6 Hacks to Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly

green bathroom
Photo credit Getty Images

The bathroom is often one of the last places people think about when trying to make their homes more sustainable.

But with so many personal products, cosmetics, toiletries and water usage, there are plenty of small alterations and alternative purchases that can easily make it a more eco-friendly environment.

Here are some tips that will allow you to go green without losing most of the conveniences and luxuries you may be accustomed to in your bathroom.

Skip the Bath

One of the easiest things to do is to take showers instead of wasting all that water filling your bath. The average bath uses 36 gallons of water, while the average shower wastes 5 gallons of water per minute. If you put in a water-saving shower head it knocks it back to two gallons of water per minute. At that rate, a long ten-minute shower will only use 20 gallons of water.

Curtain Call

Now that you’ve gotten used to only showering, it’s time to address that vinyl curtain. Not only are they not recyclable, they give off harmful fumes if burned. There are plenty of non-PVC shower curtains available that will keep both you and the environment clean.

Hit the Bar

Ditch the liquid soaps with all their plastic packaging and bottles and keep it old school with bar soap. Not only do they take up less space, they usually come in paper wrappers. Some manufacturers have even developed shampoo bars that are equal to two to three bottles of shampoo.

Floss the Right Way

It’s important to make sure you are brushing and flossing properly and not just for your oral hygiene. First things first, don’t run the tap while brushing. This alone can save eight gallons of water a day. Dental floss is problematic as it's usually made from non recyclable and nonbiodegradable Nylon and Teflon. Instead pick up floss made of natural bamboo that is biodegradable or dental picks that can be composted. Your dentist and mother nature will thank you.

Raid the Medicine Cabinet

Don’t flush old or expired medications as they can contaminate water systems but also potentially harm animals and sealife. Instead check with your pharmacy to see if they have a take-back program or find a location near you at AmericanMedicineChest.com. You can also recycle old pill bottles by turning them into keyholders, travel cases for your lotions, or cotton swab holders.

Slow Your Roll

The average person uses 9 squares of toilet paper every time they use the bathroom. Slowing down your roll so that it doesn’t unravel more than you need is one way to keep your TP consumption down. By squishing the cardboard center of a new roll until it flattens will help slow down the motion of the roll. Another hack is to coil a rubber band around your roll holder so the friction impedes the speed at which the toilet paper rolls out.