Going Green in Your Bathroom
Whether your bathrooms are “no frills” or designed to create a spa experience, there are a number of ways to go green by making choices that support the health of our environment. In honor of Earth Day (April 22), you may consider doing some of the simple things noted below right away, and keeping the others in your “back pocket” for when they’re applicable.
Use Less Water. Shutting off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your hair and body in the shower is an easy way to cut down on how much you use. Another is sticking a five-minute “water meter” on your shower wall to encourage short showers. (Ask your water utility if it provides these hourglass-like timers.) Water-saving options other than behavior modification include installing a low-flow showerhead, faucet aerator and dual-flush or low-flow toilet to save thousands of gallons of water a year.
Use Recycled Building Materials. If you’re constructing a new bathroom or renovating an existing one, consider using recycled countertops, flooring and shower tile. There are some very nice options available so you don’t have to sacrifice looks or functionality for the sake of Mother Earth.
Clean Green. Take inventory of your cleaning products and get rid of those that say “toxic,” “caution,” “warning,” “poison” or “danger” on the label. There are many non-toxic cleaners available today that get the job done, or you can save money by investigating how to make your own cleaners. (A combination of distilled white vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean toilet bowls, bathtubs, sinks, and faucets.)
Switch to Organic Cotton or Bamboo. Bath towels made of organic cotton or bamboo are comfortable and soft, and they aren’t manufactured using a variety of pesticides and chemicals, like conventional cotton towels.
Dump Your PVC Plastic Shower Curtain. Choose a shower curtain made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free plastic or hemp. By doing this, you won’t be exposed to the chemical odors and gases that usually reside in most PVC plastic shower curtains.
Reconsider Your Lighting. Replace standard light bulbs with those that are energy-efficient or remove some of the light bulbs from the row of them above your vanity to save energy.
Replace Your Toiletries. Organic, all-natural and green alternatives are better for your overall health and for the environment. You’re probably aware that many commercial toiletry items — including soap, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving gel and feminine products — contain chemicals and other toxins.
If you’d like to renovate your bathroom to be greener, the team at Authentic Designs & Remodeling is up-to-speed on all the latest green building products. We look forward to having the opportunity to make recommendations that satisfy your desire to be green without foregoing your aesthetic and functional needs.