Most people who buy a home do so knowing that certain rooms or areas will need some amount of renovation. There are always concessions to be made, and you can address niggling issues later on down the line. But if environmental sustainability is of core importance to you, the bathroom is one of the rooms you’re going to want to take care of as soon as possible. Older construction can lead to tons of wasted water, and harsh chemicals come into contact with you and your family more frequently there than in almost any other room. So here are just a couple of ways you can give your bathroom an eco friendly makeover.
Your first step should be handling the most difficult renovations, those that control the water flow. A traditional toilet can use as much as six gallons of water for every flush, which is a huge waste of resources. Replace that old toilet with an eco-friendly model, and you can cut your water usage down to a gallon and a half for every flush. It will save you tons of money each year, while also helping out the environment. You should also address the faucet in the sink and the shower head as well. You’ll find low-flow shower heads and faucets in most hardware stores, and switching them in is normally very easy. You don’t have to worry about sacrificing water pressure, as most eco-friendly faucets take that into consideration. But if you can find a shower head that’s attractive and uses less than two and a half gallons a minute, and a faucet for the sink that uses less than one and a half gallons each minute, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your utility bill.
One simply eco-friendly makeover for the bathroom is giving the walls a new coat of paint. Going with a wholly different color, especially something that’s bright and crisp, will immediately energize the bathroom. Just make sure you purchase paint that has the lowest level of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. You’ll find that noted on the outside of the can, and it’s an especially important consideration in a small room such as the bathroom. Take it a step further by using a soy or milk-based paint instead of oil or latex brands.
The lighting in the bathroom does a lot as far as look and feel is concerned. So cut out the incandescent light bulbs that harm the environment and go with fluorescent instead. They last longer, and you’ll find shapes that fit almost any light fixture. If you find a 2700 kelvin temperature bulb it will mimic the color of incandescent lighting, but in a much more environmentally friendly package.
Finally, consider organic products with the rest of your purchases. Avoid vinyl shower curtains if at all possible, as they release chemicals into the air as they age, and production is rough on the environment. Go with a recycled shower curtain or an organic fabric instead. The same goes with your bath mat and towels. Always choose natural fibers, such as organic cotton. Hemp and bamboo have also become attractive choices in recent years, and their manufacture is incredibly sustainable. Most home goods companies sell these options off of their website, but also check out each company’s natural options. You’ll usually find them listed through a green ‘click here‘ link somewhere on their home page.