The bathroom can be one of the most used rooms in a home. You begin and end your active, waking hours there, and a large amount of time is spent in and out of it each day. Because so much of bathroom activity requires water, this can also be the place where we are the least "green". Here are 5 easy ways to try to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly – and, hopefully, more economical!
Avoid anti-bacterial soap
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that is found in most brands of deodorant, shaving cream, and soap. One reason to avoid using it is because of the negative effect it has on your body as an endocrine disruptor and possible carcinogen. However, it is also incredibly harmful in the environment when it washes down our drains. Triclosan is a stable chemical so it remains intact as it flushes through our pipes. When it reaches the environment, it suppresses photosynthesis in the algae that play a large part in the Earth’s photosynthesis system. Additionally, when it hits sunlight, it reacts to form a carcinogen. These bad affects on the environment, not to mention you, are a very good reason to switch to soap products that do not contain this anti-bacterial agent.
Buy water saving faucets
Cutting back on water use is an obvious solution to make your bathroom more green. Installing a low-flow showerhead and tap aerators is the easiest way to achieve this. Low-flow showerheads cut water down to 2.5 gallons per minute; compare that to a standard showerhead's 6 gallons per minute! The math is very easy when calculating how much water you are saving; this also translates into financial savings for you.
Turn off the water
Another way to cut back on water is to, of course, turn the tap off. Pay attention to your daily routine and look for ways you can cut down on water use. Turn off the water when you’re shaving; if you need the water on to rinse your razor, just put in the stopper until you have a sufficient amount of water. Never leave the water on while you’re brushing your teeth. When you are waiting for your shower water to heat up, put a bowl under the tap; that excess cold water that would otherwise go down the drain can water the plants or be poured in your pets' water bowls.
Use Your Exhaust Fan
Many bathrooms are poorly ventilated and small; when you throw in the frequent high moisture of the air, bathrooms are great places for mold to grow. Using your exhaust fan is an easy way to cut back on mold growth because it dries out the air. This means better air quality and lower energy bills for you.
Keep things clean
Similar to why you should avoid soaps that contain triclosan, you should try to only use natural house cleaners. Harsh chemical cleaners are often toxic and, like that antibacterial soap, ends up down the drain once it’s finished cleaning your bathtub or sink. Vinegar, baking soap, and water can all do wonders at cleaning. Try making your own cleaning solutions from household products – you’ll be saving yourself money, too!
About the Author: Terry Carter installed a low-flow faucet on her shower to reduce her water usage and power bill. She is a freelance blogger who covers a variety of lifestyle topics for Picnic World and Heavenly Hammock.