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With rising populations around the globe, we seem to be burning through our natural resources at an alarming rate. Reusing and recycling whatever we can is an easy way to slow down the destruction of our fragile ecosystems. With green living being the norm in all aspects of our lives, from transportation to construction, here are some tips on how to convert your bathroom into an eco-friendly bathroom.
Setting up a green bathroom needs to start right from the planning stage. While choosing a contractor for your bathroom remodel, make sure you pick someone who has extensive knowledge of environmentally friendly construction methods and building materials.
Start from the ground up
Choose eco-friendly flooring for your bathroom.
Recycled tiles are a great choice for bathroom floors.
Other green choices include tiles made from cork, bamboo and eco-friendly concrete.
Amongst the more modern choices for bathroom floors are tiles made from reclaimed wood and tagua nut, or vegetable ivory, as it’s popularly called.
Stone floors, which are old classics, are also extremely eco friendly as bathroom flooring materials. While choosing materials for bathroom furniture like cabinets and vanities, using eco-friendly materials like reclaimed wood, recycled wood, bamboo, and recycled steel is advisable. Avoid using carcinogenic adhesives like formaldehyde.
You can take a look at our most popular ones:
Don’t flush it all away
Conservation is a big part of green living. Studies have shown that old toilets unnecessarily waste large amounts of water while flushing.
It is believed that older toilets use between 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Modern dual flush toilets, or low flow toilets as they’re popularly called, use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush. You could even choose to use half of that amount if you’re only flushing out liquid refuse.
You can now buy toilets with a sink mounted above the flush tank, which means you’re flushing away the water you wash your hands with, thus helping you save water.
Toilets equipped with vacuum flushes ensure effective flushing with minimal water usage.
For more info about flush systems, take a look at our popular types of toilet flush systems
Of green baths and faucets
Let’s begin this section by answering that all-important question of whether showers are more eco friendly than baths are. The average bathtub holds around 36 gallons of water. A regular shower dispenses around 5 gallons of water per minute. So that means the only way a shower would be more eco friendly is you showered for a really short time.
However, there are two modern showerhead variants that allow you to save water without taking away any of the pleasure or functionality of using a shower.
Laminar low-flow showerheads push water into individual streams, reducing the amount of water used while being just as effective as a conventional shower.
Aerating showerheads create a fine mist by mixing air and water, once again reducing the amount of water used while showering without letting you feel the lowered water pressure.
However, if you really want a bathtub in your green bathroom, buy yourself a bathtub made of steel. Unlike bathtubs made of fiberglass or acrylic, steel bathtubs are entirely recyclable. Some manufacturers of steel enamel bathtubs give you a 30-year guarantee on their products, so they’re definitely durable.
You can also choose to have eco-friendly bathroom sinks as well. Materials include stone, stainless steel, recycled copper, and enameled cast iron.
Choose from a variety of eco-friendly faucets to go with your sinks.
You could choose a motion-sensor operated faucet that controls the water flow to only when your hand is in front of the sensor, minimizing wastage.
While conventional faucets pour out up to 2.2 gallons of water per minute, newer models have reduced that amount by almost 30%.
Adding an aerator to your faucet will reduce that water flow even further to 0.5 gallons per minute.
Heating things up
Hot water around the house is a necessity. Choosing eco-friendly water heating solutions will help reduce the amount you spend on energy. And there are multiple options for you to choose from.
Solar water heaters work in almost any weather, and you don’t need to pay the sun. These will reduce your water heating costs by a whopping 50%.
Heat pump water heaters extract heat from the air to heat refrigerant, which in turn heats your water. You can further reduce your carbon footprint by choosing carbon-di-oxide as your refrigerant.
Tankless water heaters work like gas heaters, except they heat water as you use it, instead of wasting energy storing pre-heated water.
Let there be light
Nothing is quite as eco friendly as natural sunlight and ventilation. An ample is easy enough to incorporate while designing your green bathroom. Simply add large windows and maybe even a skylight.
However, you can continue saving money on your utility bills by choosing to use LED bulbs instead of the regular incandescent ones for your bathroom. LED bulbs have been proven to be up to 90% more energy efficient while lasting 20 times longer.
Solar tubes are another energy-efficient lighting solution.
Opt for energy-efficient exhaust fans that use humidity sensors to defog your mirror, help avoid the growth of mold and mildew and improve overall air quality while being quieter than conventional exhaust fans.
Check these Effective Ways To Increase The Humidity In Your Home
Reuse and recycle
Not all the water used in our bathrooms is for cleaning excreta and bodily wastes. Water used in bathroom sinks, showers and washing machines may contain traces of soap, dirt, food, etc. and is called greywater. Greywater can be used to water lawns and gardens instead of being wasted. This, once again, reduces the amount of water we use and is directly financially beneficial.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is becoming more of a necessity with each passing day, what with unchecked population growth and greed across the globe burning through our natural resources faster than they can be replenished. Fortunately, advances in science and technology have given us the means to make greener choices in almost all aspects of our lives. You now know how to make your bathroom energy efficient and eco friendly. Why not spread that positivity to the rest of your home during your next home renovation?