How Environmentally Friendly is Your Bathroom?
You may not have given much thought to what is going on in your bathroom, thinking it is just serving its purpose of keeping you and your family clean and hygienic in their daily living habits.
However, at the same time it is possible to ensure that how you use, and what you use, could be changed to put you and your bathroom on a more environmentally friendly path.
We share our top ten tips
1. The toilet rolls you use. You have plenty of choice either from your supermarket or online with toilet rolls made from recycled paper or bamboo.
2. The paint you use. This could well contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs which can cause irritation to the eyes, lead to breathing problems and nausea, and even damage the central nervous system. When decorating your bathroom, look instead for low VOC or even non-VOC paint for your family's good health and that of the environment too.
3. Towels and bathmat for the bathroom. Obviously, you will be thinking about colors, wearability and comfort. But you can be ecofriendly at the same time. This is possible when you choose bamboo towels and bathmats.
4. The toilet and bathroom cleaners you use. Eco friendly toilet and bathroom cleaners that make sure you clean green. When choosing cleaning products, check their ingredients. If anything is harmful to the environment, avoid using that. Fortunately, today there are plenty of organic and ethical cleaners available to buy and to use. You can also use natural, inexpensive ingredients such as white vinegar, borax and baking soda for a truly green clean. How to clean your toilet naturally? Use straight vinegar inside the toilet bowl making sure you cover the sides in vinegar too. Leave to soak while you clean the rest of the bathroom. If it needs a super deep clean you can even leave overnight. Spray the outside of the toilet with vinegar and wipe down with a damp cloth.
5. Ventilation and fresh air for the bathroom. Ventilation is essential for a bathroom as it is a wet room. Ideally, there is a window that can be opened regularly to provide ventilation as a build-up of steam can cause mould and mildew to grow - bad for your health, your paint work and any tile grouting. In the absence of a window to the outdoors, look for a good air ventilation system to help reduce steam and mould.
6. House plants can help too. You can add a selection of house plants in the bathroom for fresh air as well as leaving the door slightly open to keep air circulating.
7. Natural fragrances in place of those artificial ones. Our suggestion is to use Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender oil is one of the most favorite essential oils with its wonderful qualities and great smell. While at first you may find that the aroma of the pure essential oil is not quite what you expect if you are used to strong, synthetic commercial fragrances, it won't take long for you to love Lavender Oil and its beautiful aroma. Place a small bowl in your bathroom, add a few drops of the Lavender Oil and the room will smell amazing. Top up when the aroma wears off.
8. Lighting for the bathroom. Light is one of the essential things in the bathroom. Make sure to purchase LED light bulbs as they consume much less energy, are inexpensive, long lasting and shine as brightly as a fluorescent bulb. Utilising natural light as much as possible can help you to cut down on your energy usage. Get rid of blinds or curtains covering the windows and let natural light stream in. If space is at a premium in your bathroom, the addition of a skylight is a good way to add an extra burst of light. Hanging a large mirror will also help to reflect natural light and create a bright, open space.
9. Caring about water consumption. Water is an incredibly valuable resource. When spending on remodelling or updating your bathroom, forcus on essential things such as reducing water consumption. One idea is the combination toilet/hand basin where the water used for washing hands is later used in the toilet bowl too after you have used it. Aside from having shorter showers, the easiest way to achieve water efficiency is installing eco-fixtures to your shower head and taps. This will allow for low water flow but won’t compromise on pressure. Your toilet also uses more water than your shower or washing machine, so invest in a dual flush system to help bring your water consumption down.
10. Flooring in the bathroom. As well as being practical and attractive to look at, flooring can be made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, different hardwoods and even recycled materials such as used tiles or reclaimed wood.
And one final extra tip!
If you have panels on the sides of your bath tub that can be easily removed, fill the space behind the panels with with as much insulating material as you can manage. This will help to stop the water in your bath tub going cold too quickly so you don't have to top up with hot water, saving energy and saving money!