Is anyone really resting in a "restroom"? This part of your home was meant to be a place to retreat and relax. Bathrooms can be a soothing oasis where you prepare to face your day but have generally become cramped, cluttered rooms we can't wait to get out of. If your Pinterest page is crammed with dream bathrooms and you're ready for a revamp, we've got six tips to keep you eco-friendly while you do it.
When in Rome
As for the windows, privacy is paramount. Roman shades provide ample coverage and can be made with eco-friendly fabrics and still give you a stylish look. You can also have windows frosted professionally or install wooden blinds. Watch out for adhesive window frosting because it can be made with dangerous plastics. When bringing wood items into a bathroom be sure they are well sealed with a formaldehyde-free, low VOC sealant so they won't be affected by moisture. They also reduce airborne contaminants and the risk of allergies.
You don't want to reduce your water pressure unless you want that 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner in your hair all day. A great way to conserve water is to install a dual flush valve on your toilet or choose a new toilet with the feature already implemented. Sinks should have water aerators installed on the faucets to reduce water use while maintaining pressure. Shower controls should allow you to control water pressure and can be used in conjunction with an adjustable shower head to optimize water use. The best way to conserve water in the bathroom will continue to be behavioral. Good habits like turning the water off while brushing teeth and taking short, Navy showers never go out of fashion.
Clear the Air
It might sound anti-green to advocate using an electronic device, but that's what we recommend. By running your ventilation fan regularly you can control moisture, mildew, and mold. Reducing mildew and mold means you can use fewer harsh chemicals and your home will be an overall healthier place to be; not to mention an appealing place to be. To control your energy use, install a wall switch with a timer. By scheduling on and off times for your electronics and appliances, these little beauties can save you a bundle on your energy bill.
Ditch the Vinyl
Go vinyl-free. It's hard to imagine life without that clear shower curtain liner, but it is giving off known carcinogens. This goes for your shower curtain liner, vinyl flooring, and most of those popular decorative wall decals. Eco-friendly shower curtains are made out of organic cotton, hemp, and PEVA- a biodegradable, light plastic material. These options do their part by not releasing toxins into the air, all while doing their job in keeping the shower water from sprinkling onto your bathroom floor. Win-win.
Reclaim and Recycle
If you don't know where to find your local salvage yard, check your local yellow pages. Salvage yards are great places to find unique items at great prices. Several communities also have Habitat for Humanity Home Stores where you can purchase reclaimed items with the proceeds benefiting a great cause. Plenty of commercial operations are also offering very cool eco-friendly products, like countertops made from recycled glass.
Having chosen non-porous and easy to clean surfaces, keep your space sparkling with eco-friendly cleaning products. Plenty of companies have green cleaning products available at mainstream stores, so there's no excuse for using harsh and harmful chemicals in your home. If you're feeling especially heroic, make your own cleaning products. Most of them are simple to make and the extra elbow grease pays off. Ingredients are as common as vinegar, lemon juice, and water. Easy, no? You can stock up your cleaning cabinets for just a few bucks, keeping the whole theme of saving some coin.
There are plenty of other simple ways to help the environment in your everyday life. You're making the planet a better place and giving yourself, and your family, a healthier environment and healthier life. Going green in the latrine means less toxins in the air, a smaller carbon footprint, and more peace of mind, all while getting the same jobs done.