Even though your bathroom is the smallest room of your house, it’s one of the rooms that creates the most waste. However, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, there are some ways you can green up your bathroom space and make it a little more environmentally-friendly – and possibly even one of the most sustainable parts of your home.
- Use low-flow water fixtures
These modern faucets, toilets, and shower heads use less water per minute than traditional fixtures – helping to preserve one of our most valuable natural resources while saving you money when it comes time to pay your monthly bills. Depending on the age of your home, however, a low-flow toilet might not be a practical option. Check with a professional plumber to see if your system can handle flushing away waste without using so much water, and be sure to watch for any potential issues before they lead to costly repairs.
- Install aerators
Even if you can’t update your bathroom with low-flow fixtures, you can easily decrease the amount of water wasted from your faucets by installing aerators. Simply screwing an aerator onto the faucet head limits the flow of water that passes through by combining the water with air to create a no-splash stream, so not only will it save you money and create less waste, it also makes using your bathroom sink more enjoyable. Aerators can be found at any home improvement store and are a cheap and easy way to cut back on your water use without making any changes to your routine.
- LED lightbulbs
You’ve probably upgraded to LED lightbulbs in the rest of the rooms in your house, so make the change in your bathroom, too. These highly-efficient bulbs help green up your bathroom by using less energy to provide more light, generate less heat, and last much longer than conventional lightbulbs. These bulbs used to emit a cool, fluorescent kind of light, which made them somewhat unpopular for at-home use. However, thanks to advances in LED lightbulb design, these environmentally-friendly bulbs can now be purchased in warm, yellow tones – making them look nearly identical to traditional halogen bulbs.
- Eco-friendly or homemade cleaning products
Every time you clean your bathroom, you’re exposing yourself and your family to harmful chemicals that end up in the air and on all of the surfaces of your bathroom. The waste from your cleaning supplies also ends up flushed down your toilets and drains, adding to the pollution in your neighborhood. Making the switch from regular products to eco-friendly ones might be a little more expensive, but it will make a huge difference for the environment – both inside your home and outside in your community.
If the additional expense is too discouraging, you can always be more eco-friendly by using less product. Stay on top of the cleaning in your bathroom to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mold, and avoid having to use heavy chemicals to scrub surfaces clean. You can also look into making homemade cleaning products using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Clean you bathroom the green and natural way!
- Reduce humidity
Ventilation is a key part of making sure your bathroom doesn’t start growing mold or bacteria. Installing an exhaust vent or a fan can help keep the air moving and the humidity out, and open the window whenever you bathe or clean. You can also keep the air clean by introducing some air-purifying houseplants like the spider plant, which thrives in rooms without direct sunlight. These plants help absorb pollutants from the air and convert them into clean oxygen, making your bathroom a fresh, green haven.
Even just one of these small changes can make a huge difference in the amount of waste you generate from your bathroom, without sacrificing any modern conveniences. Reducing our impact on the environment is a vital part of our responsibility as humans, and incorporating these tips into your bathroom design is a great way to invest in the long-term sustainability of your home. Your healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle can help influence your neighbors and loved ones green up their own homes, too – and as more people start thinking about their own carbon footprints, the bigger the impact we can make on our environment.
Thank you to Sam Socorro who wrote this article. Sam is a guest author from Steam Shower Store and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.