With bathroom water use and toxic chemical use, turning your bathroom into an eco area can be the perfect starting point for a green home. The water usage in the bathroom and cleaning chemicals found in most bathrooms are the easiest tasks to tackle in an effort to green the bathroom. Here are 5 great ideas to help you create a green bathroom that is beautiful and eco-friendly.
Install Low-Flow Showerheads– With the shower being the largest single user of hot water in the bathroom, installing a low flow showerhead can help save water consumption by 25% to 60%. Low flow showerheads range from $40 or so and up and just one low-flow showerhead can save you $145 on your utility bill. Another way to begin saving water is to take shorter showers. Even if you cut your shower down by one or two minutes for each member of your home, it is a set to reducing water usage.
Invest in a Low-Flow Toilet– Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for approximately 30% of residential indoor water consumption. Replacing an older toilet with a low-flow toilet can save 9,000 gallons of water a year.
Dump the not so green cleaners- If you are not using a green cleaning product your bathroom could be full of harsh chemicals. They may seem to clean bathrooms, but they leave behind unseen toxic chemicals that can be hazardous. Commercial cleaning products used to clean tubs and toilets are not only harmful to your health but to the environment. There are many environment-conscious brands of cleaning supplies you can use to get the bathroom clean without the toxins. Shaklee, Seventh Generation and Ecover all have green cleaning products made from natural resources.
For an even cheaper method of green cleaning, common household ingredients, like baking soda and vinegar will clean most everything in the bathroom!
Replace vinyl shower curtains- Vinyal shower curtains and liners are often made from difficult-to-recycle PVC and PVC-coated curtains offgas plasticizers. PVC has been linked to potential hormone disruptors, so you want to stay away from these products. Not to mention the mildew that loves to build up on vinyal shower curtains and liners.
Instead try an organic cotton or hemp shower or curtain with a nylon liner. When they become dirty, simply toss them into the washing machine. Organic cotton and hemp shower curtains not only cut back on synthetic materials in the bathroom, they also look better. You can find organic cotton shower curtains at Lifekind, Pottery barn and Healthy Home.
Replace multi bulb vanity lighting- Many bathrooms have vanity lighting that can hold up to 10 light bulbs. There is really no need to have multiple lights in a small area like a bathroom. Consider a new lighting system that accommodates 1 or 2 light bulbs. This will reduce the energy used in the bathroom, hence saving more money and lowering your energy impact.
During your bathroom greening, remember to use organic cotton bath towels or a microfiber hand towel instead of disposable paper towels. Don’t forget to use only eco-friendly bathroom tissue!