Think Green In the Bathroom – For Health and Environment

by Rachel Laurendeau on December 27, 2012

If you’re the type of person who takes both the environment and your family’s health into consideration when embarking on home improvement projects, read on. This blog is for you, we’ve put together some of our favorite green home improvement ideas in one place.

1. Instead of dumping a large bathtub into the landfill where it will sit, relatively unchanged for several generations, keep the bathtub you have and look into professional tub refinishing. Bathtub refinishing can prolong the life of your tub while making it look just like new.

2. When remodeling your bathroom, install water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and showerheads. There are some innovative new hands-free faucets on the market such as the Touch2O.xt™ from Delta. You can either tap anywhere on the spout or handle to start and stop the flow of water or you can set it to hands-free mode and the sensor will turn the water on and off when you’re within a small range. This is a great way to reduce water consumption.

3. Not sure how to pronounce the ingredient list on your cleaning products but pretty sure that if it ends in ethanol it isn’t good for you? (Oh wait, most cleaners don’t even list their ingredients, what was I thinking.) Make your own DIY household cleaners using simple ingredients that you already have in the house such as vinegar and baking soda.

4. Love the lotions and potions that go along with pampering yourself in the bath but again, not sure how you feel about putting all of those ingredients on your skin? Take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to see how products rank and to find out which ones get the safest ratings. As with the cleaners, you could make your own using simple ingredients, if you like the do-it-yourself angle.

5. If it’s time for a new shower curtain beware of the vinyl shower curtain which are likely made of PVC. PVC can off-gas toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home for up to four months after the package is opened. Some alternatives would be vinyl shower curtains made of PEVA, or a cloth curtain made of organic cotton or hemp.

There are plenty of cool, innovative and eco-friendly products out there; too many for us to list, frankly. A word of caution that there is very little industry regulation about using words like “green” and “eco” so despite labeling, you could be buying toxic products. Please do your research rather than blindly trusting product labels.

Have you come across any innovative, eco-friendly and health-safe home improvement products this past year? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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