Kitchens are one area most people are very aware of how they can recycle and be more eco-friendly. Many people separate food waste and use this for composting. Plastics and other materials are recycled, and landfill rubbish is reduced.
Bathrooms on the other hand can be easy to overlook. There are many ways that you can improve the efficiency of your water and electricity usage as well as just using more environmentally friendly products. For instance, the average person uses around 100 gallons of water a day, and according to the US Geological Survey, most of it goes down the toilet.
Not everyone can afford to make wholesale changes to their homes but here are some big and some small things you can change in your bathroom to make it more eco-friendly.
Use on-demand hot water
This is a bigger investment than some of the other suggestions below but in the long run, using a tankless water heater can reduce your utility bills. If you were planning a bathroom renovation then this would be the time to consider one of these heaters.
These modern style heaters do not need a storage tank as they heat the water only when the taps are turned on. The benefits are they take up less space, use less gas or electricity, are less likely to have a big leak as there is no tank and they waste less water. The most obvious benefit to a family is that there is constant hot water too.
Fix drips and leaks
That dripping tap might be annoying and distracting when you are trying to sleep but it is also costing you money. The Environmental Protection Agency states that gallons of water are lost every day just through household leaks. Fixing drips and checking for leaks can reduce your water bill and also save on wastage.
Use eco-friendly products
Many soaps and bathroom cleaners use chemicals that are not good for the environment. Switching for greener products will mean that the water you flush away doesn’t contain harmful additives and also means you aren’t coming into contact with harsh chemicals yourself.
Switch from plastic products to natural materials. When you buy your next toothbrush consider using a bamboo one instead of plastic. If you need a new loofah then you could instead buy a soap saver bag like these from Puratium. These bags reduce the amount of soap you use, saving cash plus the bag itself is biodegradable as opposed to a plastic loofah.
Turn off the taps
Probably the most simple and effective way you can make an instant difference is to simply turn off the taps while you are shaving or brushing your teeth. It costs nothing to do this but will stop water wastage.
Low flow showerheads
Baths and showers are the next biggest use of water after flushing the toilet. Low flow showerheads are a simple way to lower the amount of water used when you wash. They are often fitted with a flow restrictor that can be adjusted to allow more or less water out during the shower.
In the same way that you recycle in the kitchen, you can look at bathroom waste too. To help reduce household waste consider all the things you throw into the bathroom waste bin and how many of them can be recycled. Many plastic and cardboard containers can be put in the recycling bin instead of the general trash.
There is a range of toilets that dispose of waste in many different ways than traditional ones do. Some use heat to incinerate the waste, others vacuum flush, and others compost the waste. All of them save a huge amount of water. The downside is the cost, however, if you were building a new home or cabin then this could be the time to consider one of these new systems. They are especially useful for cabins and areas where it is impossible to build a cesspit. There are also low-flow versions available if you prefer to use water still.
Change the lighting
Switching out standard light bulbs for LED lighting can reduce your electricity bill. They are more eco-friendly than conventional bulbs and they last longer too. Apart from the environmental and financial benefits they also look good and come in a range of styles, colors, and effects.
Use the shower more wisely
Next time you have a couple of simple garments to wash, put them in the shower with you. No one is suggesting you do a full load in the shower but it is quite possible to wash a couple of t-shirts while you clean yourself. This saves using the washing machine for small loads.
Also, when it is time to replace your shower curtain look at fitting a shower screen instead. This will save on all that plastic waste in the future from repeatedly ditching shower curtains.
Some ways to change your bathroom would have to be considered as long-term investments but there are plenty of smaller ways you can become more eco-friendly too. Start with turning off the taps between use and by fixing that annoying drip, then you can look at other areas later.