3 Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

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Many people believe that being “Eco-Friendly” means purchasing heavy-duty, high energy-efficient appliances which can get very costly. However, that’s ONLY if they were to do a complete bathroom overhaul! “Greening” your bathroom in the long run can help save money, conserve water consumption and eliminate the health risks of chemical ridden cleaners. The following tips are three easy ways to help make the bathroom a more eco-friendly place without draining out your wallet.

1.Water-Efficient Toilet and Showerhead

Did you know that in our lifetime, we are likely to flush the toilet over 140,000 times?  Replacing the old toilets at an average home can save up to 650 gallons of water in just one year!

Although newer homes are now equipped with low-flow toilets, this technology has definitely come a long way in the past 10 years. Flushing from a newer toilet has gone from weak and slow to strong and rapid. For some higher-end models, dual-flush options are now available for clearing liquid or solid waste. Replacing your old toilet is definitely one way to reduce water usage and saving your month-end water bill.

Like the water-efficient toilets, a low-flow showerhead is definitely a “greener” way to save money on your water bill.  Not only is it an inexpensive option, compared to toilets, but the recent and stylish low-flow showerheads can deliver up to 2.5 gallons of water while the old ones can dispense up to 8 gallons of water per minute! Can you imagine the dramatic drop on your month-end bill? Remember, the new low-flow showerheads don’t just conserve water, they also conserve energy!

2. Beautiful, yet dangerous shower curtains

When you jump into your hot shower or open a new shower curtain for the first time, can you sniff the ‘new shower smell’?  A recent study by the National Environmental Organization suggests that plastic shower curtains that are made out of polyvinyl chloride (widely known as PVC) can release harmful materials that might potentially harm your health. The particles inside the PVC curtains actually composes high concentrations of phthalates, which may affect humans’ reproductive cells.  The curtain itself already has several dozen chemicals that can be identified as hazardous air pollutants. It is a good thing that many retailers are switching to non-PVC alternatives.

There is another great solution to “green” your bathroom: Organic cotton, linen or hemp – all natural shower curtains can be used to replace and avoid the risk that PVC curtains entail.  Many of these curtains are machine washable, allowing users to clean them every once in a while.

3. All natural cleaning solutions

Did you know that many store-bought mold remover products often leave residue on your bathroom surfaces that are harmful for you, your children or even your pets? Chemicals in cleaning products can also enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of chemical residues left on dishes and cutlery. When cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can have serious impact on the ecosystems.

To help avoid this, there are many low cost natural mold killers available, rather than using heavy-duty toxic cleaning agents. But first, preventing mold from happening should be our priority. Adding white vinegar to water is an effective and cheap way to clean your bathroom. Remember to open a window to create natural ventilation in your bathroom. This will help prevent moisture from locking inside your bathroom, allowing the mold to start a build-up.

For heavy-duty cleaning or mold that is presently in your bathroom, there’s always baking soda. It works best when combined with water, a teaspoon of soap and a few drops of essential oil. When you mix these three agents together, it will turn into a cleaning paste that can be used on countertops, bath tubs, toilets, bathroom tiles and works well in removing mold. Remember to dispose the leftover paste to prevent any chemical reactions of the baking soda.

Although renovating your bathroom into a more eco-friendly haven might have people frowning when they think about their credit card bills, the above tips provide cost-effective ways to transform your bathroom. Not only are they a great way to conserve water and lower health risks exposed to our loved ones, but in the long run, they will save your month-end utility bill!

(Sources: Consumer Report, Energy.Gov, LA Times, Health US News & Wallmark)



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