Published on March 13th, 2015 | by Chris Keenan
Go Green and Healthy in the Bathroom: Simple Tips to Save Water and Energy
If you are interested in going green at home, the bathroom is an ideal place to begin making changes. For such a small room, it uses an incredible amount of both energy and water. Still, there are a number of things you can do to make the bathroom your own little green haven. The following tips will help you cut back on your carbon footprint and improve the look and feel of your bathroom at the same time.
Install a high efficiency showerhead and flow valve
These two great devices, used together, can cut your water bills by 90%! The showerhead can cut your water flow rate from 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) to as little as 1.25, and you’ll likely not notice a difference, thanks to today’s high efficiency/high pressure technology. The flow valve is a turn valve that you can use to turn the flow to a trickle without losing the temperature you want, so that you can soap up and shampoo up without the water running full blast.
Want to install these handy devices? Here’s an article on how to install a high efficiency showerhead and flow valve.
Replace Your Shower Curtain
If you currently have a vinyl shower curtain hanging in your bathroom, think about making a change. These shower curtains are typically made with PVC, a type of plastic that is incredibly toxic. It is possible for volatile organic chemicals to be released in the air from this material, and the chemicals have the potential to cause a lot of damage to various parts of the body, including the liver. Therefore, consider picking up a fabric shower curtain instead. Cotton is a great choice.
Install a High Efficiency Toilet
When consumers think about which appliances are using the most water in their homes, they generally focus on the dishwasher or the washing machine. However, toilets use more than either of these two appliances, which means installing a low-flow version is essential to saving water. This is particularly true if you own an older home that has not undergone any recent renovations.
If your bathroom has wallpaper, it is best to remove it and simply paint the walls. It is possible for moisture to seep behind the wallpaper, leading to issues with mold. Painting is not the only option, however; materials like stone and tile often last a long time and look great in the bathroom as well.
Install a high efficiency faucet aerator
Faucet aerators are the little attachments below the faucet, where the water comes out. Typically, these are 2.2 GPM, which is very wasteful. Pono Home installs high efficiency aerators as low as .25 GPM, which pay for themselves in weeks with all the water, hot water, and sewer water costs they save. And since the technology for the pressure is so good these days, you’ll likely not even notice.
Engage in Eco-Friendly Behaviors
The easiest way to cut back on your home’s water consumption is to take shorter showers. That is often easier said than done, however. If you are having trouble cutting back, think about purchasing a shower timer. They are easy to install, and most will turn the water off when you reach a pre-determined amount of time. It may be difficult to adjust to at first, but the savings will add up on your water bill!
Put in a New Vent
Most people don’t even think about their vent fans, but these useful little gadgets are a great way to cut back on the amount of moisture in the bathroom. However, if you have a regular fan, it is a good idea to replace it with an Energy Star model. The energy savings will amaze you.
Bathrooms are often the most wasteful rooms in the house, both in terms of water and energy. If green home improvement projects appeal to you, consider switching up your bathroom. There are a number of easy ways you can make a huge difference for both the environment and your household. Start by utilizing the tips above, and then continue working on the bathroom until it is something you can be proud of.