Creating A Water Friendly Bathroom
The bathroom uses more water and energy than almost any room in the house, besides the kitchen of course. Because it is such a large consumer of resources, it is one of the most important places in the home to focus on when going green. With a little research and effort, you can have a bathroom that is not only healthier for the environment, but healthier for you and your family as well.
If your toilet was installed before 1994, it’s time to replace. Toilets made before the federal regulations put into place in that year use almost three times as much water as standard models today (5 gallons per flush compared to 1.6!) When you consider that toilets use roughly a quarter of the water use in your home, buying a low flow toilet is an important investment that will quickly pay for itself.
Your shower accounts for almost a fifth of the water usage in the home. A shower head designed to save water will cut your use by almost seventy percent without sacrificing the quality of your shower. Low flow models are available in most home improvement stores and comparable in price to your standard model.
You could also consider installing a low flow aerator on your faucet. When placed on each of the faucets in your home, this can reduce your household water consumption by up to 50 percent, also cutting down your energy bill as less water is heated.
Once you have installed low flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets, or decide to keep your old models, there are other tricks that you can use to further cut your water usage.
- Install a shower head shutoff valve. This reduces water to a trickle while you are lathering to save gallons upon gallons of water. This is the same principle that you employ while turning off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Place gravel or a 2 liter bottle into your toilet tank to displace water and reduce the amount that is used with each flush.
- Check your tank for leaks. This is a major place for water loss in the bathroom.
- Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees. Turning it down from the average 140 degrees will save 5 to 10 percent of the heater’s energy consumption
A little research and knowledge about the best ways to reduce the water consumption in your home will make an enormous difference in the efficiency and eco-friendly quality of your bathroom. Both your utility bill and the environment will thank you! Next week, we’ll look at some of the other aspects of the bathroom that can go green.