By having a green concept when remodeling your bathroom, the materials used for the walls, floors and countertops should be made up of environmental friendly products that have been recycled or made from natural ingredients. There are many choices of ‘green’ materials in the market that not only look stylish but are also made from used or discarded materials. Glass tile for example, are stylish-looking and trendy in appearance, adding brightness and a chic look to one’s bathroom. They are made from recycled jars, glasses and bottles; they come in myriads of colors and can easily compliment any theme décor or style you may desire. Reused wood is also a popular eco-friendly consideration for flooring; its dark and earthy tone certainly permeates a warm and homely feel to one’s bathroom. Another option is linoleum flooring, which is a popular green choice as it is made from natural materials. Available in various colors, linoleum flooring is beautiful and at the same time, easy to maintain.
Walls can be made from recycled glass or ceramic tiles as long as they blend in with the flooring. When hunting for the material for a countertop, look for materials that are made from recycled glass which provides a classy elegance but durability to one’s bathroom countertop.
The main purpose of an eco-friendly design bathroom is to ensure that usage of water should be reduced to a considerable degree. This is because water is a natural resource and its over-use could deplete the earth’s supply of water and increase the use of energy for wastewater treatment. Therefore the toilet flush and showerhead should be changed to low-flush types. For example, a toilet that flushes 3.5 gallons per flush (gpl) should be changed to one that flushes only 1.6 gpl. Similarly, a low-flush showerhead should not exceed 2.75 gallons per minute (gpm). Research has shown that by installing low-flush shower head and toilet flush, you can reduce the use of water per person by more than half. This is a considerable achievement where green living is concerned.
An eco-friendly bathroom will not be complete without installing compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which are energy efficient light bulbs that use 70 per cent of the energy compared to ordinary light bulbs but last ten times longer.
The water that flushes out of the toilet will go through the drains and into streams and rivers that may ultimately harm water species and plants. Therefore, the amenities used in one’s bathroom is also equally important, such as bathroom cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners as well as one’s personal hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, hair conditioners and lotions. Bathroom cleaners with high toxicity, high petroleum and phosphate content are corrosive and contain contaminant agents that are harmful to the natural environment. Therefore, opt for cleaners and products that are made from natural ingredients to compliment an eco-friendly bathroom of your dreams.
Eco-Friendly Bathroom Maintenance
A green bathroom also requires regular maintenance especially in repairing dripping faucets or leaking toilets. It entirely defeats the purpose of having an eco-friendly bathroom design if one’s faucet or toilet is leaking and wasting water every second of the day. Also, constant checks should be performed on the windows of the bathroom to ensure that there is no air leakage; air leakage through the window requires more heating energy during cold winter months.
Last but not least, you may consider having a wide window that can easily be opened frequently for ventilation purpose. Natural ventilation reduces the use of energy such as ventilation fans in order to increase air circulation in a stuffy bathroom. Besides, a window allows sunlight into the bathroom and therefore reduces the need to turn on the lights during the day.