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Fresh-Up Your Bathroom With 7 Killer Green Ideas

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In our busy, stressed society, it’s more important than ever before to take some time to kick back, relax, and indulge. Spa treatments are amazing, but it can be hard to find the time to fit a spa day into your hectic schedule.  Now I’m no expert, but it didn’t take me long to figure out how to create bathroom ambiance. Instead of needing to schedule expensive treatments every time you need a break, putting your spa right in your own bathroom is a great way to enjoy that relaxation when you need it most. Even better, it’s possible to create a resort-inspired feel to your bathroom while still staying eco-friendly.

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The Bathtub

Soaking tubs are all the rage in the master bathroom. They’re the perfect way to lean back, relax, and let the hot water relax your tired, overworked muscles. Adding bath salts or essential oils to the water can make that treatment even better. Many people, however, worry that soaking in the bathtub can use way too much water. Here’s the good news: a well-designed tub, like the gorgeous aluminum Sozo, above, can cut your water usage in half while still allowing you to enjoy the luxury of a hot bath.

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Bath Products

You know how much we love clean beauty on this site. From eco-friendly cleaning products that are made with ingredients you can pronounce to sustainable bath products that will allow you to enjoy luxurious scents and lotions without coating your body with dangerous chemicals, there are plenty of options on the market. Even better, when you remove the chemicals from your bathroom, you may find that you feel better: less stressed, less sick and tired, and more relaxed.

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Floors, Tiles and Countertops

Make sure to research your tiles and countertops carefully to ensure that they are really as green as you’re hoping. Recycled glass tiles are an excellent flooring choice, and these beautiful recycled glass countertops from Vetrazzo (above) are Cradle-to-Cradle Certified. Look around for products that are made locally—those will help decrease your carbon footprint. It’s also helpful to seek out products that are made using renewable energy or waste products.

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Fixtures

Your toilet, faucet, and shower all pour water. The question is, are they doing it in an conscious way? Look for water-saving fixtures that will keep your water usage down while still delivering the pressure you need. We’re huge fans of the Aroma Sense shower head, which combines filtration, adds essential oils and vitamin C, and ups water pressure without using extra water. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort to save water! Choose efficient fixtures that will help cut down on your water usage while still completing its necessary tasks.

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Accessories

Your bathroom’s accessories are one of the most important places to go green. Try using organic cotton or bamboo towels (we love Coyuchi’s range of GOTS-certified organic towels, above): once you try one, you’ll never go back! Look into eco-friendly shower curtains that aren’t made of PVC, and try an organic cork bath mat. You can also look for an eco-friendly robe and try a blow-dryer that uses ceramic heating coils instead of metal.

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Lighting

Natural light is one of the most flattering lights you can use, especially in the room where you spend the most time looking in the mirror. Look for ways to add natural light to your bathroom.

A skylight, for example, will brighten up the space and make it possible to use less artificial lighting. Swap out your lightbulbs for long-lasting, eco-friendly choices. You can also try installing an energy-efficient vent fan and using faucets that are motion-sensitive so that they’ll cut off whenever you aren’t actually using them.

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Greenery and Candles

There’s nothing like bringing nature indoors to add a breath of fresh air to your bathroom. Your bathroom is an excellent place for growing plants, thanks to the moisture from your shower. The added freshness will help you relax the moment you step inside your bathroom. If you want to add an additional scent, try using vegetable-based candles made out of materials like beeswax. Choose your scents carefully. While many people find lavender relaxing, others prefer lighter citrus cents.

Your bathroom doesn’t have to be boring and bland to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient. In fact, many of the attributes that help create a spa-like feel also aid in increasing the eco-friendly quotient of your bathroom. From adding greenery to choosing your materials with care, you can create a bathroom that is as green as you like while enjoying a spa-like quality that you’ll appreciate every time you step inside.

Guest post by Fay Wein.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.