While the bathroom may not be your favorite room, it may be one of the most used. Consider these tips for reducing water usage, reusing old bathroom items and more.

bathroom.jpg With spring cleaning on the minds of many households across the country, it is a great time to brainstorm on ways to be more sustainable, especially in the bathroom. While it may not be people’s favorite room to clean, it is often the most scrubbed place in the house – particularly if you have a large family. And for people trying to have a more eco-friendly household, the restroom is an easy place to start, as there are lots of different things that can be adjusted, from switching cleaning products to switching toilets. But fear not – any change, big or small, is still change. Check out some of these awesome ways to green up the bathroom!

Switch to simple DIY cleaning products

Conventional cleaning products meant to polish that porcelain often contain harsh chemicals, which are not only toxic to the environment but also to your health. Instead of buying expensive “all-natural” cleaning products at the store, you can easily make your own with stuff already in your cupboard. Mix one part vinegar with one part water in a clean spray bottle to clean and sanitize all areas of the bathroom. For something a little more abrasive, gently scrub using one part baking soda mixed with one part water. The paste will help remove tough grout sludge and leave a streak-free shine.

Green the other products in your bathroom

There are many items that reside within the bathroom 24/7, including toilet paper, towels and personal care products. All of these things can be tweaked to be more sustainable and perhaps even help you save money. Toilet paper is a necessity in every home, with some using a lot more than others. Try to remind your family to be mindful of their toilet paper use – not just for the Earth’s sake but also your plumbing system (and your wallet). There are plenty of TP brands on the market made from recycled paper and are right in line cost-wise with big name competitors. In the meantime, replace those paper towels with reusable hand towels.

Make getting ready sustainable

As mentioned above, cleaning products and personal care items can be made at home with ease. While it may not taste the best, a simple mixture of baking soda and water makes excellent and all-natural toothpaste. If you want something with a bit more flavor, this website has tons of different homemade toothpaste recipes including coconut oil and cinnamon. There are also tons and tons of DIY bath and shower products, including moisturizing body washes, facial masks and decadent bath bombs. Try out one of the DIY skin-care recipes on this blog for yourself or throw an at-home spa party complete with mimosas and snacks.

Freshen the air naturally

Let’s be honest – the bathroom isn’t always the best smelling place in your home. Traditional air fresheners never truly do the trick, and fancy candles are expensive – and a fire hazard for kids. Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep the restroom smelling sweet naturally. Easily make a DIY spray using water and 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oil – orange, lemon and lavender are excellent for the bathroom as they energize and refresh. This Apartment Therapy post has some more fun and easy homemade air freshener recipes – you may want to try them all!

Install energy-efficient equipment throughout the room

There are many major and minor additions or changes that can be made in the bathroom in order to save water and energy. While some may be more of an investment – such as buying a new state-of-the-art toilet – others are a bit simpler. Low-flow showerheads are inexpensive, easy to install and can help your family save hundreds of gallons of water per month. Switching old light bulbs to LED bulbs is another easy and inexpensive way to save energy – and money – both in the bathroom and around the house in general. It is also suggested to fill a half-gallon plastic milk jug with rocks and place that in the toilet tank to save water. Many people put a brick in their toilet tank for the same purpose, but it has been discovered that bricks can actually damage internal parts over time.

Teach the family about saving water

Letting the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving is a big waste of resources, as are super-long showers. Remind yourself of this when getting ready for the day and enroll others in water-saving efforts. If you have younger children, ensure they understand the importance of turning off water (and lights, and toys, and other things) when they aren’t needed. To avoid epic shower sessions, set a time limit on how long the water can run. Challenge children to try to finish showering before the end of a song – this will engage them in a fun game while also helping to save the two gallons of water used per minute in a typical shower.

Reuse or repurpose bathroom castaways

Making that restroom more eco-friendly doesn’t end when you’re finished with your business. There are many things that end up in the bathroom trashcan that may be able to be repurposed for art projects or cleaning tools. For example, old shower curtains make excellent drop cloths for painting, while used toothbrushes can be used to clean jewelry or those nooks and crannies around the house you cannot otherwise get to. Toilet paper tubes can be made into a number of different craft items all year round – both for kids and adults. If you do not have children in the home and are not exactly into arts and crafts, donate your tubes to a local pre-school. The teachers and students will turn those tubes into something great in no time at all. Check out this website to see all of the toilet paper tube possibilities!