The bathroom is like the kitchen in that it is vital to the life of a family. The bathroom is where the family washes, relaxes and can enjoy the child-parent bond. Bath-time is my favorite part of the day as I bathe our 2 year-old daughter.
It is thus a room that I really want to be environmentally friendly and free of toxic fumes and volatile organic compounds that can harm the health of my young child.
When I bought my house I stripped the oil based paint from the walls and put up 3 coats of a zero-VOC paint that was recommended to me for the bathroom. To make sure the paint didn’t start flaking after 6 months of steamy showers and baths I put in a good ventilation fan that comes on when the light is turned on.
I replaced the shower head with an Oxygenics low-flow shower that reduced the water flow rate from the standard 5 gallons a minute to 2.5 gallons a minute. It conservers a lot of water and saves me money! Moreover, the aerated water is supposed to have a beneficial spa effect on the body; my daughter loves being sprayed with the shower.
The furniture I put in the bathroom reflects good green practice. I put up two reclaimed hardwood medicine cabinets, an antique mirror and bamboo blinds. The reclaimed hardwood and the bamboo were VOC free. Moreover, both reclaimed hardwood and bamboo are eco-friendly materials that deal well with a high humidity climate.
I also have a bamboo mat on the floor. I have to say bamboo is ideal in the bathroom. My wife loves to soak in a bath with the bamboo blinds down on a summer afternoon and relax in the soft muted light.
The next plan for greening up my bathroom is to start a grey water recycling system. My idea is to start by using the non-detergent and non-soap grey water for watering the garden, and the soapy water for washing the car.
If you are interested in making your home more environmentally friendly then a good place to start is the bathroom: feeling both clean and green is great.