to hold open rubbish bags or laundry bags – I can’t quite formulate it into an actual reuse — after a few weeks of not posting, I’m clearly out of practise at coming up with ideas so I’ll had it over to you guys.

What would you do with some unwanted toilet seats? Do you know anywhere that would take them to reuse for intended purpose? Or can you think of any fun or practical reuse or recycling suggestions?

I’m presuming, because they’re different colours, that they’re plastic but do feel free to make suggestions for wooden ones too in case anyone has those to use up instead.

How can I repair or restore an old bath?

We had an email from Richard the other day:

I have recently designed and restored a cast iron roll top bath. I’ve taken an antique original bath and I have recently designed and restored a cast iron roll top bath. I’ve taken an antique original bath and have given it a bespoke twist using ceramic handmade mosaics as decoration. With the iron legs chromed too I feel it would stand out in any bathroom.

Replica cast iron baths take large amounts of energy to produce and thus leave a large carbon foot print. This is my greener alternative!

This is a great idea – there are so many old baths dumped because they’re no longer pretty but this now is pretty flash.

Our bath in our last house was very old – the original one when bathrooms were installed in the houses in the 1960s (when the council decided that the 60 year old houses weren’t actually “temporary housing” as planned) – and as a result, the enamel was damaged & stained by water deposits. It was always our plan to explore re-enamelling it but as with many things in our lives, we never got around to it. Has anyone else had any experience re-surfacing a bath? Did you do it yourself or is it a job for a professional?

A lot of baths nowadays seem to be made from plastic or fibreglass – not quite so cold but more prone to cracking that a solid hunk of metal. Has anyone fixed a damaged plastic/fibreglass bath?

How can I reduce my use of disposable bathroom supplies?

oh-no-toilet-paperFollowing on from last week’s “Reduce This” post about cutting back on toiletries, I’d really love to hear how other people are reducing their use of related bathroom consumables, such as toilet paper, cotton wool and the like.

A number of bloggers and other people around the old worldwide web have been taking part in Crunchy Chicken’s Cloth Wipe Challenge 2009 over the last couple of weeks – giving up toilet paper for a month (and hopefully beyond). I think it’s a great idea and intend to give it a go as soon as we get a bit more settled here in our new home – I’ll probably start with just wee wipes and perhaps build it up from there. Will be interesting to see how much less paper we use as a result.

Has anyone else tried that? There are lots of great suggestions on Crunchy Chicken’s blog for sourcing cloths (it’s super easy to make them out of soft old tshirts) and containers to keep them in before washing – anyone got anything to add?

Aside from moving onto cloth wipes, what else can be done to reduce the amount of toilet paper used? Any good tricks for ensuring that kids don’t get paper-happy and only use what they need?

Another thing that is much discussed elsewhere is the use of mooncups/divacups and/or reusable sanitary towels instead of disposable towels and tampons – anyone had experience of those? Or other alternatives?

I tried to cut back the amount of cotton wool I use for skincare by making washable pads a similar size to the cotton wool pads I already use. I read somewhere (but unfortunately can’t find the article now) that babies’ nappies/diapers are perfect for such a function because they’re soft and absorbent but I’ve had problems getting them clean – I was washing them in little net bags to stop the two-dozen tiny pads disappearing throughout the laundry load and the oily make-up and cleansing goop just would not shift. I’d rather not resort to bleaching them but will try some different cleaning methods over the next few batches (I suspect vinegar will feature prominently). Anyone done anything similar?

What about other similar bathroom items? What have you done to cutback/reduce waste?

How can I reduce the amount of toiletries I use?

showeringWe’ve had an email from Di:

Every week I have to buy more shampoo, more conditioner, more shower gel… for my family and want it to stop. It’s so expensive, all the bottles are such a waste and I hate the idea of all those chemicals. I don’t know if we’re brave enough to go no ‘poo but want to reduce our use all the same. Any ideas?

I’ve heard lots of good things about going down the no (sham)poo route but it does take some perseverance – the first few weeks are usually pretty horrible while the hair/scalp adjusts from being regularly doused in chemicals to managing itself. For some people, it quickly settles down and is better than it was before, for other people it takes ages to work itself out and sometimes never does.

There is plenty of middle ground though – try reducing the amount of times you wash your hair. I think we’ve been convinced that hair needs washing regularly by shampoo producers – I’ve spoken to older people about the issue and they think it’s madness that we wash our hair so often – they go for shampoo-and-sets once a week or even less frequently and that’s more than enough. (I suspect we also generally have a somewhat broken notion about what smells clean because we’re so used to perfumed soaps and the like.) After leaving my job to work for myself a few years ago, I halved the amount of times I wash my hair and I think there is scope to scale it back even further.

Cut down the waste produced by the toiletries by buying bigger containers of things – bulk-buy if you can and decant it into smaller, old bottles for ease of use – and consider swapping to solid shampoo & soaps instead – less bulk to be transported around. Of course, you can make your own shampoo, liquid soap and bar soap too – then you know exactly what’s it in and don’t need tons of packaging.

Any other suggestions? What have you done to cut back? What works? What doesn’t? Any particular shampoos that aid infrequent washing?

How can I reduce the amount of time I spend in the lovely, hot shower?

showerThe next Reduce This question from Alice:

I need help to get out of the shower quicker – I take long hot showers that actually use more water than a bath would, just because it’s so nice in there. Costs a fortune in gas bills!

Mmm, hot showers…

I could suggest getting a timer (or if you’ve already got some sort of music set-up in the bathroom, a playlist/CD of songs/ all about the right length) so you know when you’ve been in there a set amount of time – but obviously you’ll still need will power to get out ;)

Thanks to our then-broken boiler, our shower used to go icy cold after a couple of minutes – even though we knew it would get warm again eventually (usually after another minute or so), it was enough to get us out – no will power required. Is there something you can attach to boilers/showers that can mimic that?

Any other suggestions?