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Eco-Friendly Bathroom Ideas

Updated on February 19, 2018

As more of us commit to creating a safer and healthier planet, the shift to a green mentality typically begins in the home. You’ve stopped using plastic shopping bags, you recycle paper, plastic and glass products and maybe you’ve even purchased a hybrid vehicle. What else can you do? Think about one of the rooms you use the most in your house. No, not the kitchen – however, that's another great place to go green.

Help make Earth a healthier planet.
Help make Earth a healthier planet. | Source

Why not start with your bathroom? Admit it, you do spend a great deal of time in there on any given week. You will be amazed at how many little things you can do to make your bathroom environmentally friendly. Get started by implementing some of these great ideas…

Shower Curtains

Bet you never thought your choice of shower curtain could make a positive difference on the environment. In fact, there are a great many choices for green shower curtains these days. First of all, you need to ditch that cheap polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtain.

You know that distinctive aroma when you first open the package of a PVC shower curtain? The odor is the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including the nasty carcinogen, DEHP. These shower curtains continue to spew toxins into the air for more than a month after they're opened. Obviously, not a good thing to have in your home.

Go for PEVA, recycled polyester or organic fiber shower curtains.
Go for PEVA, recycled polyester or organic fiber shower curtains. | Source

If you really want to go green, look into organic cotton and hemp shower curtains. They come in a variety of sizes and install with standard rings or come fitted with stylish grommets. You can choose natural hues or colorful patterns printed with non-toxic, organic dyes. Be advised that these shower curtains cost significantly more than their synthetic cousins, but will outlast them with regular cleaning.

If you want to save money, opt for a PEVA vinyl shower curtain. These environmentally friendly curtains are made from are made from PVC-free, non-chlorinated plastic that is EPA approved and guaranteed not to off gas. Another inexpensive shower curtain idea is recycled polyester fabric. They resist mold and can be easily cleaned by popping them into the washer.

Bath Mats

Something as unassuming as a bath mat or rug can be a hazard to the environment. Some synthetic area rugs contain VOCs, posing yet another off gassing threat. Not only that, cheap synthetic bath mats can harbor unhealthy mold. When you toss the bath mat in the trash to replace it with another one, it goes to the landfill and will stay intact forever. For those reasons alone, you should consider this eco-friendly bathroom idea: a green bath mat or rug.

Say no to synthetic bath mats and rugs.
Say no to synthetic bath mats and rugs. | Source

You can purchase a teak bath mat. It may not be as soft underfoot, but it is surprisingly comfortable, more durable and “greener” than bath mats made from nylon. Teak dries quicker than synthetic or cloth mats and looks great a in contemporary spa bathroom.

Organic cotton bath mats and rugs are another eco-friendly choice. They look and feel just like a regular cotton bath rug. Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides. Bamboo mats are another sustainable option and are softer than cotton fibers.

Think way outside the box and put a cork mat in your bathroom. Cork also dries rapidly and is a naturally resistant to mold. It provides cushioning and does not require regular cleaning. Cork is a beautiful, renewable product that will look stylish in any bathroom.

Cleaning Products

It is time to stop using those chemical-laden bathroom cleaners. While they might kill bacteria effectively, they are a danger to you and your family’s health. Caustic chemical fumes are harmful to breathe and can cause contact dermatitis and a host of other problems if absorbed into the skin.

Natural bathroom cleaning products are widely available.
Natural bathroom cleaning products are widely available. | Source

There are a number of eco-friendly lines of natural cleaning products designed for use in the bathroom and throughout the house. These safe cleaners are no more expensive than popular chemical-based brands, and in most cases, are just as effective.

With environmental awareness at an all-time high, even the big manufacturers are introducing their own earth friendly bathroom cleansers. If you choose these types of cleaners, check the labels to make sure they don’t contain phosphates and chlorine. Plant-based ingredients like lauramine oxide and d-limonene are much better for you and the environment than caustic chemicals.

Bath Towels

This eco-friendly bathroom idea is one of the easiest – make the change from regular towels to organic cotton or bamboo. Both are soft and contain no harmful chemicals. Bamboo towels are often blended with cotton and rayon, but the bamboo fibers are the real stars that make these towels super absorbent and silky soft to the touch.

