Hi I'm Patty Kim from the Green Guide for howdini talking about how to use greener products for your bathroom. There are a few simple changes you can make that'll help you do your bit for the enviroment and cut your family's risk of exposure to toxic chemicals at the same time.
Let's start with the obvious. You know you should be using recycled facial tissues and recycled toilet paper, but let's take it a step further and look for the highest percentage of post-consumer content you can find. For example, this brand has 80 percent. And also you'll want to check for labels for paper made without chlorine processing. It may say "PCF"--processed chlorine free, or better yet, "TCF"--totally chlorine free.
Now let's talk about all the other creams and beauty products we use. The average adult uses nine personal care products a day with roughly 120 chemicals spread among them, believe it or not, many of which are not fully tested for toxicity. Read ingredient lists on labels and watch out for chemicals you can't identify. The Green Guide actually keeps a very handy list of what it calls the "dirty dozen" substances in personal care products you should avoid. Some things might surprise you--things like antibacterial soap. Though a single use of any of them isn't likely to cause any harm, exposure from daily use over a lifetime may add up to a problem. And be wary of misleading claims: things like "natural" or "botanical," even products that use the word "organic" in their name may contain no organic ingredients at all.
We suggest you bring the Green Guide's Smart Shopper's card with you when you shop. It comes in handy and it's available for download from this website.
Now you'll also need towels made of organic cotton. Ordinary cotton is grown with a slew of polluting pesticides. Or for something different you might want to try bamboo towels. Bamboo is naturally resistant to pests and the bonus is it's really soft too.
And make sure you've got the right kind of shower curtain liner. Most are made of PVC, or polyvinylchloride, which contains phthalates which can disrupt hormones and contribute to asthma. Instea, shop for a liner made of P-E-V-A like these. Still vinyl, but no phthalates. Or splurge and get yourself a shower curtain made out of hemp. Hemp is great because it naturally resists mildew.
And here's something else to think about: synthetic fragrances and candles and air fresheners often contain phthalates and alcohols, aldehydes, and something called aromatic hydrocarbons which can all irritate your respiratory system. And many of these synthetic fragrances are also petroleum based. So what do you do? Look for candles made from beeswax, which actually cleans the air. Or maybe buy a soy candle or palm or other vegetable based candles. And instead of room fresheners with those fake fragrances, just try opening a window or even using a fan.
So there you have it. Simple, green fixes in the bathroom to protect your personal environment and give the planet a break at the same time. I'm Patty Kim from the Green Guide for howdini.com.