CliClimate change is affecting everyone, everywhere. The average global temperature for the past five years was among the highest on record. And it is likely to get worse unless we do something about it.
One place to start is at home with your bathroom. Why the bathroom?
An outdated (or low-functioning) bathroom wastes lots of water and energy. Taking even a small step to curb this waste can make a big difference. Fortunately, incredible strides in technology make it possible for us to reduce both our carbon footprint and utility bills.
Let’s explore a few tips to make your bathroom greener.
1. Invest in Sustainable Plumbing and Fixtures
Water is an essential resource. Without it, life as we know it would not exist. With a greener bathroom, you can help save hundreds of gallons of water every year. Multiply that kind of savings across homeowners around the globe and you can begin to see the kind of impact such actions can have.
For example, a typical bath may require between 100 to 200 gallons of water. Why waste so much water when a shower uses only 25 to 30 gallons?
You can cut down water use further by using water-wise showerheads and taps. An aerating showerhead reduces water use significantly. You might also consider installing a steam shower. It uses less water and offers a relaxing effect like a bathtub.
Some modern showers come with water recycling systems. The system filters and recycles water as you shower, reducing water usage and utility bills dramatically.
Water-sensible fixtures can help both homeowners and the environment. By the end of 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program had helped Americans save a cumulative 5.3 trillion gallons of water, more than $108 billion in water and energy bills, and 603 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
2. Consider Changing Your Toilet Flush
Toilets use a lot of water. A typical, conventional toilet can consume up to three gallons of water per flush, and more if your toilet is leaky. You could end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water, sending your water bill through the roof.
You can easily prevent this waste. For starters, make sure to fix any leaks, not just in your toilet but other areas of the bathroom. It’ll not only save water but also reduce the risk of costly water damage.
Next, install water-wise toilets and flush systems. For example, a dual flush can help you save considerable water, especially when handling liquid waste. Some modern toilets come with vacuum technology, which further reduces the use of water.
Such advances in technology now allow modern toilets to use 1.28 gallons of water per flush (or less) without affecting performance. This is 20% less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. In other words, investing in a modern water-efficient toilet is worth considering.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Did you know that water heating accounts for about 18% of your home’s energy use? Although the water heater is not a part of your bathroom, the bath is where hot water gets used most. When upgrading your bathroom, consider replacing your heater with an energy-efficient model.
- Heat Pump Water Heater
A heat pump water heater uses heat from the air to warm up the refrigerant, which heats the water. It can cut down energy bills by a wide margin.
- Tankless Water Heater
You can also use a tankless water heater. Unlike a conventional water heater, it heats water as you use it, which helps save energy.
- Condensing Water Heater
Condensing water heaters have 95% efficiency. In this type of water heater, the water vapor gets condensed in the flue gasses. The heat is then returned to the water going into the heating coils.
- Solar Water Heater
This would be the best option. Solar water heaters are highly efficient and come with no risks of fuel shortages or price hikes. According to the U.S. Energy Department, if you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50% to 80% on average.
4. Get Eco-Friendly Custom Bathroom Cabinets
Environment-friendly bathroom cabinets and interiors can take your green bath to a whole new level. This means choosing products made from recyclable or responsibly-sourced materials and with minimal waste generation.
The good news is you can find eco-sensitive manufacturers. They often use reclaimed wood and other raw materials to manufacture cabinets. You can install custom-built bathroom cabinets made from recycled concrete, fossil wood, or even bamboo. For vanity and sink countertops, materials made from recycled glass, paper, and wooden pulp are used.
Custom bathroom cabinets and vanities made from green materials are stunning and durable.
5. Work with an Environmentally-Conscious Contractor
The green makeover of your bathroom is incomplete without an environmentally conscious contractor like Holland’s Custom Cabinets.
Holland’s strives to make its operations, millwork design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation processes as environmentally responsible as possible:
- We engage in company-wide continuous improvement processes to reduce manufacturing and office waste.
- Rather than printing on paper, we use CAD software whenever possible to create designs and share them with clients electronically.
- We utilize low volatility, organic materials.
- Our manufacturing processes comply with California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- We utilize only formaldehyde-free panels, boards, and planks.
- Our spray booths are compliant with San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD) regulations to control the emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
- We use wood, paper, and other forest products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being responsibly sourced.
- When possible, we utilize recycled and/or synthetic products and packaging.
While Holland’s is proud of the rigorous steps it’s taken to be more environmentally conscious, our work to cut waste, reduce energy consumption, use low volatility materials, and conserve resources is ongoing. Our promise is that we will continue exploring ways to become even greater stewards of the environment we all share.
A greener bathroom will not only conserve depleting resources, but it can also help reduce your utility bills. To speak with Holland’s about how you can make your bathroom (or kitchen for that matter) greener, we invite you to contact us today or call us at 619.443.6081. We are proud to engage in business practices that help us better conserve resources.