The environment around us is in crisis and we witness this every day. Lately, individuals have been talking about ways to prevent climate change and better the world around us. However, do you really play a part in all this?
Going green is not beneficial only to the Earth around you, but it actually helps to save you time, money, and resources. Changes to go green help to provide cleaner air and water around us while preserving some of the most important areas such as forests, swamps, and other critical areas.
If you have thought about going green and are ready to make the change, one of the areas you can do so in is the bathroom. You will find that making these small eco-friendly changes benefits you and the environment at the same time.
Keep on reading to find out what you can do in your bathroom to start your green journey.
Check Your Faucets
Did you know that residential households utilize more than one trillion gallons of water in a single year? That is a lot of water that is lost and many times, simply because we forget to turn it off or because of an undetected leak.
You can cut your bathroom water usage in half by:
- Replacing the aerator on the faucet to limit water consumption
- Installing a new water faucet that is environmentally-friendly
- Fixing leaks as soon as you notice them
Installing a new water faucet in your bathroom can save as much as 30 percent of your overall water consumption without impacting the performance of the faucet itself. In fact, you won’t even notice a difference.
Check Your Toilets
Toilets are responsible for about 30 percent of a household’s water consumption. This is due to constant flushing of the toilet and also water leaks.
You can cut your bathroom water usage in half by:
- Installing a dual flush toilet (this allows you to use only the amount of water needed)
- Replacing any old or inefficient toilets with newer ones that consume less water
- Considering a composting toilet (these toilets use very minimal water)
Before you head out to replace your toilet, take a moment to make sure that your new eco-friendly toilet will work for your home. It is important to choose the option that will best meet the needs of your household, otherwise, you will still be wasting unnecessary amounts of water.
Check Your Cabinetry
Did you know that your bathroom cabinets could contain harmful chemicals? If your current bathroom cabinets are made from particle board, hardwood paneling, or fiberboard, it is possible that they were designed using VOC or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are harmful chemicals that contribute to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. These chemicals are often times found in the finishes on the cabinets.
Here are some tips to get more sustainable and eco-friendly cabinets:
- Purchasing organic or natural materials for your new cabinets
- Purchasing cabinets that are made with VOC-free finishes and adhesives
- Avoiding the purchase of any cabinets made from tropical wood
- Buying salvaged whole cabinets or cabinet materials at secondhand stores to cu down on waste
Check Your Showers and Tubs
You would think that your shower or tub would lend to the largest consumption of water in your home, but it actually only accounts for about 17 percent of the household’s water consumption. Of course, lowering your consumption can do wonders to help protect the environment and it’s easy too.
Here are some tips on how to lower your water consumption in the shower or tub:
- Installing a low-flow showerhead (this option consumes less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute)
- Switching your current showerhead to a more efficient option
- Purchasing reclaimed tubs or showers when replacement is necessary (these come made from recycled or vintage materials)
- Refinishing your tub or shower as opposed to replacing it completely
- Replacing parts of your shower wall with glass instead of other options
- Caulking areas of the tub where you know water is leaking
If you do choose to replace your tub or shower and want to purchase a reclaimed one, you may find it difficult to find them on your own. Working with a professional can assist you in this process and ensure that you get the perfect eco-friendly tub or shower for your home.
Check Your Lighting
Lighting can eat up a lot of energy, so using natural lighting is best, when possible. However, many bathrooms do not have a window to let natural light in.
To help you go green with your lighting, consider these tips:
- Purchasing Energy Star certified light bulbs
- Installing LED lights as overhead lighting or in the vanity
Check Your Countertops
Did you know you can have countertops that are recycled and better for the environment than other options currently available on the market?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Purchasing countertops made from recycled materials have less impact on the environment
- Salvaging countertops to reuse and limit landfill waste
Check Your Flooring
There are several green flooring options available for homeowners who want to make sure they are doing their part to protect the environment. Any of these options can be installed in your home’s bathroom and will work well in the space.
Some great alternative flooring options include those that are:
- Recycled (consider rubber, tile, or stone)
Bamboo, cork, reclaimed lumber, and certified hardwoods are all ideal choices as well. Before you purchase any flooring, you want to make sure that it has been certified to have used a green production process. You want to limit how much strain is placed on the environment so also consider the VOC content, shipping distance, and more.
Ways You Can Reduce Overall Water Consumption in Your Home
- Keep an eye on your monthly water consumption
- Shut off your faucets when not in use (including the sink and tub/shower)
- Fix any leaks that are present
- Insulate your water heater to help keep it functioning optimally
- Reuse water whenever you can
- Install a system to help you recycle the water you use
How Much Water Do I Use a Day?
Estimates will always vary depending on specific use, but, in general, the average person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water each day inside their home. It seems like a lot right?
Will a Small Leak in My Home Really Make a Difference?
Yes! While a small dripping leak may seem like nothing at first, it actually is quite something. A little leak can turn into a big problem quickly from causing water damage in your home to wasting water.
But how much water waste does a leak cause? A small leak in your toilet can waste up to 22 gallons of water per day, which works out to around 8,000 gallons per year. Another way to look at it would be if you have a leaking water line that leaks one gallon of water every 10 minutes, you are losing roughly 506,000 gallons of water a year.
Interesting Water Conservation Facts
- 97 percent of all of Earth’s water is found in the seas and oceans
- Landscaping activities account for about half of the water used in California residences
- If every household in the US had a leaking faucet, around 928 million gallons of water would be wasted each day
- Around 110 million gallons of water are consumed in the US every day
- A single flush of the toilet uses around 3.5 gallons of water
- Brushing your teeth uses around 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running
- A 5-minute shower uses about 15 to 25 gallons of water
Go Green in Your Bathroom and Help Consume Less Water
Utilizing water-saving techniques in your bathroom can help save you money each month and it helps limit how much water is drawn out of local bays and rivers. It also assists in keeping the environment healthy overall and reducing air pollution. The less water that is used, the better.
Making some of the small changes above can greatly reduce the amount of water that your household currently uses. While these changes seem rather small, they actually greatly impact the environment around you and do a lot to benefit it as well.
There are many benefits to going green and if you are ready to make the switch, go for it!