Eco-friendly Tips to Green your Bathroom

wood floor in bathroom

 

Are you renovating or even building your bathroom from the ground up?  You’ve probably heard about eco-friendly rooms or ways to green up your home, and maybe you’ve even done some research or taken tips from friends who’ve done the work.  Bathrooms are good rooms to try some eco-friendly products.  Bathrooms are generally among the smallest rooms in the house, but some of the most wasteful, especially when it comes to water consumption.  Going green in this room even over others can make a big impact on your environmental footprint!  Here are some tips and ideas to get you started;

  1. Cabinetry in your vanity or shelves can be a great opportunity to “go green”. Most cost effective cabinets are made with plywood panels or fibreboard, both of which are most often made with a formaldehyde based adhesive.  Exposure to this known carcinogen can result in allergic reactions, respiratory issues and irritation to skin.  Look instead for products made of sustainable wood, like bamboo, and low or no VOC finish labels.

 

  1. Water consumption is a hot topic, and the bathroom is a great way to reduce waste. If you have some enthusiastic showerers in your home, get a shower timer.  You can set it to go off at a predetermined time, making family members more aware of their shower use, nag free.  Another great way to reduce water is through your toilet choice.  There are wonderful (scentless!) compost toilets that use no water at all (some choose, in turn, to use composted waste in garden beds), and even options where the sink is built in and water from hand washing goes directly into the toilet tank to be used for flushing.  You can also find faucets with built in timers so you can set how long water runs before it goes off (for forgetful toothbrushers).

timer for shower to save water

  1. With sustainably harvested wood available in a variety of options, wood floor can be the greenest option out there. Be sure to look for a label that says it’s approved by the Forest Stewardship council so you can rest easy that the wood comes from well managed timber that isn’t endangered or protected.  Recycled or salvaged wood floors are also a great option.

wood floor in bathroom

 

  1. Use greener linens and even green up your shower curtain! Look in most bathrooms and you’ll find a PVC plastic shower curtain; while it’s in your home it can release toxic chemicals and once it’s time for a replacement, it can’t be recycled.  At the dump it tends to leach chemicals into the ground and unfortunately, into our water supply.  Think about hemp or PVC free plastic as better options.  For linens, choose organic cotton or bamboo.  Conventionally grown cotton is one of the most pesticide laden crops on the planet, damaging soil, groundwater, and the health of those who work the fields.

 

  1. Support organic farmers and artisans by purchasing their bath and shower products for your home, as well as recycled toilet paper. It might not seem like as big a change as a composting toilet, for example, but think about your consumption through the year, and you’ll realize that it’s steps like this, over time, that make a big difference.

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