Going green in your bathroom is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. If you’ve made changes in other areas of your home with helping the environment in mind, your bathroom should be the next step. Going green, however, isn’t just about the products that you choose in designing your bathroom. It’s also about the choices you make each time you make a purchase. If you’re truly dedicated to going green in your bathroom, consider these key elements.
1. Keep the water flow to a minimum. You can use low-flow shower heads and toilets that are designed to conserve water in order to keep this to a minimum, but your own habits will also come into play. Remember to use common conservation methods such as turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, keeping your showers short and sweet, and avoiding flushing unnecessarily.
2. Use green materials throughout your bathroom. From your mirror to your tile, there are green options for almost every material in your bathroom. Consider recycled glass tiles—available online in great variety, ceramic tiles, or concrete flooring. Salvaged materials will also stand out in your bathroom and allow you to keep it eco-friendly.
3. Recycle and reuse. Your bathroom provides you with a number of opportunities to reuse materials. Some people even choose to go so far as using reusable cloth toilet paper and reusable menstrual products when they’re at home. However, you don’t have to take it that far to keep your bathroom green. Look at your soap dispenser. Do you buy a new dispenser every time you need new soap, or do you buy a larger refill package and reuse your existing dispenser? Your decorations can also be repurposed: instead of buying new, look for opportunities to use elements of nature, reclaim materials, or recycle your existing materials. Also, check the recycling information on your bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. If those bottles are recyclable, make sure they don’t end up in the trash can!
4. Reduce harmful gases. Instead of purchasing cleaning products that are heavy on the chemicals, choose natural cleaners. Vinegar and baking soda both make wonderful cleaners that don’t leave chemical residue behind. If you’d rather have a commercial cleaning product, look for one that’s labeled eco-friendly. Also, pay attention to your bath products. The more chemicals there are in your products, the more chemicals you’re putting into your body, water supply, and air.
5. Reduce packaging. Look for opportunities to buy larger quantities of items you use frequently. Instead of buying small packages of toilet paper every time you go to the store, buy larger ones at less frequent intervals. Choose the big bottle of shampoo and conditioner. Refill your existing containers instead of buying new ones. All of these methods provide huge environmental benefit.
Going green in your bathroom may, at first, seem like a whole new way of life. Suddenly, you’re buying in bulk, reading the ingredients labels on packaging, and considering the products that you’ve never used before. Over time, however, these changes will simply become your way of life. The environment will thank you for it—and so will your family.