5 Ways to Go Green While “Going” {including homemade toilet bowl cleaner}

5 Ways to Go Green While "Going" {including homemade toilet bowl cleaner}

This post contains affiliate links.

Whether you call it the john, throne, commode, or potty, we all have one and we use it multiple times a day.  An entire post dedicated to the toilet shouldn’t be that big of deal.  Yet, I’m cringing a bit inside.  Ok.  Deep breath.  Let’s do this.  Bring on the potty talk!

5 Ways to Go Green While… *ahem*  Going

1) “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.” – I’ve heard that saying before, but that is not a rule we follow in our house.  Honestly, pee left in the toilet grosses me out, but how much water could we save by skipping a flush every now and then?

Newer toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  Older toilets can use 3 gallons or more per flush.  Depending on the size of your family and how many hours you spend at home each day, your toilet is consuming the most water in your house out of your other water sources!

Emily McClemments said it this way in the eBook Green Your Life:

I thought about what it would be like to pour a gallon and a half of milk down the drain every time I flushed our toilet.  Wow!  That is A LOT of milk, I thought.  What a waste it would be to pour perfectly good milk down the drain.  Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing when we flush the toilet.

Nate and I talked about it tonight and I’m not sure we could mentally get over the hurdle of “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.”  Could you?

2) Flush with Gray Water – You can install a pump system that will take waste water from your bathroom sink, called gray water, and use it to flush the toilet.  This costs quite a bit up front, but the money saving over time could be very significant.  I’ve been known to do a poor man’s version of this from time to time.

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Plus 4 More Ways to Go Green While "Going"

3) Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Toilets are nasty enough without adding toxic chemicals to the mix.  The next time you need to give your toilet bowl a good scrubbing, try this recipe from Green Your Life.


Directions: Emily says, “In a bowl, combine the  baking soda and castile soap.  Add the water and stir with a fork until it becomes a smooth paste.  Scoop out the scrub with a sponge and start cleaning.  Keep any remaining mixture in an air tight container and use within a week or so.”  This could also be used as a soft scrub in the tub or sink.

4) Recycling Bin in the Bathroom – Our neighborhood’s recycling policy changed a couple months ago and now we can put empty toilet paper rolls in our recycling bins.  I was really excited that we could start recycling more items, but since then we have probably recycled less than 25% of our toilet paper rolls.  Why?  Pure laziness.  It isn’t hard to carry the empty roll to the recycling bin, but it is just so much easier to throw it in the trash can right next to the toilet.  Emily’s idea that she shared in her book of putting a small recycling bin under the bathroom sink is pure genius.  I suspect this will also help my shower to be less cluttered.  I always have empty shampoo bottles in there waiting to be taken to recycling bin!

5) Squat When You Poop – In December I read the article You are Pooping Wrong and it changed my life.  Read the article.  Seriously.

The bottom line (haha! Bottom line.  Do you like what I did there?) is that our bodies are made to be in a squatting position when we poop.  There are several health problems that can come from our western style toilets.  The solution is to use a squatty potty or regular foot stool.

As soon as I started using a stool in the bathroom, I noticed a difference.  It was easier to go.  You know what I mean.  We’ve all had those moments when we had to go, but it seemed like things didn’t want to come out.  You sit and wait.  You push and then push some more.  Guys, squatting puts an end to all of that.  I sit.  I squat.  I go.  I’m done.  It is fast and easy, baby!

You are going to think I’m a serious freak, but I actually miss having a stool when I’m away from my own bathroom.

6) Cloth Toilet Paper – Reusable toilet paper is also called family cloth.  If you are a cloth diapering family, then this could be a natural next step for you.  However, if you have a mother like mine, who has threatened to write me out of her will if I ever start using family cloth, then you might want to skip this idea.  If you want more information, I suggest reading Cloth Toilet Paper – How and Why by Sorta Crunchy.

Green Your Life: Get Started Today!

Several of these ideas came from the fabulous eBook Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living by Emily McClements.  The entire book is super informative, but in a motivating way and not in an overwhelming way.  Emily comes across very down-to-earth and relatable.  She discussed several green things that I had sorta written off as “not my thing,” but after reading her explanations I’m inspired to try them.

Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living walks you through making simple changes to your home and lifestyle that can have a big impact on the world around you.

One of my favorite parts of Green Your Life was the section where Emily listed all of her favorite bath and beauty products that her family uses. Finding products that I feel good about using is a struggle for me and I spend a lot of time researching.  I love having Emily’s list as a good starting point for the next time I want to research a new product.

I’ve been on my “going green” journey for several years.  I can’t even imagine how helpful it would have been to have this eBook back when I started.  Green Your Life would be an extremely valuable resource to anyone who is interested in avoiding toxins and conserving the earth’s resources. 

Green Your Life Challenge

As a thank you for purchasing the book, and to give you extra support, encouragement, motivation, and community to help you make changes in your life, Emily is providing a free membership to the Green Your Life Challenge she is running in February, a $14.99 value! 

In just 4 weeks you will:

  • Purge your bathroom cabinet of toxic and harmful personal care products.
  • Choose beauty and personal care products for your family that are safe and effective.
  • Make your own homemade green cleaners.
  • Clean your home with non-toxic cleaners that really work and are safe to use around your family.
  • Begin making simple and easy changes toward more real food and less processed, conventional foods
  • Use more reuseable products and fewer disposable ones around your home.
  • Work to eliminate and remove toxins all around your home.
  • Determine how you and your family can make an impact on the world around you!

Buy the eBook and read more about Green Your Life the ebook and the Green Your Life Challenge here.

This post is part of a Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living. Check out what other bloggers are saying about the great new book:

Jan. 8 – Ninth Street Notions
Jan. 9 – Red and Honey
Jan. 10 – Running Family
Jan. 12 – Five Little Homesteaders
Jan. 13 – My Blessings Homeschool
Jan. 14 – Vintage Kids | Modern World
Jan. 15 – The Humbled Homemaker
Jan. 17 – Accidentally Green
Jan. 20 – Home With Purpose
Jan. 21 – Intentionally Simple
Jan. 22 – Feed Me Mama
Jan. 23 – Saving by Making
Jan. 24 – More Than Mundane
Jan. 27 – My Humble Kitchen
Jan. 28 – Sorta Crunchy
Jan. 29 – Simply Rebekah
Jan. 30 – A Delightful Home
Jan. 31 – Gidget Goes Home

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, I will make a small commission on sales through these links.  Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah!


  1. I started using a “make shift squatty potty” after you posted that article and I can say the same for me. It has changed my bathroom experience, significantly! I feel like I cant talk about the squatty potty enough…I want the whole world to know about it. haha.

      1. He thought it was silly until he heard Howard Stern talking about how much he loves his. So now my husband is thinking about trying it. haha

        1. Oh my word. Of course he has to hear it from someone cooler than his wife before he’ll consider it! Haha!

          Maybe I should have my husband listen to Howard Stern, because he isn’t that interested either.

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