Natural textures and raw, earthy colors have been trending lately in the bathroom design world, and it’s not hard to see why. As we spend more time at home, many of us are feeling a strong desire to be reconnected with nature. But why stop at visual reminders of nature when you could give your bathroom a bonafide eco-friendly update? From replacing bottled shampoo with plastic-free shampoo bars to installing low-flow water fixtures, there are plenty of eco-friendly refreshes that can make your bathroom just as eco-conscious as it is relaxing.
Why Strive for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom?
Modern bathrooms are the source of a frightening amount of waste. Our personal care products and cosmetics alone generate almost half a million tons of plastic every year, 91 percent of which isn’t recycled. Many of us are guilty of wasting a significant amount of water — a shared resource that is essential to our health, our community and our environment. And then there’s our excessive toilet paper usage, which is destroying vital forests and the natural habitats of numerous animal species.
The good news is that a few simple upgrades and eco-friendly swaps can make a huge impact — not only on the environment but also on your wallet. For example, did you know that the average family can save 2,700 gallons of water per year by installing a low-flow showerhead? Eco-friendly updates such as these can pay off big time by reducing your waste and lowering your utility bill.
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Whether you’re doing a full bathroom remodel or simply looking to make a few low-waste swaps, there are many things you can do to help green up your bathroom. Here are a few ways to transform your bathroom into a relaxing sanctuary with a light ecological footprint.
1. Use Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Still using bottled shampoo and conditioner? Trade them in for plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars made with plant-based ingredients. Shampoo and conditioner bars are having a big moment right now, and for good reason. They’re low-waste, great for travel and make hair look amazing without harming the planet. Complete the eco-friendly look by picking up a wooden soap dish to display your bars while keeping them mess-free.
2. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Did you know that your daily shower is responsible for as much as 30 percent of your total household water consumption? Yikes. One simple way you can conserve more water is by installing a low-flow showerhead. In fact, many modern showerheads allow you to preset the water temperature, so you don’t need to waste water while waiting for it to reach the right temperature.
3. Avoid Single-Use Personal Care Products
Single-use personal care products such as face wipes and cotton rounds have been getting a bad rap lately, and rightfully so. They end up in landfills and take forever to break down. You can save money and the planet by finding reusable versions of your personal care products. For example, consider swapping your single-use cotton rounds with reusable bamboo cotton rounds that you can pop in the washing machine. Mother Nature will thank you for it!
4. Invest in a Bidet
If you love your bum and the environment, get a bidet. Already popular in countries like France, Portugal, Italy and Japan, the bidet is finally starting to get more attention in America — and, frankly, it’s about time. Bidets are much less wasteful and more sanitary than toilet paper. Plus, they’re relatively affordable and beneficial during menstruation. Fair warning, though: Getting a cleansing spurt to your rear may take some getting used to.
5. Use Bidet Towels
Even if you’re completely on board with the bidet idea, you’re still going to need something to dry off your bum after using the bidet. So, what are your options? If you’re serious about going zero-waste, there are companies that sell bamboo bidet towels to replace traditional toilet paper. While that may seem kind of gross, it’s really no different than drying yourself off with a towel after you shower.
6. Switch to Eco-Conscious Toilet Paper
If you’re a hard “no” on the bidet and/or the bidet towel, consider swapping your traditional toilet paper with a more eco-friendly option like bamboo paper rolls. As we already mentioned, toilet paper contributes to deforestation around the world. Coupled with the fact that the average American goes through three toilet paper rolls each week, this is one eco-friendly swap that shouldn’t be overlooked.
7. Opt for Zero-VOC Paint
Thinking about updating your bathroom with a fresh coat of paint? Take care to avoid paints with VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are carbon-containing compounds emitted as gases into the air. According to the EPA, these invisible chemicals can increase air pollution inside your home and lead to a slew of adverse health problems, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and respiratory issues. Fortunately, there are now plenty of zero-VOC paints on the market that can add color to your bathroom without the nasty chemicals: ECOS Paint, Clare Paint, Benjamin Moore Natura and Sherwin-Williams Harmony, to name just a few.
8. Rethink Your Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is important, no doubt. But if you’re looking for a more sustainable way to take care of your teeth, there are a few simple swaps that can significantly reduce your impact on the environment. For example, you can switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush that is biodegradable. Another eco-friendly swap to consider? Silk floss, which doesn’t come in plastic and can be easily composted.
9. Install LED Lights
Bathrooms typically use a lot of lighting. One way you can cut down on your daily energy usage is by swapping out your old bulbs for energy-efficient LEDs. Not only do LEDs last longer than other types of lighting, but they also offer better quality light.
Research has shown that Mother Nature makes us feel kinder, happier and more relaxed. Why not return the favor by making a few eco-friendly swaps in your bathroom? It’s easier than you might think!
Article Submitted By Community Writer