Eco-friendly Upgrades for your Bathroom Renovation
Are you thinking of upgrading or renovating your bathroom? Are you concerned with environmental problems and reducing your carbon footprint? If so, start thinking about earth-friendly alternatives for your bathroom.
All of us know that our planet is in trouble and that we need to start implementing ways to help. You will be amazed to discover that because of advancements in technology, there are now many eco-friendly options to conserve energy and water, save money, look beautiful, be totally functional and help the planet at the same time. How can you not want to find out more?
- Go Low Flow
Saving water doesn't have to be a hassle, especially when you are a Jane. Low-flow showerheads, toilets and faucets are available almost everywhere and can be installed in about one day. For those of you have had a bad experience with a low-flow device in the past, we understand. Know that these devices have come a long way from their rudimentary beginnings, so give them another chance. You may be surprised to learn that many city governments offer tax rebates for low-flow devices and may even send someone to install them for free.
- Opt for Tubular Lighting
A twist on the skylight, tubular solar lighting may be the next big thing. These cylindrical tubes extend from your roof to the room in question (bathroom), converting solar energy into lighting, no electricity needed. They look exactly like electric lighting and unlike skylights tubular lighting won't generate heat. While it's not recommended that you install them yourself, they do not require any structural re-arrangement and can be up and running in a couple of hours. To see how these lights work, click here.
- Get Creative Countertops and Flooring
The countertops and flooring in the bathroom are major focal points, and making eco-friendly choices doesn't mean they lack style. If the word "recycled" conjures up images of brown paper bags, it's time to recycle your thinking. Recycled materials, such as glass, wood, and even paper make functional and durable countertop material for the bathroom and they are gorgeous to boot. Likewise, bamboo, linoleum and recycled slate and limestone make great eco-friendly choices for bathroom flooring. Salvage yards are ideal spots for picking up discarded materials such as tiles, mirrors and medicine cabinets and giving them a second life.
- Low VOC Cabinetry
Many forests today are treated with harmful pollutants, such as formaldehyde-based resins, which can contribute to air pollution inside the home. Similarly, many paints and resins are high in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), or toxins, which can be dangerous for the same reasons. (This is why you are supposed to paint in well-ventilated areas.) Luckily, more companies are offering toxin-free building materials and finishes, ensuring that your new cabinetry is pollutant-free. Also, when looking at different materials look into woods that are sustainable. For example, teak and mahogany, while very beautiful and durable, are endangered, and using them contributes to deforestation.
- Green Dreaming
Getting a green bathroom can be as simple as investing in newer, more efficient fixtures, or as elaborate as installing recycled glass tiling in the shower. Whatever you can do to help is a step in the right direction. We have a long road to haul in terms of turning around the state of the planet. Part of this turnaround will come from installing such water saving devices as low flow showerheads but an even bigger part is realizing that lingering in the shower for a half hour is wasting precious water and the energy needed to heat that water, no matter what kind of showerhead we are using.
So while we can (and should) change the fixtures in our environment, it is even more important that we change the ways we use them. Everyone needs to do their part to conserve our precious resources and to realize that, in the long run, even little changes can make a big difference.