You may not spend a good portion of your day in the bathroom, but it’s a place where much waste occurs. From water flowing with abandon to excessive amounts of paper products being discarded, there are many opportunities for green modifications in the bathroom.
If you already have a good bathroom and the most you can do right now are little tweaks here and there, you can still get some “greening” ideas below. If you’re still in the process of building a home or if you’re willing to do a complete bathroom overhaul, then you have the chance to make the bathroom very sustainable by applying the following ideas.
Definitely one of the resources everybody should be conserving, water can easily be abused. By installing the following bathroom solutions, you can minimize water wastage.
1. Water-Saving Toilet
Older toilet models commonly use about seven gallons of water for every flush. While earlier water-saving toilets have been criticized for being inefficient, modern water-saving toilets provide ample flushing even with a minimal amount of water.
You can also opt for a dual-flusher with separate buttons for liquid waste and solid waste. Liquid waste is flushed with less than a gallon of water, while solid waste is effectively flushed with less than two gallons of water.
2. Water-Saving Showerhead
Of course, a good way to conserve shower water is by taking shorter showers, but you can save water even more by having a more efficient showerhead installed.
A water-saving showerhead is eco-friendly not only by conserving water, but by conserving electricity as well. It just follows that if you use up less water to shower, you also use up less energy to heat water.
3. Water-Saving Faucet
The bathroom sink is another place where water is often wasted. People tend to use more water than they need when they wash their hands or faces or when they brush their teeth. Water-saving faucets cut down water flow by over 30 percent.
If you can spring for it, also consider motion sensor faucets. This is especially ideal for those who tend to let the water run while they are brushing their teeth or soaping their hands or faces – times when the tap should be turned off.
Energy is another resource that people need to be more conscientious about. Considering the cost of electricity, the monthly bill should be enough motivation to conserve it. Here are some areas where you can work toward that goal.
1. LED Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are known to use up less energy and they last so much longer. Nonetheless, many were hesitant to use them in the bathroom, thinking that their light was too harsh. These days, you can easily find warm-colored LED lights, so the bathroom can have a cozy glow similar to what the incandescent bulbs of old used to emit.
2. Energy-Efficient Exhaust Fan
If the bathroom needs extra ventilation to prevent moisture from lingering, make sure that you install an exhaust fan with an Energy Star rating.
To keep mold and mildew from emerging in your bathroom, the fan has to be kept on the duration of the shower and for about 15 minutes after. It would certainly help to be using an energy-efficient model.
3. Tankless Water Heater
Anything that generates heat takes up a lot of energy. While cold showers have their uses, they’re not always practical, so your best option is to use a tankless water heater, which uses 20 percent less energy than traditional models.
This part is mainly for those starting from scratch or doing their bathroom over. Some of the more sustainable options available for bathroom fittings and accessories are recycled wood for furnishings, recycled glass tiles for walls, and cork for flooring.
To be thoroughly eco-friendly, this category might as well be added to the list. There are many ways you can be harmful to the environment by not giving careful thought to the products you use. What choices should you make to minimize your damaging impact on the environment?
1. Earth-Friendly Bath and Cleaning Products
Not only are organic hygiene products and cleaning supplies healthier for your body and generally safer to use, they are also often manufactured by conscious businesses with ethical practices. They also aren’t harmful to the environment when they wash down the drain.
You can start with washable hand towels instead of paper towels, but you might want to progress towards reusable toilet wipes as well someday. If you’re female, menstrual cups and reusable pads might be another possibility.
An eco-friendly bathroom is a more relaxing place. It has the power to soothe both your conscience and your wallet. Overall, it is the best option for your health, so work towards greening this special place in your home.
Yahya Zarka is the Managing Director at Concept Bath Trading RAK FZE in Dubai. Backed with 28 years of experience in catering to the Middle Eastern market, the company supplies water-saving bathroom and kitchen solutions as well as tiles and LED light products, all delivered in high quality and stylish designs.