23 March 2014

6 eco-friendly ways to create a healthy bathroom

There are a number of quick and easy things you can do to refresh your bathroom to make it both stylish and also healthy for you and the planet. 

1. Change your shower curtain to all natural materials and ditch the plastic vinyl liner. Plastic shower liners are made with PVC which contains carcinogens and other toxins that can off-gas and leave toxins in your home. Get rid of them now. Unfortunately these are not biodegradable so our landfills are filling up with them. And absolutely do not burn them- that's when they release even more toxins in a high concentration. 

Switch to a liner made of PEVA, which is PVC-free, chlorine-free and biodegradable. Affordable options are popping up everywhere, such as Target and IKEA. Then make sure that your outside curtain is a natural material, like 100% cotton, linen or hemp.

I recently switched out my polyester curtain (a man-made material that also emits toxins) for a 100% cotton one from Target that came with a PEVA liner.

2. Swap your toiletries for all-natural and organic options. Using organic hand-made soaps not only cleans your hands and body without the added chemicals and carinogens that come with commercial brands, they also make your bathroom smell great. Stock up and store them in a glass jar and open the lid to wonderfully refresh the room.

3. Use natural solutions for cleaning your bathroom. Vinegar and water make a great all-purpose bathroom cleaner, and baking soda works wonders for scrubbing mold. To prevent mold in the first place, keep a bottle of water with tea tree essential oil in the shower and spray down daily. Tea tree oil is a natural mold killer. Check out more DIY cleaning solutions and free dowloadable labels from A House in the Hills. 

4. Bring in some nature in the form of plants, flowers, branches or reclaimed wood. They add an organic touch to the decor, without purchasing consumer goods that have been shipped from far away.

5. Put your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet or under the sink. Not only does it give you a nice clean look on your counter, it also prevents germs from landing on it after, ahem, flushing. 

6. Save water. Limit shower time and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. And if you are ready to invest a bit of time and money, get a low flow shower head and/or a shower head water filter. A low flow toilet is also great, if you are in need of a new one anyway. I wrote in detail about water saving tips in the bathroom here. 

Mark Brand Architecture

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