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Ideas for a More Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Written By kar yati on Sunday, July 1, 2012 | 11:51 AM

Whether your bathroom is a spa-like retreat or a purely functional space, there are many changes you can make to turn it into a more eco-friendly space. These makeover tips can help you save water, keep unwanted toxins out of your home and create a more natural environment in your bathroom.

If your budget allows, you may want to start your makeover with your fixtures. Look for a low-flush toilet and an aerating shower head - both will help you conserve water, as well give the room an instant update. Some municipalities offer money-saving incentive programs for fixture upgrades, so check your local resources.

For smaller changes, here are some simple eco-friendly ideas for making over your bathroom accessories.

    Choose shelving made from bamboo instead of laminated wood to help keep unwanted toxins out of your bathroom. Many wood-like materials such as particle board or plywood contain formaldehyde and are often also treated with a polyurethane finish. These chemicals will emit toxins into the air for as long as five years. In contrast, unfinished bamboo works well in a humid environment such as the bathroom and looks naturally beautiful without the need for harmful chemicals.

    Use paints that do not off-gas. There are many brands of paints available now that do not release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As with furniture finishes, these VOCs are dangerous toxins you do not want in your home. Eco-friendly is definitely people-friendly when it comes to paints and furniture finishes!

    Get rid of the plastic or PVC shower curtain or liner. The new plastic smell that comes with these materials is a sure sign that chemicals are being off-gassed. Instead, choose a hemp fabric shower curtain that relies on its tight weave to create a water-barrier and does not require a liner. In addition, hemp is naturally bacteria and fungi resistant, which is ideal for this high-humidity room.

    Look for natural, organic fibres for your towels. Certified organic cotton towels are made from cotton grown without pesticides and manufactured without the use of harsh chemicals. You will find that organic cotton towels are softer and more absorbent than conventionally grown cotton. Other sustainable, eco-friendly fibres to look for include organic bamboo and hemp, both of which are highly absorbent making them perfect for the bathroom.

    Consider a bamboo toothbrush as the finishing touch. If you are replacing your toothbrush as often as your dentist recommends, imagine all the plastic waste you are adding to the landfills. Instead, bamboo toothbrushes can be composted. Another option is to purchase recycled plastic toothbrushes that can be sent back to the manufacturer for further recycling when they need replacing, bypassing the landfill altogether.

Once you have made these eco-friendly changes to your bathroom, you will also want to check that your bathroom cleaners and all your hair, skin and body care products are as natural as possible. Using products that are clear of harmful chemicals is not only good for you but good for the environment as well.

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