At some point in the day, at many points in the day actually, we all have to use the bathroom. We use it for showers, for brushing our teeth, and … for the obvious. We also use it to put on makeup, fix our hair, and shave. In other words, with a room that we are in and out of so often, there must be ways we can make it eco-friendlier.
Well, there are many things we can do to green up the bathroom. After all, it’s a room full of products — dental care, hair care, makeup, air freshener, etc. — as well as one that relies on multiple resources in the form of electricity, water, and possibly gas, depending on the hot water heater.
Without beating ourselves up over whatever inefficiencies and pollutants our bathrooms currently have, there are lots of possibilities for most of us to do better in there with regards to the planet. And, it’s our actions, our personal choices, that will kickstart real change.
1. DIY Natural Toiletries
Oddly, we use lots of chemicals to clean our bodies, and in addition to sometimes being harmful to us, those same products cause problems in the world around us. They create excessive packaging, use ingredients sourced questionably, and are often involved in animal testing. It’s easy and quick to make most of our toiletries right at home. For those that aren’t into DIY, natural, biodegradable versions of most toiletries are available as well.
2. DIY Natural Cleaners
Chemical cleaners, while good at “sterilizing” things, are also bigtime pollutants in our seas and waterways. Plus, though they may kill germs, it’s probably worth asking ourselves what damage they are doing to us, as biological creatures. Making all-natural, biodegradable cleaning products is easy and less expensive. It just makes sense. And, if that doesn’t work, there are now a slew of cleaner cleaning products at every major supermarket.
3. Low-Flow Fixtures
Freshwater makes up only a tiny percentage of the water on Earth, and of that tiny percentage, much of it isn’t available to us or has been polluted. In other words, it’s crucial that we protect this resource. Efficient toilets, showerheads, and faucets are all available now, and they drastically reduce the amount of water we use. There are also many other things — like the old “turn the water off while brushing your teeth” adage — we can do that take little effort and helps us waste less water.
4. Bottles, Paper, and Cardboard
While most of us are, by now, in the habit of recycling things from the kitchen, sometimes we forget that items from other areas of the home can be recycled, too. Shampoo bottles, cardboard boxes (as in around bars of soap), and glass containers can all potentially be put into the recycling bin to cut down on household waste. If we can do it in the kitchen, there is no reason we can’t do it in the bathroom.
5. LED Bulbs
Bathrooms, in particular, often use a lot of lightbulbs. There’s one in the shower, one where the toilet is, and often several above the mirror. In other words, the cumulative effect of switching to LEDs in the bathroom might be greater than in other rooms. It’ll cut down seriously on the daily energy usage. Other ways to help with electricity is to cut back on items like hair dryers, straightening irons, and similar appliances. Anything that uses heat uses a lot of power.
6. On-Demand Water Heaters
Speaking of heating, water heaters of the past weren’t nearly as efficient as the on-demand water heaters that are available today. The old ones would heat water constantly, even when it wasn’t being used, then let it cool and heat it again, and that’s not even getting into how many actually run out of hot water. On-demand, or tankless, water heaters only heat the water when the hot water tap is turned on and stop only when it’s turned off.
7. Eco-Friendly Products
It doesn’t take that much more money or effort to buy eco-friendly products. We can now get quality, comfy toilet paper made from post-consumer recycled paper. We can buy toothbrushes made from bamboo and towels of organic cotton. We can avoid plastic and go for wooden, metal, and ceramic options when possible. We can ditch disposable anything and get a quality, reusable version.
The short and simple of it is that, with not so much thought and just a little determination, we can make our business in the bathroom something we can be proud of. Now, that’s not something we get to say every day.
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