Here’s an inconvenient truth: Your bathroom isn’t the most eco-friendly space. It uses a lot of water and electricity, which can result in a lot of wasted energy!
For instance, the average family of four daily uses 400 gallons of water. Most of that comes from their bathroom use, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
And bathrooms can bite a big chunk from your household budget after factoring in the water-heating, ventilation and lighting bills.
There are several ways to have an eco-friendly bathroom — here are five of them.
1. Get a Low-Flow Toilet
Believe it or not, toilets are the number one reason for household water use.
Showers, washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances that use water come second after the whopping amount of water that gets, well, flushed.
Flushing an old toilet can use up to 9 gallons of water each day. Of course, that much water isn’t actually needed for this basic purpose.
To make your bathroom eco-friendly, you may want to install a low-flow toilet, which only uses about 1.6 gallons. Better yet, get a dual flush system to use even less water for flushing liquid matter as opposed to solid.
2. Switch to Environmentally Green Light Bulbs
If you still have old incandescent light bulbs, it’s time to switch to LEDs. These bulbs tend to be more expensive, but they pay off in the long run. That’s because they use only about 20 percent of the energy that incandescent ones do.
In addition, today’s LEDs come in all shapes and colors. Moreover, they can last up to 25 times longer than the common ones.
More importantly, LEDs are here to stay. They have replaced incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which major manufacturers have stopped producing.
So, if you plan to upgrade your bathroom lighting, choose LEDs.
3. Install a Bidet
Bidets are either a standalone bathroom fixture (for about $300) or a plumbing attachment on the toilet (starting at $40) for cleansing the body after a bowel movement.
Using a bidet is more sanitary than simply using toilet paper because it fully cleanses the body with water. The benefits of using a bidet include easier treatment of hemorrhoids and pregnancy-related hygiene.
In addition, while toilet paper isn’t the most expensive product, the average household annually spends well over $200 on it. Using bidets can cut your toilet paper use by 30 percent.
Installing a bidet won’t set you back too much financially, and it can be a great investment toward an eco-friendly bathroom and, most important, your health.
4. Get a Tankless Water Heater
One way that a household spends a lot of money on electricity — and sees just a fraction of the benefits — is with old tank water heaters. You might be better off installing a tankless, or on-demand water heater.
The idea behind this design is simple: the heater only turns on when the tap or shower is turned on, and as you turn the tap off, the heater stops working.
So, you only can get hot water while the water is pouring from the faucet; you aren’t spending any electricity while it’s off.
This contrasts with water heaters that have a tank and use electricity in cycles, even if you’re not there to use the water.
Watch and Learn: Tankless Water Heaters Save Energy
5. Buy Sustainable Bath Products
The various hygiene and beauty products you use in your bathroom all have a green version of themselves, so if you’re concerned about pollution, go ahead and switch to shampoos and soaps with an ‘organic’ label on them.
Overall, taking care of your health, hygiene and beauty doesn’t have to come at a great expense on either the environment or your home budget.
So, if you want an eco-friendly bathroom — and reduce the steep water and electricity bills, as well as exclude potentially harmful chemicals from your bathrooms — follow these tips.
Sarah Jessica Smith is a home improvement and lifestyle blogger from Sydney.