The bathroom is one of the most energy-consuming rooms in a home. It can also be one of the most eco-friendly, if certain key design considerations are incorporated into the space.
Water conservation is a crucial element of sustainable bathroom planning. Low-flow showerheads and dual flush toilets can help reduce water usage significantly.
The bathroom is a key area of the home that is ripe for eco-friendly upgrades. From energy efficient LED lighting to extractor fans with timers and humidity sensors, there are plenty of ways that new and existing homes can reduce their impact on the environment by embracing green technology in the bath room.
One of the easiest things that anyone can do is swap out standard light bulbs for energy-efficient ones. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy and last far longer than traditional light bulbs, making them an eco-friendly choice for any bathroom. They also come in a wide variety of colors, so there’s an option for every taste and style.
Another great way to cut down on electricity usage is by utilizing natural light. Adding large windows to the bathroom or installing a skylight can allow sunlight to fill the room, cutting down on electricity costs and illuminating your bathroom with an earthy glow.
Likewise, you can make a simple switch to low-flow showerheads, water-saving toilets and sink faucets. These sustainable bathroom fixtures help to conserve water, cut down on energy bills and lower the amount of chemicals used in the home. These are especially important in Australia, which is no stranger to droughts and other water shortages.
When shopping for sustainable bathroom products, look for the ENERGY STAR and WaterSense labels to find those that are rated highly in terms of their environmental friendliness. These fixtures use less water and electricity, and they are often made from recycled materials as well.
Other small changes that can be easily implemented include taking shorter showers, turning off lights when not in the room, unplugging appliances like hair straighteners and curling irons when not in use, and using natural cleaning products that aren’t toxic to the environment or your health. There’s no better way to pamper yourself than to soak in the tub beneath the stars with beams of natural light illuminating your space.
Finally, consider swapping out counter surfaces to something more sustainable, such as reclaimed or recycled glass, bamboo, or other eco-friendly options that can withstand moisture and temperature fluctuations. Laminate countertops, which are commonly found in bathrooms, are not good for the environment because they emit formaldehyde and require a lot of energy and greenhouse gases to produce.
Recycled and repurposed materials
If you’re building a new bathroom or updating your old one, there are many eco-friendly construction materials to consider. For example, using recycled glass countertops can provide a gorgeous look and help reduce waste. You can also use sustainable wood to build vanities, cabinets, and shower stalls. Other environmentally friendly options include bamboo, cork, and porcelain. These products are not only beautiful, but they’re also durable and long-lasting.
In addition to helping the environment, sustainable bathroom materials can improve indoor air quality. Traditional bathroom products can release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause headaches, eye irritation, and other health problems. However, sustainable bathroom products are designed to be low-VOC, and they often come in bulk, which eliminates excess packaging. Additionally, they can replace disposable items like cotton swabs and makeup wipes.
Another way to make your bathroom more eco-friendly is by adding a heated floor. This will keep the room warm without using a lot of energy, and it will help cut down on your heating bill. Another way to save energy is by replacing your current light fixtures with LED lighting. These bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional ones.
Lastly, be sure to recycle or reuse old towels and other linens. This will not only help reduce waste, but it will also keep your linens fresh and clean. If you need to buy new linens, opt for bamboo sheets or towels. These are made from fast-growing, environmentally restorative bamboo and are more absorbent than conventional sheets and towels.
You can also go green by introducing plants into your bathroom. These are a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere and help the environment by reducing VOCs in the air. You can also decorate your bathroom with things like twigs, rocks, and handmade art featuring natural elements.
You can also make your bathroom more eco-friendly by installing a vent fan that uses less energy. Traditional ventilation fans can consume up to 1,000 watts, which is a huge amount of energy. However, there are sustainable ventilation fans on the market that will use less energy while still maintaining air quality.
The bathroom is a perfect place for natural light, which not only saves energy, but also provides a softer, more beautiful aesthetic than harsh artificial lighting. It can make a bathroom feel bigger, brighter and airier. This is perfect for small space bathroom renovations in Brisbane. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all natural light is equal and some types of lighting can cause shadows or make certain areas look darker than others. Choosing light colors that reflect daylight and incorporating mirrors to modulate natural light is the best way to ensure that your bathroom gets the right type of light for every activity, from taking a bath to applying makeup.
If your bathroom renovation budget allows for it, consider adding large windows or a skylight to let in sunlight. These options will help reduce your energy costs, and there’s nothing more relaxing than a long soak in the tub under the stars!
In addition to natural light, using sustainable materials in the bathroom can also have a positive impact on the environment. Bamboo, cork, porcelain and metal are great choices because they’re eco-friendly, durable and gorgeous. Not only do these materials add visual interest and warmth to a bathroom, but they’re also easy to clean and resistant to mold and mildew.
Another way to go green in the bathroom is by reducing your water usage. A low-flow showerhead can reduce your water consumption significantly and help you conserve energy and money. Additionally, a water-saving toilet will also save you gallons of water and reduce your household waste.
If you’re looking to decrease your home’s energy consumption, consider switching from traditional incandescent bulbs to LED ones. These bulbs use a fraction of the power that traditional ones do and they last much longer, meaning you’ll have to replace them less often. They’re also more cost-effective than other energy-efficient options, such as fluorescent or CFL bulbs. Additionally, using energy-efficient lighting and a programmable thermostat can decrease your electricity costs even further. In fact, a programmable thermostat can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs by up to 30%. This will not only cut your energy bills but will also reduce your carbon footprint.
When it comes to sustainable materials, choosing products that use natural or recycled ingredients is a good start. But if you want to go one step further, consider buying products in bulk and refilling your own reusable containers (like glass bottles or tin cans).
Recycled and repurposed materials aren’t just great for the environment – they’re stylish too! From repurposed storage furniture to eco paint and sanitaryware, there’s a huge variety of options to choose from.
There’s now a whole host of flooring and wall coverings that are both environmentally friendly and high quality. Tiles, for example, come in a huge range of styles and colours and most have a high percentage of recycled content. Some even incorporate reclaimed materials like glass, bamboo and Tagua Palm (also known as vegetable ivory) and are PVC-free, heavy metal-free and VOC free.
In a similar vein, there are a lot of natural, organic and fair trade soaps, shampoos and other products available in supermarkets that can be used to replace many of the traditional bathroom items we’re used to buying. Investing in a few reusable bath and hand towels is also a simple but effective way to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by disposable towels and shower gels.
Another big area for improvement in the bathroom is air quality. Many conventional bathroom products release a lot of harmful chemicals into the air, which can irritate your skin and cause respiratory problems. It’s easy to make small changes that can help, such as using natural cleaning products and replacing synthetic fragrances with essential oils (try a mix of 260ml water with 12 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender).
If you want to take it a step further, installing water and energy saving appliances in your bathroom is a smart choice. Look for sinks and showerheads that have been awarded the WaterMark certification, or for shower heads that use 6 litres per minute with flow restrictors. SONAS’ new sustainable bathroom range includes the ALITA basin mixers and exposed showers as well as the PENA and VIA low flush toilets – all of which have been awarded the top Green Band rating by the Unified Water Label.