Having a green bathroom at home is more than just a green shower curtain or a green toothbrush. So does it mean to redesign your bathroom with some fancy high energy efficient toilet and sink? Of course not. Going green at home might be easier than you think.
Here are a few tips to make your bathroom greener than ever:
1) Conserve Water
People usually remember to turn off the faucet after washing their hands. What they forget is turning it off completely!! The water is left dripping until the next person walks in. Sometimes it can take hours for someone to notice. It is such a waste of resource. The next time you walk out of a bathroom, it won’t hurt to do a double take. You can end up saving a river!
2) Replace the Paper Towels
Instead of putting rolls and rolls of paper towels in the bathroom to dry your hands, use a wash cloth or hand towel. Disposable products are often not as environmental friendly as you think. There is no need to waste unnecessary paper towels when there are indeed reusable products that do the same job.
3) Have a Safe Shower Curtain
Avoid buying polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic curtains! PVC often creates dioxins, a group of highly toxic compounds and releases chemical gases & odors. It leaches chemicals into our water system and causes contamination. Worst of all, it cannot be recycled! Next time, be sure to check the tags before you pick up that cute shower curtain!
4) Lights Out
It is essentially the same concept as conserving water. Turn off the light before you walk out of a bathroom. It sounds so simple but it can actually save lots of energy. Saving energy also means saving money!
5) Try a Navy Shower
Navy shower is a water-saving technique originated in the Navy to help save freshwater on ships. The basic idea is to get in the shower, wet yourself, turn off the water while applying shampoo, and then quickly rinse clean. Statistics show a small change in shower routine actually makes a huge difference. A regular shower uses around 60 gallons of water while a Navy shower uses only about 3!
6) Avoid Anti-Bacterial Soap
Anti-bacterial soap usually contains Triclosan, a chemical substance that could potentially harm our bodies. When it enters the water system, Triclosan reacts with sunlight to create dioxin, a highly toxic family of compounds. It can also react with the chlorine in our drinking water to form chloroform gas, a possible cause to cancer. Put down thy bacterial free soap immediately!
7) A Clean Bathroom
Maintain a clean bathroom is also another way to go green. Leaky pipes, faucets, and inadequate ventilation are most often the causes of a moldy bathroom. Mold can cause or aggravate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Green cleaning in the shower is both extremely important and relatively easy. Just treat it the way you would treat your personal hygiene.
Written by Wendy Long, class of 2016
Photo by José Manuel Suárez