Organic cotton towels.
Organic cotton towels. | Source

Good quality organic bath towels typically cost more than regular cotton towels. Think about replacing your old towels with organic towels as they wear out. That way you won’t have to replace them all at one time.

Take Your Eco-friendly Bathroom a Step Further

Dual-flush toilets - These toilets have two different flush types and use a little over one gallon to 1 1/2 gallons per flush. One lever is for liquid waste and paper and the other for solid waste. Your family of four can save about 7,000 gallons of water per year with a dual flush toilet. Or you can purchase a dual flush converter for your existing low-flow toilet.

Tankless water heaters - Think about the amount of energy consumption to keep a 40- gallon water heater constantly up to proper temperature. Face it, conventional water heaters are a huge waste of energy and money. They heat water 24 hours a day whether you need it or not. Think about installing a tankless hot water heater. They are small, wall-mounted units that heat water “on-demand” and shut off automatically when not in use. They cost more than conventional water heaters, but you’ll recover your investment over the course of a few years and save money in the lonf run!

© 2012 lindacee

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    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 2 years ago from Arizona

      Lady_E, glad you liked this Hub. Thanks for stopping by for the read and comment!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 2 years ago from London, UK

      Awesome Bathroom Tips. Thanks for sharing

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I so agree with you, Linda. A little bit of green can go a long way for the environment.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 2 years ago from Arizona

      Kristen, thanks for the vote! It's amazing there are so many small things we can do to "green-up" our homes. If everyone would use one or two of these ideas, it would make a big impact!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great ideas on having a green bathroom for the environment. I love your suggestions. Voted up for useful!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      So glad you liked this Hub, CrisSp! I've adopted all of these green changes in my home. I especially like green cleaning products -- they come a long way in their effectiveness. Thank you for the read, vote and share!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great advice! I am all pro-green and personally uses natural ingredients to clean, sanitize and disinfect my whole house.

      This hub is very useful. Voted up and sharing.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Qudsia, sometimes the smallest of changes can make the biggest difference! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      Excellent article lindacee; who knew simply fixing the loo a little would make such a difference.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      I know, Leah! Researching this article taught me a great deal about earth friendly options for the bathroom that I wasn't previously aware of. Bamboo towels are so soft and they dry out quickly!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      I had no idea that eco-friendly shower curtains were available! I'll have to purchase an organic fiber curtain when our plastic one wears out. Bamboo towels are wonderful!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Robert, bamboo towels and sheets are the softest! I love them too. I really enjoy sharing these little eco-friendly tidbits with readers. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      These are very good ideas. I love the bamboo towels! I went into a store that sold all bamboo products just recently. I had never thought much of bamboo before, but it is incredibly soft and environmentally friendly. I am glad to see that you have added it to your article here. You're at the front the crowd!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      greatstuff, a solar-powered water heater is a fabulous idea. I think the breakeven after 3 years is worth the future savings! That technology would certainly work well here in the desert, where we have annual rainfall of slightly over 2 inches per year. Lots of sunshine=low cost power! So glad it is working out for you. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Angela, I applaud you for doing your due diligence while investigating tankless hot water heaters. I'm of the opinion that conventional water heaters have their share of drawbacks, so I'm willing to try something new. Good luck with your research. I'm glad you liked this Hub! Cheers!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      We have solar water heater but it cost more initially. It will break even after 3years, depending on your usage and electricity charges/cost in your country. We have only two seasons - sun and rain! Therefore, it works for us!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Great suggestions -- in discussing tankless water heaters with several people that have installed them I'm getting both pro and con on the subject. Obviously, they're more economical to use but seems they have a few drawbacks also -- I need to research that one a bit more. Enjoyed this Hub immensely -- thanks! Best/Sis

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Teaches, tankless water heaters or types that deliver hot water on demand seem to be more prevalent in other parts of the world. It's high time they become the norm in the US. They should be standard in all new home construction. Maybe as demand increases, prices will come down to make them an option for more homeowners! Thanks for stopping by!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We are talking about getting a tankless water heater to save money and energy. Great post on the subject and very useful.