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Plenty of people have taken steps to create a more energy efficient and healthier home by switching out their light bulbs and replacing energy-hungry appliances and devices with energy sippers. It’s possible to do the same in the bathroom by selecting products that lighten the load on the environment using these tips. 1. Heat the Space It may seem counterintuitive, but using a space heater in the bathroom if your home is too chilly for bathing will save energy. By themselves, space heaters are the least efficient way to heat, but in the confined space of a bathroom, the short time they run won’t impact your energy bill as much as turning up the furnace’s thermostat to heat your entire home when you only need to warm the bathroom. 2. Use PEVA Shower Curtains A vinyl shower curtain spews volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home’s air as it ages. VOCs pollute indoor air and may cause anything from respiratory irritation to serious organ and neurological damage. PEVA, short for polyethylene vinyl acetate, doesn't contain the VOCs that vinyl curtains do and is a fully biodegradable product. The packaging for the shower curtain will indicate whether it's made from PEVA. 3. Upgrade to WaterSense Fixtures Faucets, showerheads and toilets that carry the WaterSense label established by the U.S. EPA use the least amount of water and are as functional as older fixtures. A commode manufactured before 1980 may use from five to seven gallons per flush, while a WaterSense toilet uses as little as 1.28 gallons per flush. According to the EPA, such a toilet can reduce household water consumption by 60 percent. 4. Choose Toilet Paper Wisely Most popular toilet paper is made from cellulose harvested from trees. Look for brands that use recycled paper that hasn’t been processed with chlorine and is perfume-free. Chlorine harms the both water resources and the atmosphere. Perfumes contain harmful VOCs. Paper is also available that’s made from bamboo, which is a renewable plant that reaches maturity quickly. 5. Install Timers and Motion Detectors You can find add-on motion sensors for light fixtures that will turn the light on and off in response to motion detection. Such a device eliminates the wasted energy when the bathroom is unoccupied with the lights on. It’s important to use the bathroom fan to exhaust humid air, but if it’s left running, it will also pull the cooled or heated air from a fairly large area, making your HVAC system run more often. Putting it on a timer eliminates the possibility of it running for extended periods, a habit that’s just as common as forgetting to turn the lights off. If you need help implementing any of these features into your bathroom, visit a company like Christophers Bath and Kitchens. By using their help with these tips in mind, you can make your bathrooms places that contribute to a healthier indoor environment and lower your carbon footprint without having to sacrifice any comfort or convenience.
Dixie Somers posted a blog entry in The Green Machine BlogLet's be honest, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It's our first stop in the morning and our last stop before bed. It is the room in which we perform all of our self-care routines and maintain our health and cleanliness. But, it is also the room in which we produce the most waste. From excessive water usage to immense paper waste and chemical cleaners, the refuse never seems to end. Luckily, transforming your bathroom into an eco-friendly paradise is easy. Once you decide to make the change, you can create a green and healthy room that will benefit you and the environment. Here are some do-it-yourself home improvement tips and tricks to give your bathroom the green makeover it needs. 1. Use Recycled Toilet Paper Next time you are shopping at the grocery store, make sure you pick up toilet paper made from recycled materials. According to Greenpeace, if every family in America bought just one roll of recycled toilet paper, it could save 400,000 trees. Check out great brands like Green Forest and 365 for toilet paper that is not made from virgin boreal forest trees and does not use toxic chlorine compounds. 2. Install a Low-flow Toilet Did you know that your toilet consumes approximately 27% of the total water used in your home? That’s more than any other appliance! Replacing your old toilet with a newer, low-flow model can save up to 5.5 gallons per flush. But, if buying a new toilet is not in your budget right now, you can still go green by installing a dual-flusher. This gives you a choice of how much water to use per flush based on the type of waste. DIY kits comes pretty inexpensively and can be used to update your current toilet. 3. Install a Low-flow Shower Head In the same vein as tip number 2, installing a low-flow shower head can help save water. Experts say taking a short shower can cut down on water usage, but if you are someone who likes a longer shower, installing a low-flow shower head can cut down your water usage without lowering the water pressure. In addition to the water you will be saving, you will also be saving on your heating bill. This upgrade is inexpensive and simple to install yourself, but contact a company like Puget Sound Plumbing if you have any concerns. 4. Avoid Disposable Clean-Up Products It can be very tempting, but try to steer clear from disposable cleaning products. Toilet paper should be the only disposable product in your eco-friendly bathroom. Instead of paper towels and disposable wet wipes, use washable towels and rags to clean off surfaces. In fact, nowadays more and more cleaners are being sold in refillable containers. Instead of throwing out a perfectly usable spray bottle and buying a new one, you can refill and reuse the original. 5. Use Green or Homemade Cleaners Why is it that the room we use to clean ourselves is often the dirtiest and most filled with chemicals? By purchasing green and organic products, not only are you creating a smaller environmental footprint, but you are also ensuring your body's health and safety. Conventional cleaning products are often full of chemicals and toxic preservatives which are hazardous to you and the planet. Brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method, and Seventh Generation all make great eco-friendly cleaning products. You could also take it one step further and create your own homemade, eco-friendly cleaning products. Simple ingredients from your kitchen such as baking soda, vinegar, club soda, and lemon juice can go a long way. Using these tips, the process of making your bathroom greener is cost-effective and simple. Whether it be installing low-flow appliances or purchasing natural cleaning products, there are many ways to do your part and go green. Making the switch to an eco-friendly bathroom will help make your home and the Earth a healthier, safer, and greener place to live.