Earth Day is coming up on April 22 and to honor this, we will discuss some sustainable, earth-friendly home projects. If your bathroom is in needs of updates you may be considering a remodel. However, renovation projects create lots of emissions if you don’t keep sustainability in mind. In fact, average home remodel generates a whopping 15 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Luckily you can greatly reduce the environmental impact of your bathroom renovation by choosing renewable materials and energy-efficient fixtures that provide long-term sustainability and save money in the process. Here are six ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your bathroom without compromising on style (plus save some money while you’re at it).
Switch Out Your Showerhead
Showerheads are one of the most water-guzzling fixtures in your home. Regular showerheads use a shocking 17 gallons of water per shower and account for 20% of your family’s total water usage. If you want to conserve water and reduce your monthly bill, it’s important to choose showerheads with low flow rates. The most efficient fixtures use 1.5 gallons of water per minute instead of the standard 2.5 gallons, which will save $67 per person in your household annually.
To conserve even more water, consider installing steam showerheads instead of regular fixtures. An eight-minute steam shower uses just a gallon of water, whereas low-flow showerheads consume 12 gallons in that same timeframe.
Replace or Retrofit Your Toilet
Toilets consume even more water than showerheads and account for nearly 30% of the average household’s water use. Older, more inefficient toilets use up to 7 gallons of water per flush, whereas new models only require 1.6 gallons per flush. Many toilets say how much water they use on the seat hinge, which can help you figure out if it’s time to replace it.
If replacing all the toilets in your home is outside your budget, you can put a brick in each tank to displace water. They save about 2 gallons of water per person every day and only cost about $15 each.
Another option is to retrofit your toilet with a dual-flush converter to make it more eco-friendly. The kits only cost about $20 and take five minutes to install. Agian, this cheap investment saves you money in the long run.
Install a Sustainable Vanity
Choosing a vanity made of sustainable reclaimed wood is a great way to update your bathroom without contributing to deforestation. Most people associate reclaimed wood with a rustic farmhouse aesthetic however, many manufacturers make recycled wood vanities that are sleek, modern, and indistinguishable from brand new cabinetry like in the above photo.
When renovating your bathroom, it’s also important to choose low-impact countertops. Recycled counters made from glass or paper are surprisingly water-resistant and durable. They also come in a variety of colors to suit any style of bathroom. Other sustainable options include quartz, concrete, copper, bamboo, and porcelain slab countertops. Talk about a variety of sustainable options.
Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
The more natural light you have in your bathroom, the less electricity you’ll need to use during the day. So if you want to reduce your energy consumption, consider installing more windows or skylights to let the natural light from the sun into your bathroom. Not only will this help save you energy, it will give your bathroom a natural glow. If privacy is a concern, opt for frosted glass or put a tinted film over your windows.
Even bright bathrooms need a few well-placed light fixtures. To keep things sustainable, choose LED bulbs over incandescent. LED bulbs last 25 times longer and are 75% more efficient than incandescent lights. Dimmer switches and motion sensors can also help save electricity and lower your power bill.
Choose Eco-Friendly Flooring
Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for bathrooms because it’s waterproof, durable, and affordable. However, vinyl flooring not the most eco-friendly option as it’s made of ethylene, a non-renewable fossil fuel. Instead of using vinyl, consider green materials like cork, bamboo, linoleum, and glass or ceramic tiles. Concrete also has a low carbon footprint and will add a unique modern vibe to your bathroom. Talk about sustainable style.
Use Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Paint
Many paints contain volatile organic compounds that compromise your home’s air quality. The chemicals inside the paint can pass off gas for years and cause issues like respiratory problems. That’s why it’s important to choose healthier, zero-VOC paints like AFM SafeCoat and Sherwin-Williams Harmony. These brands have a wide range of colors, so you won’t have to skimp on style to make your bathroom safer for your family.
If you’re trying to make your renovation as eco-friendly as possible, it’s important to work with a construction company that understands your commitment to sustainability. Here at Brunson Construction, we can help you fulfill your vision for your bathroom with low-impact materials and fixtures that won’t damage the environment plus we’ll save you some money in the long run. Contact us today to get your free quote on your sustainable bathroom remodel.