The path to an eco-friendly home may start in the bathroom. After all, this is the place where water flows freely, paper products run wild, and tile cleaners can be toxic. There are plenty of ways to make your bathroom “green”.
Clear The Air
Excess humidity causes mold, which can spur allergies, asthma and other breathing troubles. Cooking, cleaning, showering and even exhaling can raise your home’s humidity. Since the bathroom is usually the most humid room, it’s a good idea to ventilate it. Open your windows. Install exhaust vents. Bring in a fan. By moving air out of the bathroom, you’ll remove the moisture that mold needs to grow. And if there’s no toxic mold, there’s no need to use bleach or other harmful chemicals.
Conserving water is perhaps the simplest, most cost-effective and eco-friendliest way to green your bathroom. Just turning off the water while you brush your teeth, for example, can save you up to 240 gallons a month. Ditch the bathtub. A full bath uses 70 gallons of water, whereas a five-minute shower takes only 10 to 25 gallons. Install a low-flow showerhead; it can reduce your water consumption by up to 50 percent. And make sure to fix all your leaky faucets; a leak that drips once per second can rob you of 3,000 gallons a year.
Replace or Retrofit Your Toilet
According to the EPA, a high-efficiency toilet can save a typical family of four $90 a year! Look for low-flow toilets that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush; older models use at least 3.5, and some use twice that.
Use Natural Materials in Your Bathroom
Metal, porcelain, and recycled glass are all eco-friendly choices that will give you a sleek, modern-chic appearance while also leaving a lighter footprint. Glass tile especially infuses your bathroom with a refreshing and invigorating feeling.
Pick Green Products
Use recycled paper products. Get rid of that vinyl shower curtain; it can release more than 100 different toxic chemicals into the air, including at least two — toluene and ethylbenzene — that cause cancer, according to a 2008 report by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. Consider trading your toxic bleach cleaning products for vinegar-based ones.