Climate change is the hottest of hot topics at the moment, with climate change protests taking place in many different cities around the world. For those of us with families, it’s certainly a subject we should all be taking seriously and doing more for the environment in our own homes.
With many US states experiencing some of the worst droughts in years, the amount of water we all use is coming under scrutiny. Many of us in the US take piped water for granted and in the rainiest cities, like New Orleans, Florida and Memphis, it may seem that water is all around us. Yet those of you who live in areas like Los Angeles or Phoenix will understand that rainfall is pretty hard to come by.
With all this concern around the scarcity of this natural resource, what can you do at home? Well, your bathroom is the place where you use the most water, so it is the natural place to start. In this blog post, I’ve come up with 5 easy rules to follow to create the perfect eco-friendly bathroom.
1. Choose a toilet with an eco-friendly flush
As your toilet uses a large amount of water every time you flush, it is the most logical place to begin when considering eco-friendly options. Beginning in the mid-1990s, there was a movement away from the old-fashioned, high volume flushes which could use a staggering 3.4 gallons of water every time a button was pressed or a handle was pulled.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 helped to reduce flushes to just 1.6 gallons, however, many people felt this didn’t quite do the job.
When you’re purchasing a new toilet, look for a model that comes with a dual flush. This then gives you the option of a smaller flush for liquid waste and a larger one for solid matter.
If possible, why not follow the mantra “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow”. If you can put up with a little bit of pee in your toilet, it’ll go a long way to saving water.
2. Fix drips and leaks as soon as they occur
There’s nothing more irritating than the constant drip of a leaky faucet or showerhead. Not only will it potentially keep you awake at night, but it will also waste water by the bucketful. In fact, it’s estimated that a dripping faucet could leak away around 24 gallons of water with every passing week.
Buying a new faucet or showerhead doesn’t cost a lot in the grand scheme of things and they are relatively simple to fit, as long as you are confident embarking on small home improvement tasks.
3. Jump in the shower instead of running a bath
According to Quora, 65% of Americans shower or bathe every day, whilst 4% do this at least twice a day. Whilst this may be great for those of us who travel by public transport every day, it does mean plenty of water is being used across the nation.
It is already well-known that showers use significantly less water than baths, so it makes sense to reserve your bathing activities for special occasions or those times when you really need to relax and unwind. However, you could save even more water just by limiting the time you spend beneath your shower outlet. Try timing your average shower duration and aim to cut the time by a few minutes. If you’re comfortable with a quick 4-minute shower, you could potentially save plenty of water over the course of a year.
4. Be smart with your heating
Making your home more eco-friendly doesn’t just mean having to save water. By fitting underfloor heating, you can heat your bathroom separately to the rest of your property. After all, like most of the population, you probably only use your bathroom first thing in the morning and in the evening, so heating it at other times seems wasteful.
These days, smart thermostats can be used to control your bathroom temperature to within 0.1 of a degree. They can even learn the optimum temperatures and times for your specific room, helping you save money on utility bills.
5. Shut off your flow when brushing your teeth
Finally, one very simple and effective tip is to ensure you shut off the flow from your faucet when brushing your teeth. Many of us absentmindedly leave the faucet running as we scrub and polish those pearly whites. Of course, you only need a quick rinse of your toothbrush at the beginning and end of your session, so make sure you work this into your daily routine. If you have kids, teach them this water-saving trick too.
Why not share these eco-friendly bathroom tips with your friends and family? As they say, “a little goes a long way!”