To celebrate Earth Day, we’re sharing some ways you can apply green, energy-efficient principles to your bathroom.
From saving energy and water to reducing toxicity and using natural products, there are many ways you can create a comfortable and earth-friendly bathroom.
8 Earth-Friendly Tips to Green Your Bathroom
“Low flow? I don’t like the sound of that.” – Kramer, “The Shower Head”
We understand if you’re worried about the sacrifice in quality when switching over to low-flow fixtures. They weren’t very good in the 90s. Today, while some models may dissatisfy users, newer designs are able to restrict the water volume without any noticeable difference in pressure. They do this by adding air pressure to increase the feeling of high pressure water.
The professional plumbers at OnTime Service can recommend a variety of different models that can cut down your water use from around 3 gallons per minute to a much more efficient 1.5 gallons per minute. You can expect to save anywhere from 30-70% on shower-related costs, such as water, hot water, and sewage. Additionally, may models are self-cleaning and come with extensive warranties.
Install low-flow showerheads to reduce the flow rate of your shower and save money and energy in the process. Don’t hesitate to contact OnTime for more information on low-flow showerheads, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures.
Take Cold Showers
You may think we are crazy—who voluntarily takes cold showers? But, there are many amazing benefits of cold showers separate from the water and energy savings you will experience.
Here are just some of the benefits of cold water immersion:
- Boosts metabolism and weight loss
- Healthier skin and hair
- Increases happiness, energy, and alertness
- Lowers heart rate and increases circulation
- Improves immune system
- Environmentally friendly
- Saves water and energy
To get started, we recommend turning the shower on to its lukewarm setting, getting in, and then gradually turning down the temperature to the lowest you can stand. If you feel like screaming, you’re doing it right. The first few times may seem like torture, but after witnessing the benefits firsthand and feeling better every day, you’ll soon prefer them to hot showers.
You can save even more water and energy by turning off the water when you are washing, shampooing, or brushing your teeth. Then turn the water back on to rinse.
Learn more about the science behind all of these cold shower benefits.
Dual-Flush and Low-Flow Toilets
Toilets use so much water that they account for around 30% of the total water consumption of your home. Some older toilets use as many as 6 gallons of water per flush, which is a huge waste (Environmental Protection Agency).
Older, inefficient toilets that use as much as 6 gallons per flush also happen to be a major source of wasted water in many homes.
Unlike older models that might sacrifice performance for efficiency, newer models don’t have to make that trade-off. Improvements in design and technology allow modern low-flow and dual flush toilets to sometimes perform even better than their less efficient counterparts.
If your toilet is leaking, inefficient, or old, consider replacing it with a high-performance toilet that will save you money, energy, and improve performance.
Use Glass Doors Instead of a Shower Curtain
By switching out your bathroom shower curtains with glass doors, you can eliminate the toxic plastics and mold curtain problem. Glass doors won’t have to replace for another couple of decades or so, saving you on replacing shower curtains and the potential toxic effects of mold and chemicals.
If you have a mold problem in your bathroom, switch to glass doors instead. It will also help you keep the water contained in the shower area, reducing the risk of water related damage in other parts of the bathroom.
Professional Plumbing Maintenance
The trick to having an efficient bathroom that lasts a long time is to perform regular maintenance on it. This is the old “a stitch in time saves nine” principle. By signing for a home maintenance plan, you can automate your annual plumbing inspections.
Your plumber will be able to fix or replace any leaking valves, pipes, or fixtures, as well as introduce new energy-efficient products and suggestions.
The average home has plumbing leaks that waste gallons every single day. In addition to costly and inefficient water leaks, you may also be developing a mold or moisture problem that is much easier to fix when caught early. Maintain good grout along your bath and shower to prevent water from going into places it shouldn’t be. Make sure you find nontoxic products when fixing grout or anything else in your bathroom.
Keep your bathroom, kitchen, and all other parts of your plumbing system health by keeping it in good repair and remembering to schedule annual plumbing maintenance from a professional plumber.
Low-Flow Toilets and Faucets
In addition to low-flow showerheads, consider low-flow faucets and toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The average household spends as much as $500 per year on their water and sewer bill and can save about $170 per year by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances.”
You can also replace your water-guzzling toilet with a dual flush model that allows you to choose between a small and a big flush. It’s also possible to attach a dual-flush system to your existing toilet.
Low-flow and dual-flush toilets can cut flushing volumes in half!
Contact OnTime Service for more information on low-flow and dual-flush toilet options.
Turn the Water Off
Many people turn on the shower and leave it running for minutes before jumping in. It’s also common for people to keep the sink running while they are washing their face or brushing teeth.
Try turning your shower off while you wash your hair and body. Then turn it back on to rinse.
The same applies to your bathroom sink. Turn the water off while washing your face and teeth. Turn it on again to rinse.
Check for Leaks
According to EPA, “Approximately 5 to 10 percent of American homes have water leaks that drip away 90 gallons a day or more! Many of these leaks reside in old fixtures, such as leaky toilets and faucets.”
Unfortunately, most homeowners are completely unaware of these common plumbing leaks.
You can check if any of your toilets are leaking with the food dye test. Simply place a few drops of food coloring into the tank of your toilet. Come back in around 30 minutes to see if any food dye has entered the toilet bowl. If any food dye appears in the toilet bowl (without flushing), you have a toilet leak that is wasting water every second.
You can usually fix toilet leaks by replacing the flapper and/or chain, but if there is a more serious problem or you have any questions, contact your local plumber.
Watch this video to learn how to fix a running toilet:
To check for other plumbing leaks, it’s a good idea to find your water meter valve and see if the leak indicator valve is turning.
If you have a slow water leak, you can read your water meter, write down the numbers and then wait 20-30 minutes to read your water meter numbers again. Make sure you don’t use any water or water-using appliances during this test. If the numbers are different, you have a continuous leak.
Other water leak signs include:
- Unexplained, consistent, water bill increases
- Mold and mildew
- Foundation cracks
- Wet spots in walls, carpets, or ceilings
Contact OnTime Service to pinpoint and fix the source of your water leak.
SERVICE ON TIME OR WE PAY YOU $59!
Give OnTime Service a call to schedule your next electrical, HVAC, or plumbing service: 205-942-1405.
Our experienced team of technicians is fully trained to handle any system you may have. As always, we will troubleshoot your home and give you straightforward pricing options before any work begins.
Follow us on social media for more useful information for your home: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.