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Turn toxic bathrooms clean and green

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The bathroom can be one of the least green, environmentally friendly rooms in the house due to excessive water use, toxic cleaning products, human waste and fluids, energy and paper product use. Here are some ways to turn them into clean green rooms:

  • install low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets to reduce the amount of water used by thousands of gallons yearly
  • replace old toilets with low-flow 1.3 gallons per flush toilets; retrofit an existing toilet by installing a controllable flush handle; put a brick, sealed soda bottle or pebbles in the tank to reduce water used in flushing; best--get a composting toilet
  • turning off water while brushing teeth saves up to 240 gallons of water a month
  • use cold water whenever possible
  • a five-minute shower can use as little as 14 percent of the water used in a bath
  • fix leaky faucets-- one leak dripping once per second wastes 3,000 gallons a year
  • buy recycled toilet paper
  • use natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and salt or at least use 'green' or eco-friendly cleaning products
  • open windows and use exhaust fans to keep toxic mold out without using bleach and harmful cleaning products
  • add oxygen-producing plants like spider plants that do not need direct sunlight to reduce humidity and absorb indoor air pollutants
  • paint with a low VOC content
  • buy shower curtains made from natural fabric--vinyl shower curtains release lots of toxic chemicals in the air including cancer causing toluene and ethylbenzene
  • use recycled, natural, or eco-friendly alternatives to daily hygiene items
  • use regular soap or natural herb hand sanitizers
  • use recycled glass mosaic tiles
  • use bamboo cabinets and flooring
  • install solar tubes or skylights for natural light
  • use the paper-based fiber composite Richlite
  • as a granite or marble alternative, use vetrazzo which is between 80 and 90 percent recycled glass
  • buy reclaimed lights online at Recycling the Past or Great Salvage
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