Green Home Design: Sustainable Bathroom Systems
For many people, a bathroom is a haven. Designing bathrooms that offer features of a resort hotel in a private home has become a sought-after design effort. Yet the bathroom is a major source of energy, water, and paper waste in any home. When it comes to green home design, it’s easy to create sustainable bathroom systems that help to conserve resources including energy, water and paper waste. It just takes a little effort to install sustainable bathroom systems that fit into your green home design plan.
Green home design to reduce water waste:
“Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Leaky faucets and leaky toilets mean that your precious drinking water is literally going down the drain. One of the best ways that you can reduce water waste in a home is to make sure your faucets and toilets are working properly.
If you’re renovating or constructing your bathroom, install faucets and toilets that have low-flow designs. Some especially innovative toilet engineering requires no water at all, and aren’t at all disgusting like the port-a-potty’s you’re envisioning. They can be attractive for homeowners in drought stricken areas, as well as major cities, like New York City, where water is expensive because it pays for elaborate sewer systems. However, it does necessitate taking care of the waste yourself because it isn’t connected to a grid. Toilets that use less water often have two different settings, depending on how much, or how little you need to flush.
Low-flow showerheads have come a long way since they were mocked on Seinfeld, and are now designed to pack a lot of power with little water. You can also find low-flow showerheads that filter out chemicals like chlorine, which can dry out your skin and may be unhealthy.
Motion sensor faucets also reduce water waste because even if you’re good at remembering to turn off the faucet to brush your teeth or wash your face, water is still flowing while you make the move from under the water to the handles. With a motion sensor faucet, the water turns off immediately. As a bonus, there’s less yuck to clean off around the handles because you’re not dripping water, and it also helps to reduce the spread of germs because there’s no need to touch the handles.
You can also find low-flow faucets, which have a WaterSense® label from the EPA and reduce the water flow per minute to help conserve.
Conserve energy with a green home design plan:
Low-flow showerheads also save energy by reducing the energy needed to heat your water.
You can also save energy in the bathroom by installing energy saving light bulbs.
Using an energy-saving fan, like the ventilation systems with an Energy-Star label, helps reduce the amount of energy needed to get rid of moisture that causes mildew and mold in bathrooms. If your bathroom has access to a window, open it to cut down on how long you run your fan.
Having a tankless water heater also helps cut down on the energy needed to heat your water.
Reducing paper and product waste with green home designs:
Toilet paper, tissues, wipes and product bottles are also wasteful elements in a bathroom. Buy toilet paper and tissues that are made out of biodegradable materials, like bamboo, or are made from recycled papers. Use bath and cleaning products that are in refillable containers to reduce your carbon footprint at the dump. Using personal bath products and natural cleaning products that are eco-friendly or that you make yourself, ensures that harmful chemicals don’t come into contact with you and don’t go down the drain to adversely affect marine life.
Discover more ways that you can create a green home design outside your bathroom with our helpful green building articles, and read about sustainable farming, patio and landscaping, kinds and family and health and fitness on the Heal Estate Web site.