How to Create an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Many of us are looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly in our day to day lives, and eco-friendly products and services now cover almost everything, from the way we eat to what we wear. A big part of becoming more eco-friendly is making small conscious choices, such as buying food with less plastic packaging or turning off the taps when we brush our teeth.
It might not sound like a lot, but our daily routines can have a big impact on the environment, and our bathroom habits are one significant part of this. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your bathroom more eco friendly – and don’t worry – you won’t have to take cold showers or give up your everyday comforts. From water saving fixtures to choosing natural materials and energy saving lighting, there are plenty of smart, stylish ways to ensure your bathroom is as green as possible.
If you’ve been thinking it’s about time your bathroom had a makeover, see below for some ideas to help you design a stylish, practical bathroom that’s good for the environment too.
Water saving showers
Water saving shower heads work by restricting the volume of water that flows through them, and some can reduce the total volume of water used by half. Also known as low flow shower heads, their smart design means that you’ll save up to 20 litres of water per minute, but the chances are that you won’t notice a difference in water flow.
Water saving shower heads can also save you money on your energy bills, as you’ll be reducing your hot water consumption. Another type of water saving shower head is known as an ‘airdrop head’. These fixtures mix water with air, for a shower that uses less water but still feels luxurious and soft. Eco shower heads aren’t usually compatible with electric showers, so if you don’t want to replace your existing electric model, try selecting a less powerful flow or the eco option if there is one.
Choose natural materials
Natural materials like wood, stone and slate give a timeless, stylish look, and they’re better for the environment too. If possible, look for materials that are recycled or local to the area, such as local timber or reclaimed stone. Natural materials are free from potentially harmful chemicals and they don’t require as much energy to produce, resulting in less negative impact on the environment overall.
Continue the natural theme by choosing bath towels and mats made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, bamboo or hemp. These products tend to be better quality (in comparison to say, polyester) and they leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Swap traditional incandescent bulbs for LED versions; they use 90% less power to generate the same amount of light. This means that they’ll save a significant amount of energy and they’re also longer lasting, so you won’t have to replace your bulbs as often. Traditional bulbs lose up to 80% of their energy as heat, so they’re really not very energy efficient. In comparison, LED bulbs turn 80-90% of their energy into light, so very little is lost as heat.
There are manys stylish lighting options using LED bulbs; try spotlights around a mirror for a truly luxurious touch or illuminate overhead areas with LED ceiling lights.
Green cleaning products
Many traditional bathroom cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals which can cause damage to both human health and the environment. Breathing in the fumes from VOCs over long periods of time can cause eye and throat irritation, or worsen the symptoms of conditions such as asthma. Chemicals in cleaning products can also pollute the local water supply or cause harm to nearby plants and animals.
One way to combat these harmful effects is to choose ‘green’ or natural cleaning products for your bathroom and there are many brands available on the market. Eco-friendly cleaning products are formulated using safe, non toxic ingredients and sustainable or recyclable packaging. They’re often phosphate, chlorine and dye free, and use natural ingredients to provide cleaning power and fragrance.
You can even make your own cleaning products at home, using ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.
Add more plants
Plants add a calming, spa-like feel to your bathroom, and they can even help make it more eco-friendly too. Adding greenery to your bathroom helps to improve the air quality and remove harmful chemicals such as ammonia and benzene. Choose plants which thrive in hot, humid conditions, such as ferns, snake plants, orchids and ivy.
Build better habits
Creating an eco-friendly bathroom isn’t just about choosing the rights materials and fixtures, it’s about cultivating greener habits too. Small changes like choosing a shower over a bath or turning off the taps while you brush your teeth can make all the difference. Turning off the tap while you brush saves an average of eight gallons of water a day, and swapping a bath for a shower saves you almost 20 gallons.
You could also swap plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles for reusable containers or zero packaging alternatives like shampoo bars. All these seemingly small changes soon add up and it’s likely that you won’t even notice a difference once you get into the habit of things.
Water saving toilets
Our toilets use more water than any other feature in our home, including showers and washing machines. Don’t panic though, switching to a water saving toilet doesn’t mean that you’ll need to use an old fashioned out house. If you don’t want to replace your toilet in its entirety, opt for a water saving flush and fill valve. These devices work to conserve water in the cistern so that it doesn’t start refilling until all the water has emptied, saving up to one litre with every flush.
Dual flush toilets are another option which allow you to control how much water is used each time. These models have a ‘button’ on top of the cistern instead of a traditional flush handle on the side and you can press both sides of the button down for a full flush, or one side to use less water.
Switch your shower curtain
Shower curtains are prone to attracting mould and bacteria and they’re often made from non recyclable materials like vinyl. You can purchase non-PVC shower curtains, but for the most eco-friendly choice, opt for a glass shower screen instead. Screens are cleaner, tidier and better for the environment, plus you won’t have to deal with unpleasant mould or mildew on the bottom of the curtain anymore.
Bathroom renovations for your Oxford home – From the experts at James Dunn Roofing
If you’re looking to make some eco-friendly changes to your bathroom, get in touch with the experts at James Dunn Roofing. With over 35 years’ experience, we’re proud to offer brand new bathroom installations, bathroom remodelling and water saving fittings to suit your requirements.
We can work with you every step of the way, from planning an initial design, to plumbing, installation and choosing accessories for those finishing touches. Our project managers can make your dreams a reality, and with competitive rates available, we’ll make sure that you get the bathroom of your dreams that’s also within your budget. For more information about our bathroom designs and eco-friendly fittings, give us a call today or visit our website.
Our services don’t stop there either, don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more about our kitchen installations, chimney repairs, or extensions. Plus, comprehensive roofing services, including green roofs, roof repairs, roof windows and much more.