Green Bathroom Remodeling Tips
When it comes to water and electricity usage there are few rooms in the house that are as wasteful as the bathroom. If you are thinking of remodeling your bathroom then you should know about some ways to make it greener.
Cut Down on the Waste
Many people do not realize just how much water they use in the bathroom. As much as thirty percent of a household’s overall water use occurs in the bathroom. There are many ways you can cut down on this usage just by changing some of your bad habits, such as:
- Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth
- Flushing the toilet multiple times for one use
- Taking long baths or showers
- Starting the shower before you are ready to get in
There are just a few of the ways that people waste water in the bathroom. In addition to cutting out these bad habits, there is equipment that can help you use less water. A truly “green” bathroom will have a low-flow toilet, as well as sinks and showerheads. You can also cut down on water use by ensuring that leaky toilets are fixed immediately.
A leaky toilet could waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. You could even set up a system by which usable wastewater (from sinks and showers) is collected and used on the lawn and in toilets. You should speak to a professional plumber about all of the ways you can cut down on water waste in the bathroom.
Get a Better Toilet
Toilets, especially in western countries, are a large source of waste. Since clean water is used to flush the toilet, you are essentially flushing away perfectly good water each time you use the bathroom. Here are some toilet tips that will help you cut down on the waste:
- Get a low-flow toilet
- Install a toilet that employs a dual flush mechanism that uses less water for number one than for number two
- Add a urinal. Urinals are a great way for men to cut down on water waste, as they do not require flushing for urination
- Install a bidet. This may seem counterproductive, but studies have shown that bidets actually use less water than trying to flush toilet paper. In addition, bidets have a number of health benefits, as they are known to reduce the rate of colon cancer and hemorrhoids.
- Install a composting toilet. Those that really want to go the extra step can actually buy a toilet that separates liquid from solids to create valuable composting material
Lose the Tub
A great way to make your bathroom greener is by getting rid of the bathtub. People waste a lot of water and energy when they take long baths, not to mention the fact that tubs are often very slippery and pose an injury risk. If you want to keep your tub then you should build a separate shower stall.
A small shower stall will not only cut down on the amount of water you use but can also be made safer than a slippery tub. A bath can use up to seven times more energy and water than taking a shower, which is why a truly green bathroom remodel will not involve installing a luxury bathtub. Getting rid of the tub will also save you a lot of valuable space that you can use for storage or other things.
Reduce the Amount of Hot Water
People don’t realize that as much as ten percent of their electricity bill can go towards heating up water. To reduce this amount you should change some bad habits like always washing clothes in hot water and cutting down the amount of hot water you use while washing your hands or taking a shower. In addition, there is some equipment you can install during your bathroom renovation that will help reduce your cost and impact on the environment. Here are a couple of things you can do:
-Use solar. You can now buy solar water heaters that are not that expensive or difficult to install. The upfront cost of installing a solar-powered water heater will be more than offset by the long-term savings. Not only that, but you will be drastically reducing your carbon footprint in the process.
Use a waste-heat recovery system. You can actually install a system that will use wasted warm water to preheat shower water, thus cutting back on the amount of energy it requires to take a hot shower.
One Bathroom is All You Need
Many homeowners feel that they need a bathroom for every bedroom in the house plus one for the guests to use. This is simply not true, as most households can get by fine with just one bathroom. Even when that extra bathroom is not being used it could be eating up valuable natural resources in the form of water and electricity.
If you are thinking of adding another bathroom, then consider remodeling your current one instead. If you really think you need more than one then you should make one bathroom for bathing and showering and one for the toilet. This will reduce the overall amount of time that people spend in the bathroom. Also, it will be cleaner, as your toilet will be separate from the place where you shower and bathe.
Water waste is not the only problem with the modern bathroom. If you are doing a bathroom remodeling project that you want to be green then you also have to consider the lighting. Bathrooms usually have more lights per square foot than any room in the house, as people want to be able to look at themselves closely in the mirror.
To avoid wasting energy you should install lighting fixtures and bulbs that make use of the latest green technology. This would include using LED light bulbs that are more energy efficient and last longer. You could also reduce the number of lights necessary by placing them strategically.
Making the Most of Your Sink
Another concern for your bathroom remodeling project is how to best use sinks. One great way to make your sink greener is by installing a system that uses wastewater from the sink in the toilet. Wastewater from sinks is known as “greywater.”
Although grey water is not safe to drink or to water your garden, it is perfectly safe to use to flush your toilet. This cuts down on the amount of fresh, clean water you are wasting every time you flush. If you really want your bathroom to remodel to be green then you need to consider all of the latest designs to save water.
Talk to a “Green” Pro
The best way to learn all of the techniques for remodeling your bathroom in a green way is by talking to a professional. Try to find a bathroom remodeler in your area that has experience with green practices and how to build a green bathroom.
They can likely give you a number of additional ways to cut down on your use of water and electricity. They can also give you ideas about which building materials are safest for the environment. Having a green bathroom will drastically reduce your expenses, as well as your impact on the environment.