For the most part, we all know we should be greener in our day-to-day living, but many people brush off those feelings assuming the changes will be too costly or time consuming. While it’s true that overhauling a home to be eco-conscious can really add up, there are small steps you can take to ‘green’ up your space and that won’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Here, we take a look at a few simple green swaps you can make in the bathroom that will get you on the road to more eco-friendly living.
- Swap Out Your Cleaners: Bathrooms tend to get dirty quickly and need near constant wiping and scrubbing. Many of us don’t give a second thought to all the chemicals we’re washing down the sink and flushing down the toilet. One very easy switch you can make is to use natural, homemade products to clean your bathroom. There’s no need to worry that these products won’t work as well either. Products such as vinegar, baking soda and many essential oils are highly effective cleansing and germ killing agents. Acetic acid or white vinegar is a great disinfectant. It also acts as a deodorizer and cuts grease. Be sure to check out sites like Inhabitant.com for some quick cleaning product recipes. If you don’t feel like you have time to mix up your own cleaners, switching to store bought green brands is a good alternative- just be sure to check the ingredients to see if they are as green as they claim to be.
- Switch Your Light Bulbs: Another fast tip to giving your bathroom a green-over is to swap out your conventional light bulbs for LED ones. If you’re worried about the cold look of LED lights, you probably haven’t checked out this kind of lighting in a while. LEDs have come a long way in recent years and many are now manufactured to give off a much warmer, more flattering glow. Consumer Reportsrecommends the Ikea Ledare and EcoSmart 6-inch downlight for bathrooms.
- Go Greener With Towels and Facecloths: No, this doesn’t mean you have to choose towels in shades like forest, chartreuse, and sage; it simply means that there are towels available on the market that take the environment into consideration. You should look for towels made from organic cotton that has been grown without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides. It’s even better if the fabric has been colored with low-impact dyes. If you’d like to make even more of an effort, switch to an eco-friendly laundry detergent so you can wash your towels responsibly.
- Slow The Flow: While we all know that we should reduce our water use, in practice this can be tough to achieve. You may love leisurely showers or have kids who regularly forget to shut off the faucet. Fortunately, installing low flow faucets and showerheads is a relatively inexpensive and easy thing to do. It can also have a big impact on your water use and, consequently, your water bill. In fact, Energy.govstates, “You can purchase some quality, low-flow fixtures for around $10 to $20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25%–60%.”
- Ditch the PVC: You probably haven’t given much thought to what your shower curtain is made of, but the truth is that if it’s made of polyvinyl chloride it may be doing you more harm than good. The production of PVC often results in the creation of dioxins, or a group of highly toxic compounds. Once in your home, PVC releases chemical cases and odors. PVC also can’t be recycled, as the chemicals in it are harmful and shouldn’t end up in the water system. PVC-free plastic curtains are available, as well as mold resistant hemp curtains.
So, as you can see, giving your bathroom a green revamp doesn’t have to cost a fortune or require a professional. There are many simple things that can be done quickly that will make a big impact. Try one or try them all – your body and your planet will thank you for it.