April 22 is Earth Day, and we want to celebrate by thinking about the little or big steps we can take as a contribution to preserving our wonderful planet. If you think it’s time to renovate – or make smaller design upgrades – there are plenty of simple ways to make it more eco-friendly, energy-efficient and energy-saving. Here are some tips that can help reduce your footprint and lower your energy consumption, all while creating a highly functional and beautiful bathroom or home spa.
Choose your building materials wisely.
- Bamboo has recently become the star sustainable material of the bathroom. It’s fast growing, doesn’t require pesticides to grow, and is renewable as it doesn’t require re-planting after being cultivated. Being extremely durable, it’s ideal for bathroom cabinetry, as it’s versatile and can look like wood or molded plywood. It also doesn’t require harsh chemicals for its manufacture and is far more resistant to humidity and temperature fluctuations.
- Linoleum is also making a strong comeback in the latest bathroom trends, both for its aesthetic appeal and its extreme durability. It is biodegradable, affordable, naturally anti-bacterial, and very easy to maintain.
- Recycled glass tile is a great eco-friendly choice that doesn’t compromise on style, as many aesthetically can be designed to replicate the look of other luxury materials. Glass is also highly durable – so it can be used on floors and walls – and it’s resistant to mold and stains.
Install water-efficient bath fixtures
When completing a renovation, choose fixtures that will ensure water savings, improve performance in your daily life and significantly reduce your utility bills.
- Invest in a low-flow, dual-flush toilet. This little upgrade can reduce your water consumption by up to 2 gallons per flush.
- Install a water aerator in your faucets and showerheads. This will allow you to reduce the water flow without having to reinstall your entire system. WaterSense can help you find the perfect fit for your bathroom among a large selection of products that meet the EPA criteria for water efficiency and performance.
- Try a personal steam shower. People are often hesitant to invest in an in-home steam shower as they believe it will waste a lot of water. However, the idea that this type of shower would require more water is untrue. Steam showers and steam shower generators are in fact eco-friendly even though it can be hard to believe. Over the course of 20 minutes, steam showers only consume about 2 gallons of water, versus 50 gallons of water if we look at the average consumption of a regular shower.
Thermasol provides many options for building a steam shower. The beautiful design of the SteamVection Steamhead is a great addition to bringing all the wellness benefits of the steam into the shower without wasting water. This gem is available in round or square shape in 15 finishes. Moreover, the pro series generators feature the latest technology to ensure consistent and controlled steam.
Use zero-waste products
Products such as toothbrushes, shampoo, soap and even floss can be made more eco-friendly and even zero-waste.
- Traditional dental floss is plastic-based, and considering we should be flossing daily, that can add up. An eco-friendly alternative is silk floss, which doesn’t come in plastic containers and is biodegradable.
- Bamboo, like we mentioned above as a building material, is also a great substitute for plastic toothbrushes, which are meant to be replaced every 3 months and end up in landfills. Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable and are even available in electric versions now.
- Trade out the hair and body care that comes in plastic bottles for shampoo, conditioner and soap bars. These are not only more concentrated, so you’ll use less over time, but you also don’t have to worry at all about the bulky plastic packaging.
Stick with the basics
Finally don’t forget the basics such as turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, running the laundry and dishwasher less, being mindful of waste and recycling. These are some of the small everyday eco-friendly actions we can take that don’t cost a dime, and can make a difference in our environmental footprint.