Like a green bedroom, having a green bathroom is important. The bathroom is a place where people often use many chemicals and textiles that have a negative impact on the environment, and it is the place where most water in the home is usually used.
The first step in making your bathroom more green is to throw out all of those toxic cleaners and use green alternatives instead. There are many products on the market that use non toxic ingredients and clean just as well as their toxic alternatives. You can also make your own green cleaners like these:
use vinegar and newspaper to clean your mirror
combine 1/2 cup baking soda with liquid Castile soap for a thick creamy consistency for an all purpose bathroom cleaner
sprinkle several tablespoons of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar in the toilet and scrub with a toilet brush
- to remove mold and mildew mix 1/2 cup peroxide with 1 cup water and spray on mold and leave it to sit
By using commercially available or homemade green cleaners you will have removed hundreds of toxic chemicals form your home.
Cotton is one of the worst commercial crops for the environment. Cotton plants are routinely treated with pesticides and growing cotton consumes millions of gallons of water that more environmentally friendly textiles do not. Organic cotton is an alternative, but for the biggest green impact try hemp or bamboo towels. Both hemp and bamboo can be grown with less water and without pesticide treatments. Plus, towels made of either of these natural fibers are some of the softest and most luxurious you will ever use.
Vinyl shower curtains release toxic gasses for weeks or even months after being removed from the package. Safer alternatives to vinyl shower curtains are hemp, canvas and duck. All of these materials will get wet, but will not allow water to penetrate the material and do not need a separate liner. In addition, they are all machine washable.
Reducing you water usage is an important environment concern. Try these three quick fixes to green your bathroom:
- install an aerator on your faucet
- install a low flow shower head
- put a half-gallon sealed bottle in your toilet tank to displace water and trick your toilet into a lower flow
You can also reduce your water usage by turning off the facet when you brush your teeth and turning off the water in your shower while you soap up.
Many vanities have as many as 8 light bulbs when 3 or 4 will do. Replace all of your old incandescent light bulbs with eco-friendly compact florescent light bulbs, but only screw half of them all the way in. You will probably find that once you get used to it you will still have plenty of light.
Following the above 5 tips to turn your bathroom green will not only help save the planet, it will reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals and save you money.