Sustainable on-campus bathroom practices, in public or private


Julianna Lowe

On WKU’s campus, some students are fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of having their own bathrooms. Some residents, sadly, are not. Regardless of whether a student resides in Hilltopper Hall or Barnes Campbell Hall, every student uses the public restrooms on campus.

In every restroom, public or private, WKU’s campus offers ways to be sustainable in your daily practices.

Use the hand dryer.


Hand dryers are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than drying your hands with paper towels. Paper towels create waste, and hand dryers do not.

Turn the water off.

Whether you are washing your face, brushing your teeth, taking a shower or washing your hands, people tend to run the water longer than necessary. Turn the water off while you scrub your face or brush your teeth, and don’t turn the shower on until you are ready to get in. Water conservation is important to healing the environment.

Use soap and shampoo bars.

Shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles are made of plastic. While this plastic is sometimes recyclable, most retailers offer bar options of everything you need in the shower — eliminating extra waste created in the bathroom.

Switch your toothbrush.

Most bathroom materials are made of plastic, so making the switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush can really make a difference. While the bamboo toothbrush is still technically waste, it is biodegradable, so it doesn’t sit for years in a landfill. It also takes a lot less energy to produce, which reduces your carbon footprint.

Make your own cleaning supplies.

This one might be a stretch, especially for college students, but making your own toilet, shower and glass cleaner can help in the long run. For one, you aren’t buying plastic bottles that have to get thrown in the bin. Also, it saves you money to buy the ingredients to make household cleaners — you might even already have them in your kitchen! Start with floor cleaner: it’s just vinegar, water and peppermint oil.

Features reporter Julianna Lowe can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Julianna on social media at @juliannalowe.