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Greener Bathroom Habits

greener bathroomLet's face it -- the bathroom is not always the greenest room in the house.   There can be a lot of water consumption, harsh cleaners, and less-than eco-friendly personal care products.   Here are some tips for making the john a little greener:

Reducing Water Consumption:

  • While the shower water is warming up, put a bucket under the shower head.  You can reuse that water in your garden or to flush the toilet with.

  • When it comes time to install a new toilet, consider dual flush.  It has two flushing mechanisms:  the one for pee uses less water than the one for solid waste.   

  • If your toilet isn't low-flow, put a brick in the tank to reduce how much water it uses.  

  • Make your showers short and sweet and turn off your sink while you're brushing your teeth.

  • When it's yellow, let it mellow.  Really! 

  • Look for low-flow shower heads.  

  • Opt for showers instead of baths.  A quick shower will use a lot less water than a soak in the tub.   

Reducing Waste:

  • Use less toilet paper.  

  •  Be mindful of the toilet paper you buy.  Don't buy the types where each roll is individually wrapped in plastic.  Look at recycled toilet paper (I know, it's not the softest kinds...) or tube-free toilet paper.  

  • If you don't use tube-free toilet paper, remember to bring that cardboard tube to your recycling bin.  This small piece of cardboard often gets overlooked.   

  • For cotton swabs ("Q Tips") look for ones with a cardboard stick, NOT plastic.  These are compostable!

  • Look for reusable feminine care products.   

  • Buy big bottles of shampoo instead of lots of little ones.  Some natural grocery stores and coops even have bulk shampoos where you can refill your bottle.  If you can find that, it's awesome!

  • Switch to bar soap.  Lots of the eco-friendly soap brands come wrapped in paper instead of plastic.  You can usually compost that paper.   This soap from Good Earth Beauty is awesome and comes in a cardboard box.

  • Get a reusable razor instead of using disposable plastics.

Reducing Chemicals

  • Avoid plastic shower curtains.   Use a linen or cloth shower curtain with an eco-friendly shower curtain liner, such as this one from Gaiam.  

  • Make your own cleaning products.  Castile soapbaking soda, and vinegar are all great ingredients for a good green bathroom cleaner. 

  • Avoid using Draino, Liquid Plumber, etc, when you can.   The Joy of Green Cleaning by Leslie Reichert has a simple and effective way to unclog drains.  A snake is also a good way to clean your shower drain, especially if you have a lot of long, thick hair like I do!  If you don't have that, you can also straighten out a metal hanger and get clumps of hair and soap scum out of your drain.

  • Be mindful of what is in your shampoos and other personal care products.  

Other Stuff

  •  Look for hemp or bamboo towels.

  • Install Energy Star ventilation fans to keep mildew and mold to a minimum.  No fan?  Crack open a door or window.