3 Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
There was a time when “eco-friendly” seemed to only mean recyclable, which in-effect seemed to produce nothing more than a brown cardboard stock to fit around to-go coffee cups. Those days are over. Now eco-friendly bathrooms and green homes are among the latest trends.
As you consider rebuilding a bathroom, there are plenty of options to consider. Whatever the case may be in how you consider your specific choices, there are three notable benefits of having and maintaining an eco-friendly bathroom:
1) Conserves Water And Saves Money
According to a 2013 report from the United States Environmental Agency (EPA), each person in the U.S. uses an average of 100 gallons of water each day. Part of that 100 gallons used is nothing more than the dripping of faucets or running toilets.
Did you know that up to 10% of homes have water leaks from older, ineffective toilets and faucets? If these homes were upgraded and improved, nearly 354 billion gallons of water could be saved annually.
One person alone would use 30% less water by upgrading to water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
Regardless if you live in a permanent home or at a rental property, if your current bathroom has an older faucet, shower head, or toilet, you are literally throwing good water— and money down the drain. Investing in water efficient fixtures will benefit you, your family and the planet in the long run.
2) Reduces Exposure To Toxins And Molds
Before the 1970s, everything seemed to be coated or made from lead— including many items used in plumbing and construction. From lead faucets to lead paint, many earlier turn of the century houses may still have traces of this toxic metal.
Choose the best to protect your home from anything that is potentially damaging. If your home was built before 1958, there is a possibility your home may contain lead paint. The worst thing you can do is sand lead paint, because it creates a deadly lead dust that may be inhaled.
Lead poisoning can be quite severe— causing a range of symptoms, including: vomiting, constipation, headaches, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, sterility, etc.
Even without any lead concerns, when remodeling a bathroom, there is one other health concern to consider: the grimy, dirty issue of mold. Mold can grow on virtually any surface with humidity and it seems to simply fester and spread. A dark, damp bathroom is the best place for mold to grow.
Keep mold at bay by ensuring your bathroom has proper ventilation. Make sure your vent fan is sized properly for the size of your bathroom. If you don’t have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, the next best thing is to routinely open your bathroom window. This will provide better insulation, air circulation and greatly reduces mildew growth. Hard surface bathroom floorings, such as eco-friendly tiles, are best to combat mold and soap scum build-up.
Go a step further and clean with eco-friendly cleaners; they have never been easier— or more popular to use.
Brands like Clorox, now have green cleaning products that span the shelves at every hardware and grocery stores. It’s an effective alternative to harsh cleaning products. In addition to strong fumes, some regular cleaners can potentially destroy metallic finishes in a matter of months.
Green is the way to go. Biodegradable and naturally derived, green cleaning products will properly serve your households’ cleaning needs, without negatively harming the planet— or your new remodel.
3) Aesthetic Value of Earthy Materials
Add your own personal flair and charm while utilizing earthy or upcycled materials into your bathroom design. The lists of recycled options are countless; and they are anything but dull, boring or cheap-looking.
Consider these alternatives for a true forward-thinking lifestyle:
- Acrylic bathtubs: There are a range of colors and designs; each providing a better method of keeping your water warmer for longer— saving you energy.
- Recycled glass countertops: Are a fusion of recycled glass and stone. The final product is more stain and scratch resistant than traditional marble and granite surfaces. Oftentimes, these surfaces are also resistant to heat and cold temperatures. Quartz countertops are also a resilient and attractive alternative to granite or marble.
- Recycled glass or stone shower and bath surrounds: Incorporating a shower or bath surround will truly give your bathroom some character. Using either recycled glass or various stones, such as marble or granite will help eliminate the waste of good material. A recycled surround is an affordable, cost-effective solution to getting an upscale bathroom remodel.
An eco-friendly bathroom remodel can brighten and revive any home or location. A touch of character, blended with energy-efficient materials makes this a worthy long-term investment. It’s time to conserve energy, save money and indulge in a guilt-free conscience.
Guest contributor Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for ADT Business Security Systems. She is a published journalist & blogger with an English degree and political science minor from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.