Eco-Friendly Bathroom Solutions – Ways to Stay Green

by interior designer

in Eco-Friendly

There are two benefits to being eco-friendly in the bathroom. The first is the appreciation of our collective environment which is important to us all. By going green in our home, we help to reduce emissions and excess waste that damages the eco-system as well as the atmosphere. The second is cost. Being green does not have to be expensive and is in fact very cost effective if carried out correctly.

I’ve brought together a number of tips which will help you in creating a more eco-friendly bathroom.

Minimize Wastage of Water – There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of water you use in the bathroom and none of them in any way impact on cleanliness and personal hygiene.

bathroom-water-conserving

1) Install a dual-flush toilet or one that is low-flow. The former means you can regulate with each flush the amount of water being used depending on the waste matter to be removed. By doing this you can reduce water consumption by a whopping 20% or more.

2) There are shower heads and faucets that have more restrictive nozzles and spouts. These reduce the amount of water exiting these devices and so minimizes the wastage of water. Most of us use too much water when a smaller amount would be just as good.

3) This is the most important, easiest and cheapest way to reduce water loss. Turn the faucets off when brushing your teeth, lathering your face and hands, or if you have to briefly leave the room. By doing so you will save somewhere between 3 and 5 gallons for every single minute the faucet is turned off.

4) Reduce your time in the shower and turn the water supply off when soaping up.

eco-friendly-toilet-paperConserve Toilet Paper – Purchase recycled toilet paper (recycled from other paper formats not former toilet paper as some people have asked me) that breaks into a single sheet. It’s interesting to note that if all US households did this, there would be over 400,000 less trees being cut doing every year.

Consider investing in a bidet, which I find a lot more hygienic. It also reduces the amount of toilet paper usage.

Organic Towels – There are a wide variety of eco-friendly bathroom towels and linens available on the market. These include towels made from organic cotton and bamboo which are both environmentally friendly and easy on the eye and skin.

Organic Soaps – Many soaps sold in regular stores contain large amounts of chemicals which can have a negative effect on some people’s skins. If you have sensitive skin and are worried about the effects of non-organic soap on your children, then organic soaps will be a viable alternative. The latter are produced without the use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides.

By going green when buying soap you will be protecting a number of natural facets. This includes the water supply of the area where the non-organic soaps are made which often become polluted due to the waste and fumes given off by the soap making process. On the other hand, organic soaps are made using ingredients that are harvested in a way that is beneficial to our entire ecosystem.

Most importantly, they are not tested on animals.

green-bathroom-decor-solutionsEco-Friendly Bathroom Fixtures and Decor – Most fixtures in the bathroom including lights, bar rails, scales, faucets, wall tiles, mirrors and windows can be purchased with environmentally friendly options. For example, when buying a new range of floor tiles, consider those made from eco-friendly and naturally harvested materials including bamboo and wood. You can usually check with the producer and store as to how they have been grown and where.

Recycled glass is perfect for mirrors, window panes and decorative items. The same goes for ceramic tiles that adorn the walls around your bath and sink areas.

When it comes to lighting, try to find energy saving light bulbs which are becoming mandatory in many areas anyway. Switch from incandescent to lower-energy consuming compact fluorescent lights or halogen lights where possible.

These are just a few of the ways you can reduce waste and help protect the environment. Whether you agree that climate change is man made or not, there are many other benefits to going green which are closer to home. As mentioned previously, it is hard to argue that polluted water supplies, the destruction of local habitats and the resulting animal extinctions are not something to be worried about. On top of that, many of these eco-friendly bathroom solutions are in face cheaper than the non-green alternatives.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Keli 08.18.09 at 13:46

Great ideas! Many of them we have had in use in our home for some time now. As we get ready for a reno on our main bathroom, I am looking forward to sourcing out as many recycled items as possible, including reusing some of the original items and a trip to the local Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
Also, I like that you defuse the argument about global warming – it really is all about reducing our negative impacts.

interior designer 08.18.09 at 16:50

Thank you Keli.

I must admit I am partly a sceptic when it comes to ‘man-made global warming’. I’m unsure just how much we cause damage compared to say nature’s big polluters, volcanoes for example. Something I will continue to study anyway.

However, that doesn’t mean we should pollute freely of course. The eco-system here on earth has been damaged by man and anything we can do to stop the destruction of forests, water supplies and natural habitats can only be a good thing.

Joseph 08.19.09 at 17:00

You have started a very interesting discussion on bathroom design. I’m a cabinetmaker who really does not want to make kitchens and bathrooms for a living, because the most of what is done in the US is just boxes with a “choice of doors and drawer fronts,” the most of which are made in a factory somewhere. Boring. I want to do something else if I can, but what?

European design just absolutely blows my mind, and I find myself reading quite a bit on it, even though these are often modular kitchens and bathrooms that one would simply send away for and have installed by a local craftsman. But what fascinates me is the utter innovation of those designs, so I find myself returning to them quite a bit.

I am also looking to design two bathrooms and a kitchen for my wife in too-small spaces in a tract home, which necessarily lets out those wonderful European designs that excite me so. And whenever I find myself going out on a limb with some idea or another, my wife always grounds me by saying, “If you stick with the classics, you won’t grow tired of them.”

So, what do you do that is different and yet timeless and practical and stimulating to make if you’re a cabinetmaker? Damned if I know, but if I ever figure it out, I mean to make it for us and splash those babies all over the Internet!

What you’ve written, though, has given me quite a bit to think about, and I thank you for sharing your concepts.

Allison 08.19.09 at 20:04

Great tips! I think a lot of times people forget they don’t have to purchase Smart Cars or resort to candle light in their homes in order to go green. Its the little things, like your suggestions, that make ‘tiny ripples of hope’ in the fight to save our environment. Another suggestion I could add to yours would be consider switching to recycled toilet paper – there are many great brands out there (Marcal Sunrise Recycled Toilet Paper is my favorite) that make soft, absorbent TP and other paper products (paper towels, napkins, tissues, etc). Try switching to this and I bet you won’t tell the difference!

Danielle 08.25.09 at 07:21

Pretty good post! These solutions are quite useful, but the perfect solution is to input the sense into people’s heart. Fortunately, more and more people begin to have the consciousness of environment protection. Hope we can make the world stay green!

Bartholomew 08.25.09 at 07:22

Great Ideas. Its little thing like your suggestion that make ‘tiny ripples of hope’ in the fight to save our environment.

interior designer 08.25.09 at 09:46

Absolutely, the right mindset is vital if one is to continue keeping eco-friendly issues and products at the forefront of future innovations and buying habits.

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