Upgrading to a Green Bathroom
Upgrading to a Green Bathroom
When making your decisions for your bathroom remodel, many people consider colors, and what type of tile they want. But maybe, more focus should be put into making your bathroom eco-friendly. If you are getting ready to start a remodel, or even make some updates, here are some ways your bathroom can be green.
Pick Water-Wise Fixtures
One of the most popular toilets for eco-minded folk is a dual flush toilet. Some of these toilets have vacuum technology for a powerful flush that reduces water use even more. One style of toilet saves the water from washing your hands for flushing next time. Look for the EPA’s WaterSense label.
When you’re buying new, look for a low-flow showerhead. These typically offer a couple different water flow options. Once again, look for the EPA’s WaterSense label.
WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets can reduce water use by 30 without sacrificing performance. Add an aerator to curb the water flow even more.
Install Energy-Efficient Equipment
Look for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR logo so you know the product’s been certified (and to potentially eligible for Federal tax credits!). There are several options to consider, so get what works best for your family’s water use. There is even a solar water heater that would be great in New Mexico.
The newest ENERGY STAR models of exhaust fans use less electricity, are quieter, use humidity sensors for efficient performance, and clear your air faster.
Bringing in natural light is clearly the most energy-efficient option, so consider installing a skylight or solar. When you’re installing light fixtures, the ENERGY STAR logo is once again your best guide for finding the most energy-efficient products
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Cabinets and Vanities
Look for eco-cabinets and vanities using materials like formaldehyde-free woods, solid wood, recycled wood, reclaimed wood, bamboo, recycled steel, or even recycled concrete. When you’re choosing a countertop, consider one made from recycled materials.
Floors and Walls
Tile is a common floor and wall feature in bathrooms and there are currently tons of options that are eco-friendly. Most contain a high percentage of recycled materials. If you want something a little less conventional, consider bamboo, cork, natural plasters, or eco-friendly concrete.
Use VOC-Free Paints and Finishes
These will have less harmful fumes for you to breathe, and be much more environmentally friendly. While not all VOCs are bad, some have short and/or long-term health impacts. Some have been found to be carcinogens, and they will continue to emit harmful vapors long after the paint has dried
Recycle What You Can
As you are removing materials from your old bathroom, look into what can be recycled. See if you have a local salvage store that you can donate items too, or list them on craigslist.
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