Bathrooms aren’t the most environmentally friendly rooms in the house, but there are a few steps you can take to make yours more eco-friendly. Saving the earth isn’t just about recycling. It’s also about using the resources in your home intelligently. Fortunately, there are many changes you can make to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly, without going out of your way or spending a lot of money.
Install a Water-Saving Toilet
If you want to improve your bathroom’s environmental friendliness, first thing, replace your old toilet with a water-saving model. By doing this, you’ll save thousands of gallons of water per year. This not only helps the environment but also your wallet. First, look at how much water your toilet uses. Different toilets use different amounts of water per flush, with around six gallons being the average for models before 1980. Newer models reduce water consumption to 1.5 gallons or less per flush. If you’re buying a new toilet, look for the WaterSense label to make sure you’re getting a model that uses the least amount of water. By making this planet-friendly change, you’ll also save money on your water bill.
Switch to Environmentally Friendly Toilet Paper
Switching to recycled toilet paper is a great way to help save the environment. By using recycled toilet paper, you waste fewer trees and conserve natural resources. The problem with toilet paper is that it’s so absorbent and takes so long to break down in the environment.
You can be part of the solution by switching to recycled toilet paper made from recycled paper, such as newspapers and magazines (not former toilet paper). The big brands like Scott, Charmin, and Angel Soft have two-ply rolls with 250 or more sheets. Not all offer a recycled version, though. Look for a brand that does. Not only is recycled toilet paper made from recycled fibers, but it’s also softer than the traditional two-ply variety. They’re just as good for your backside, but better for the planet.
Eliminate Plastic in the Bathroom
Plastic is everywhere. We use it in our cars to make bottles and bags, in our homes and offices, and even in the bathroom. In fact, it’s so common that we barely give it a second thought. But plastic can have a devastating impact on the environment. A bathroom is a place where you’ll see plastic in almost every corner. There are water bottles, plastic bottles, toothbrushes, and even some items that look like they’re made of glass, but are actually made of plastic because it’s cheaper. Go through the items in your bathroom and see what plastic items you can replace with stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.
Switch Your Shower Curtain
Switching your shower curtain is an easy step to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly. Instead of buying a new plastic curtain every year or two, consider buying an eco-friendly one. These days, you can find shower curtains made of materials such as hemp or cotton that are better for the environment and your health. Plastic shower curtains release chemicals called phthalates that disrupt hormones. Have you ever noticed how shower curtains smell when new? Those are phthalates you’re catching a whiff of.
Consider your bathmat too. Switch one made from synthetic materials for a bamboo bathmat. Bamboo is more environmentally friendly than other man-made materials used to make bathmats such as nylon and polyester.
Use LED Lights in Your Bathroom
The bathroom is the most important room in your house in terms of energy consumption. LED lights in the bathroom are a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to standard incandescent bulbs, which are essentially an energy-wasting relic. LED lights consume a fraction of energy compared to incandescent bulbs. This means you can save significantly on your electric bills when you use them, and they’re better for the environment.
Here are some tips to get the most out of LED lights in your bathroom:
Use dimmable lights. Dimmable lights allow you to choose how much light you need in your bathroom. If this feature is not available, you can use light dimmers to achieve the same effect.
Tighten up the fittings. Loose-fitting bulbs allow heat to escape from the bulb, resulting in a loss of efficiency.
Turn off unused lights. It’s a common mistake to leave lights on when you leave a room for an extended period. Avoid this wastage by turning off unused lights every time you leave a room. (Do the same with ceiling fans, which serve no purpose in an empty room.)
Install motion-sensor switches outside bathrooms. Motion-sensor switches detect movement nearby and automatically turn on the light when someone enters the bathroom after dark, saving electricity and preventing accidents from tripping over items left in darkness.
Use Organic Bath Towels and Washcloths
Use organic towels and washcloths to reduce the amount of waste you are putting into the landfills. They are made from natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp and are biodegradable. Organic bath towels and washcloths are also better for the environment. Conventional bath towels and washcloths are made from synthetic materials and may contain traces of harmful chemicals such as dioxin, chlorine bleach, and formaldehyde. Products advertised as “green” or “eco-friendly” may not always be environmentally safe, so it’s important to read the label before buying any type of towel or cloth for your bathroom needs.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this gives you the motivation and insight to create an environmentally friendly bathroom that will take less of a toll on the earth.
“Guide to an Environmentally-Friendly Bathroom | Greener Ideal.” 01 Dec. 2018, greenerideal.com/guides/environmentally-friendly-bathroom/.
“Learn about Dioxin | US EPA.” 22 Nov. 2021, epa.gov/dioxin/learn-about-dioxin.
“10 Reasons Why LED Lights Are Good For The Environment.” environment.co.za/eco-green-living/10-reasons-led-lights-good-environment.html.
“FACT SHEET CHARMIN’S TOILET PAPER- THIN SUSTAINABILITY CLAIMS.” nrdc.org/sites/default/files/charmin-sustainability-claims-fs.pdf
“Phthalates Fact Sheet – California.” biomonitoring.ca.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/FactSheet-Phthalates.pdf.