- Politics and Social Issues
Environmentally Friendly Bathroom - Go Green!
Environmentally Friendly Bathroom Ideas - Save the Earth!
An environmentally friendly bathroom will not only help the environment, it will save you money too. Below are ways to green your bathroom, some of which cost absolutely nothing, and just require a few changes in your habits. Aside from that, I also feature some future design prototypes being made that will certainly revolutionize the world of environmentally friendly bathrooms.
The bathroom is an area where we spend a lot of precious resources, especially toilet paper and water. The shocking truth is that we spend almost 28,000 liters per day just from flushing a day, and this amount can be compounded if your toilet is leaking. Think of all the precious resources and money you currently waste, and how much you can potentially save!
If you feel strongly about this green cause, please do post a comment below to pledge your commitment to this endeavor. If we all pitched in in simple, small ways, we can make a difference.
Save the Earth. Save Money. It's a win-win situation!
Going green doesn't have to hurt your wallet. In fact, some environmentally friendly choices help save you money. By saving on water & electricity, you reduce utility bills. By using a bidet instead of toilet paper, you save a couple of dollars per month.
Save the Trees - Use a Bidet
Plus - It's more hygienic, too!
Bidets spray out water onto the nether parts of your body (ie. your bum area). Not only will you no longer need to use toilet paper, and save a lot of trees in the process, these bidets will also more effectively clean your bum, minus the irritation that toilet paper can bring, so you're saving trees and your bum in the process. It's true that you will need to bring out some money for your bidet but this is a one-time cost, and you will no longer have to spend on toilet paper for the rest of your life. It's a good investment if you ask me.
How much do you Help the Earth by making the shift to Bidets?
Here are the numbers. U.S. alone spends over 36 billion toilet paper rolls each year. In order to manufacture those, we cut down 15 million poor trees, and we need to use a half billion gallons of water, a fourth of a million tons of bleach, and a good amount of electricity to convert these cut down trees into those paper rolls we use. And don't forget the plastic used to package these things up, as well as the amount of fuel needed to deliver these products to grocery stores.
Suffice to say, Mother Earth is going to give you a big hug after you shift to bidets.
Numbers came from: Toilet Paper Bidet by Faucet Depot
Also check out: The Daily Green - Bidets save Water
Owning a bidet is one big step towards making an environmentally friendly bathroom.
Your Toilet Paper "Footprint"
How many Rolls of Toilet Paper do you Consume per Week?
The Bidet Poll
Will you now consider buying a bidet?
Shop for Bidets - Bidets DON'T have to cost a fortune.
Here are some bidets you can purchase that are not obscenely expensive. You can get one for as low as $36. Let's say one toilet paper roll over at Costco roughly costs about $1. Say you use 1-2 rolls a week. By 2 months or so, you would have recouped your expenses on the bidet, and you would be saving on those dollars you spend regularly for those rolls.
Recycled Toilet Paper - The eco friendly alternative to normal toilet paper
(Special thanks to Biomechanoid for pointing this one out)
Still not ready to make the bidet switch? Consider using recycled toilet paper! Your bum won't know the difference, but Mother Earth will.
100% recycled, NOT whitened using chlorine
Use a Dual Flush Toilet - Control the amount of water you consume
A dual flush toilet allows you to choose how much flush power you want to use. If you're only flushing liquids and small amounts of paper (number 1 stuff), you can opt for the less powerful quick flush, which can reduce water consumption by up to 60-70%. That's a lot!
Form Environmentally Friendly Bathroom Habits - "If it's yellow..." and other useful, free tips
Here are some eco-friendly habits you can form that can help the earth. These don't require any purchases or installations - just tweaks in your routines.
- Using a Cup when you Brush
A lot of people use their hands to just cup the water running from the faucet, but you must notice how much water you waste in the process. Some people even let the faucet run the whole time they're brushing. An experiment showed that you can use around 1 liter of water per brush when you use a cup, as opposed to 5 liters of water, when you leave your faucet running while you brush. That's 5 times more water consumed!
Click here to record your water consumption. Get your kids to do the activity to open their eyes to the issue at hand.
- Use a Basin when you Wash your Face
Again, you save a lot of water as opposed to just cupping the water with your hands.
- If it's yellow...
Remember The Fockers' (Dustin Hoffman / Barbra Streisand) mantra? "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." It sounds a bit gross at first, but there's some wisdom to be obtained from this line. If you're the only one using your toilet bowl, or if you're fully comfortable with those you are sharing the bowl with (eg. your siblings), you can apply this philosophy and cut down on the number of flushes you make in one day.
Of course, if you're using a public toilet, it's a whole different thing, and you should shift your mantra to: "... Please be sweet and wipe the seat, and don't forget to flush!"
- Braving the Cold Water
During the summer or in warm climate countries, you might consider not turning on the heater anymore. By doing so, you can conserve electricity, which in turn, saves you money and helps decrease your carbon footprint.
