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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Go Green in the Bathroom

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for Area Rugs, a retail site that sells brand name area rugs.

There are many ways to be environmentally friendly in your house, and the bathroom is a great room to start in. Going green in your bathroom doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are many ways to be environmentally friendly without spending a lot of money. In fact, you may even be able to save money by making a few simple changes.

Make Your Own Cleaners

There are many ways to make great cleaners for your bathroom. Not only will they clean well but they will be safe for the environment. You can make a bathroom surface cleaner by mixing 3 to 5 drops of natural dish soap with 15 to 30 drops of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. The finished product can be used on surfaces such as toilets, bathtubs, counters and walls. It also works well for destroying mold and mildew. However, it should not be used to clean glass or mirrors as the oil can cause striking. If you need an abrasive cleaner for toilets and bathtubs, try sprinkling a little baking soda on the surface you want to clean. Then, wipe it away with a natural cloth or sponge.

Save Water

The bathroom is a good place to start conserving water. Simply taking a shower instead of a bath will save a lot of water. Installing a low flow showerhead will also have a big impact on water consumption. You could save up to six gallons of water a minute. You can also install a low flow faucet to save you even more. If you have an older toilet upgrade to a new, more efficient one. A few other small changes to consider: do not use your toilet as a wastebasket--extra flushes are wasted money and water; turn the water off while brushing your teeth and washing your face; and avoid letting the water run while you clean.

Buy Environmentally Safe Organic Linens

Did you know that plastic shower curtains can be dangerous to your health? This is especially true if it is a common shower curtain made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Shower curtains that are made from PVC can release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and pollute the air you breathe. You can replace a toxic curtain with one that is made from organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp. It is also good to replace your existing towels and rugs with organic cotton or bamboo ones. Although the initial investment may seem high, organic linens do last longer than their unnatural counterparts.

Use Natural Products

Most of us have an abundance of personal care items in our bathroom. You can help save the environment by making your own products or by buying all natural, organic, or recycled products. You can make everything from your own soap and shaving cream to your own toothpaste. Not only is this beneficial for the environment but also for your health.

Go Green with Bathroom Lighting

You have different choices when looking for an environmentally friendly light bulb. You can choose between compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED). Both of these will last longer and use less energy than the traditional incandescent light bulb. They may cost more, but over the lifetime of the bulb, they will more than pay for themselves. Although a little pricier, skylights are also a great addition to bathrooms. They help to provide you with natural light and require no electricity at all.

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