The Ultimate Guide:
15 Ways to a More Natural Bathroom
Do you want a natural bathroom – one that’s friendly to you and the environment? Your bathroom might be one of the smallest rooms in your home, but it can create a lot of wastefulness and expose you to many harmful chemicals.
The bathroom can be a toxic hot zone for many reasons. Some of which are excessive cleaning chemicals used and excessive water usage.
Creating a healthy, natural bathroom is possible by making some simple changes.
Here are 15 things you can begin doing (in no particular order) to make your bathroom a healthier, more natural environment.
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Use Natural Cleaning Products
Decrease Water Consumption
It's amazing when you think of all of the water usage that happens in a bathroom - from the sink to the shower and the toilet.
Reducing water consumption is something that can help a bathroom be more natural and eco-friendly.
If you have a leaky faucet, it's best to fix it. It's amazing how much water you can save by reducing the drips. Repairing a leaky faucet can be as easy as a DIY project to replace a cartridge, or you can call in a plumber if you don't like do-it-yourself repairs.
Each person in your home can contribute to decreasing water consumption.
One way is to take a shorter shower.
Another way to decrease water usage is to turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. There's no need to let water run when it's not being used.
Choose Water-Wise Fixtures
According to the EPA, "toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption."
In order to reduce that percentage, you can install either a low-flow toilet, or a dual flush toilet.
If purchasing a new toilet, look for the WaterSense label. The EPA gives that label to toilets which meet their criteria for high-performance and water efficiency.
Other bathroom fixtures which can hold the WaterSense label are shower-heads and faucets.
Speaking of shower-heads, you can purchase an aerating low-flow shower-head to reduce water usage. There are also innovative technologies which allow you to recycle the water you use in the shower. So if you like taking long showers, this would be a great option to be able to still enjoy long showers without using a ton of water.
For your faucets, you can install an aerator or a motion sensor faucet. Not only will it turn off the water when it's not in use, it can help you keep your bathroom cleaner by not allowing goop to build up around your faucet handles.
Use a Shower Filter to Improve Water Quality
Having a more natural bathroom includes using water without a mixture of added contaminants and chemicals when you shower.
“Although much of the water provided to the public in the U.S. meets national safety standards, treated water can contain heavy metals and environmental pollutants such as lead, mercury, pharmaceuticals, herbicides and pesticides.” Additionally, water can contain chlorine and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
It's best to use a shower water filter. A shower filter can remove chemicals, improve air quality and enhance water pH.
Here is an example of a water filter:
Add Bathroom Plants for Air Quality
Certain plants can create natural air purification and help oxygen levels in your home.
Some plants are even able to remove amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia from the air.
However, when you are deciding on what plants to add to your bathroom, choose wisely. Some plants prefer sunlight, don't like added humidity and can actually contribute to mold growth.
Some plants to consider for your bathroom are aloe vera, ferns, or bamboo.
Keep an Eye Out for Mold
Use Ventilation Fans
Use an ENERGY STAR rated ventilation fan to decrease moisture and to also provide a natural way to eliminate odors.
ENERGY STAR fans save energy by using less electricity.
Some fans also have humidity sensors which turn fans on when they sense a rise in humidity.
TIP: When installing a ventilation fan in your bathroom, be sure to vent it to go outside and not into the attic.
Dangerous Air Fresheners
Many air fresheners do not remove odor molecules, or “clean” items with which they come in contact. They use chemicals simply to mask or overpower the smell.
Your nose doesn’t perceive the odors because chemicals interfere with your ability to smell by coating your nasal passage with an oil or film.
Commercial air fresheners contain synthetic fragrances. The fragrance can be made up of hundreds of untested chemicals.
It's best to never use plug-in air fresheners or other synthetic air fresheners. Instead try making your own air freshener by using essential oils and baking soda.
Is Your Furniture Leeching Chemicals?
When adding a new vanity or other furniture to your bathroom, choose ones which do not contain formaldehyde, toxic adhesives, or are painted with high VOC paint.
A suspected carcinogen, formaldehyde can off-gas for years. Formaldehyde can be found in plywood, pressed wood, particle board and medium density fiberboard.
It is best to choose vanities that utilize sustainable materials in their construction or are even recycled.
For the vanity counter top, choose recycled glass. Recycled glass may be sourced from old car windshields, curbside recycling programs, or demolition sites.
Replace Toxic Flooring
Due to the moisture level, you should never use carpet in your bathroom. It might feel nice under your feet, but it can harbor things such as moisture, mold, dust, pesticides and dirt.
Flooring such as carpet and vinyl can also contain numerous chemicals which can off-gas for a long period.
Fortunately, there are better, less toxic flooring options for your bathroom floor which are water proof such as ceramic or porcelain.
Use Zero-VOC Paint
It’s always nice to spruce up a room by changing the wall color. However, due to the chemicals, adhesives and mold possibility, it’s best to stay away from wallpaper.
If you want to change the look of your bathroom, be sure to choose Low or Zero-VOC paint.
Ditch Harmful Shower Curtains
Who would have thought that taking a shower could harm your health? However, in today’s day and age, you can be exposed to many toxic chemicals when you take a shower.
Changing from a plastic or vinyl shower curtain to a cloth one can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals you inhale. Many shower curtains contain PVC. PVC is a known carcinogen and can take a long time to off-gas.
Instead of purchasing a plastic shower curtain, choose one that is made of organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo.
Here are some non-toxic shower curtains:
Use Organic Towels
When shopping for towels, it is best to look for organic ones. Non-organic towels are often made from petrochemicals.
The synthetic fabrics used to make non-organic towels can be treated with additional chemicals such as chlorine and pesticides.
Be sure to look for towels which are free of finishes and are not synthetically dyed. Choose ones made with 100% organic fibers such as cotton or hemp.
Use Less Paper or Choose Recycled
It is said that all that goes into making toilet paper is worse for the environment than a Hummer.
"Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests." It can also contaminate underground water systems.
To be eco-friendly, it is best to choose 100% recycled toilet paper.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Changing out the light bulbs in your bathroom to LED bulbs is something easy you can do which will save energy and money over time.
LED bulbs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They also consume 80 percent less energy.
In addition, LED light bulbs do not contain mercury.
By implementing these natural bathroom tips, you will go a long way to having a more healthy home.
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