- Choose Recycled Materials
If you're shopping for furniture for your bathroom, try buying recycled pieces, like tables from recycled glass, or recycled decor made from mirrors.
- Synching your Shower Schedules
If you must have hot water, and you're living with roommates or family members, consider synching your shower schedules. Basically, try to see if you can all take a bath during the same period of time, so that you won't have to leave the heater on the whole day. Here's an article describing how turning off the heater conserves electricity.
- Bring a Hanky with You
When you use a public bathroom, consider using a hanky to wipe your hands instead of using paper towels. Or at the very least, try to decrease the number of paper towels you use after every wash. According to Planet Green, a whopping 3,000 tons of paper towels are thrown in the trash each day.
Using Water Saving Shower Heads - Control is good
You can choose to install water-saving shower heads that will reduce your water consumption when you shower. How does it do it? Basically, it makes the water flow from the shower head more efficiently, so that you still feel like you're having a good full body shower, even though less water is actually being consumed. It also keeps the water warmer for a longer time. Again, less water consumption equals smaller water bill.
Consider using other Natural Materials in the Bathroom
How about your Bathroom's Mat / Carpet?
Redesign your bathroom with Mother Nature in mind. Consider buying home decor materials that are eco-friendly. For instance, how about using a natural carpet for your bathroom, like one made from coir? Coir, which comes from coconuts, happens to be waterproof, making it a very suitable choice for the bathroom. Don't just stop there! Consider using natural materials for other parts of your house - like your stair's carpet runners, etc. Going natural doesn't mean compromising design and uniqueness. There are just as many variations for eco-friendly carpets as there are for synthetic ones.
Aside from this, there is a wide product line of eco friendly products out there nowadays, from mirror cleaners to toothbrushes.
Fix that Leak!
One drop can lead to a lot
Just last weekend, my faucet was leaking, and I realized just how much water I would have wasted had I not noticed it! Luckily, I did notice it, and I immediately placed a container below the faucet to collect the leaking water, before I could get a plumber to come over and fix it. Are there leaks on your house too? Not only are you wasting water, you are wasting a lot of money as well! Make a periodical check of your faucets and pipes.
Displace Water in your Toilet Tank - Not Just another Brick in the Wall
Here's an inexpensive (or free) way to lessen your water usage per flush. Place an ordinary brick on your toilet tank, which displaces some water and lessens the amount of water the toilet tank refills per flush. Some sources recommend placing a water-filled plastic bottle in your toilet tank, instead of a brick, or you can also buy a real water displacement blatter bag, like the one below.
The Waterless toilet is an amazing eco-sanitary invention. It doesn't use any water to flush but the toilet remains hygienic and odorless after using. Think of all the water you can save!
Check out the video below for a better glimpse of this product.
Are you Convinced?
Are you willing to change your bathroom habits?
You don't need to do anything drastic or monumental all at once. One tiny step for the environment is a step worthy of applause. Post your pledge below or put your two green cents in. No need to be a Squidoo user to share your thoughts :)
List of Resources
Here are some green sites I enjoy visiting:
The Fit System by Jang Woo-seok - Reusing Water for Flushing
This is a very practical design which connects the sink to the toilet bowl. 50% of the water used for flushing will come from the used water produced by the sink. It's a very eco friendly and cost-effective solution for any bathroom. To learn more, go to Yanko Design's article: The Eco Bath: Use your Water Twice
Koolhaus Tapware Faucets - View your Water Consumption Real-time!
Another very practical idea, this faucet basically shows your faucet water consumption as you use the faucet! You can read more about this prototype designed by Daniel Dobrogorsky here.
Anti-Waste Soap Dispenser Faucet
Soap or Wash your Hands but Never Both at the Same Time!
A lot of people decide to leave the faucet running while they soap their hands. This is a huge waste of water. I understand it can be a difficult habit to form on your own, so how about having something like this Anti-Waste faucet to help us form that habit! This is a very neat idea by Junjie Zhang, which basically integrates the soap dispenser and the faucet via just one handle. Basically, you need to press down the handle to get your soap, and this action will also turn off the faucet.
Shop for Toothbrushes
I have here a variety of toothbrushes, most notably the eco-friendly toothbrush, made from recycled plastic
This was made from 100% recycled plastic, including yogurt cups!
Manual Toothbrush vs Electric Toothbrush - Which do you Use?
Choose your weapon! Do you use the manual toothbrush because you get better control and because you think that in the long run, it's still the more environmentally friendly option? Or do you choose electric?
Electric toothbrush or Manual toothbrush?
If you know of any Earth friendly bathroom designs out there, or you yourself are whipping up a great idea, please do post the ideas below (and relevant links to go to) and I will definitely check them out and feature them here! No need to register to post a comment below :)