The bathroom is a great place to start if you are looking for outstanding and innovative ways to reduce energy and water costs while reducing your carbon footprint.
Making simple eco-friendly changes to your bathroom will not only save you some money, but you’ll be doing your part to help protect the environment.
Where do you start?
Here are some best ways to upgrade your bathroom from basic to earth-friendly:
1. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
The first thing you want to do when attempting to make your bathroom more earth-friendly is to reevaluate how you use water.
Water is one of the biggest wasted resources and should never be taken for granted.
While making small habitual changes, like turning off the water while brushing your teeth, is a great place to start – there is more to be done.
You’ll want to install a low-flow showerhead to save some water in your bathroom.
Luckily for you, there are two types of low-flow showerheads to choose from, depending on how you like to shower.
First, you have a pressure-controlled showerhead that restricts the amount of water that comes out.
Many people think that if their shower doesn’t have good pressure, it is a water flow problem.
However, water pressure has very little to do with how much water you use and more with how the showerhead pushes the water out.
With a pressurized but restricted showerhead, you will still get the water pressure you want without wasting a ton of water.
Making the holes smaller forces the water to push through faster, giving you the perfect amount of pressure.
The other type of low-pressure showerhead you can use is an aerated showerhead.
This showerhead mixes oxygen in with the water to make it more bubbly, which also helps the water to feel softer.
While this showerhead doesn’t offer as much pressure as the other, users enjoy the spa-like experience of the little air bubbles.
But, the main reason you want to invest in a low-flow showerhead is the water and money you will save.
Most homes that have installed these showerheads save up to 50% of the water each year which will make a huge dent in your water bill.
2. Switch To a Reusable Razor
One of the biggest obstacles we as humans face when protecting the environment is the battle against single-use plastic.
While some plastic is recycled and reusable, most of the plastic that we use ends up in a landfill. Chances are that the first toothbrush you ever had as a kid is still in a landfill.
So, what can we do to combat our reliance on plastic? One place to start is in the bathroom, more specifically, with your shaving razor.
Plastic disposable razors are only meant to be used between 3 and 10 times before it needs to be replaced. Depending on how much you shave, it may even be less.
A reusable razor, also known as a smart razor, is a great alternative to the disposable razor problem.
These razors have a stainless steel base and holder; you only need to replace the razor head once it gets dull.
Most popularly, men use these types of razors because they not only give you a better shave but they greatly reduce your plastic usage.
However, there are plenty of great reusable razor options for women.
While using a reusable razor will reduce your plastic use, it also saves you some serious cash. Replaceable razors cost around $0.60 apiece.
So, you will only need to spend around $3.00 a month on new razors.
3. Use Eco-Friendly Soap
When talking about plastic consumption and how we can reduce our waste, it is easy to forget about the products you use every day.
Most notably, the soap we use in our bathrooms.
Traditional and regular soap not only comes in plastic bottles but are also filled with ingredients that are not very earth friendly.
More specifically, soaps are filled with chemical preservatives. This helps to make the soap last on the shelf longer, but at what cost?
Most of these chemicals can irritate the skin and damage the earth once it goes down the drain and gets absorbed into the ground.
So, while products need to be sustainable, they also need to reduce the harm we cause.
Eco-friendly and even handmade local soaps are a great alternative to those bulky plastic bottles. First, they often come in low-waste or even biodegradable packaging.
This helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Second, natural soaps are not made with any harmful ingredients. So you can be sure that not only will your skin be protected, but the environment will be too.
But this doesn’t mean that your natural soap will go bad quickly. You must remember that most plastic soap bottles on store shelves have been sitting there for a long time.
Natural and eco-friendly soaps also have a surprisingly long shelf life; most last up to a year.
4. Check For Any Leaks
Any water or pipe leaking in your bathroom is the equivalent of flushing your money down the drain.
Even the smallest leak that only drips once and a while will not only raise your water bill but is also wasting one of the earth’s most important resources.
A great place to start when ensuring your bathroom isn’t losing any water is in the shower.
The valve stem that connects the showerhead to the pipe often loses a bit of its grip and cartilage. This means that the connection isn’t properly sealed, which will cause water to leak out of the sides.
While you can replace the hardware on the valve to give it a tighter fit, there is a more cost-effective way to get the same results. This is to use water-sealed tape to strengthen the showerhead’s grip to completely end any leakage.
Along with your shower, you want to also check on your bathroom faucet and toilet. You can also apply the same fix you did on the shower with tape to other leaks in your bathroom.
Remember that caulking your toilet to the floor is never a good idea because it is almost impossible to replace it easily.
5. Install a Bidet
My favorite tip for making any bathroom eco-friendly is to invest in a great bidet.
Using a bidet in your bathroom will reduce your paper usage, and it may surprise you to learn that installing a bidet is super easy.
When it comes to picking out a bidet, you have two options.
First, you can purchase a fully functioning bidet toilet. This is the more expensive option, especially if you want to upgrade to one of those high-tech bidets.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option and are not interested in anything high-tech, you can install a bidet right onto your existing toilet.
This attaches to the side of your toilet and hooks up right to your toilet’s water system. Often times these styles of bidets come with different pressure settings and locations for the water to flow depending on your specific needs.
But is it actually eco-friendly? Absolutely!
Homes that only use toilet paper use over 60% more paper than homes with a bidet. It is also worth mentioning that these households also rely on wet wipes, which can be disastrous for your plumbing.
While this is great news for the environment, it is also good news for your wallet. On average, bidet users save around $50 a year per person in the household.
6. Switch To Reusable Containers
If you are serious about reducing the amount of single-use plastics in your life to keep our world clean, the bathroom is a great place to start.
Replacing plastic containers in your bathroom is much easier than you think. These days, many “waste-free” shopping stores allow you to bring in your own containers.
You can fill them with common bathroom products like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
These stores charge by weight, so you can buy as little or as much as you need!
Use containers that won’t spoil or chemically alter the products. For example, Mason jars that are boiled and sanitized are a great option instead!
While you can buy these jars and containers, a way to take your reduction plan further is to use containers you already have in your home.
By using containers that would end up in a landfill, you are actively working to reduce your carbon footprint.
Another great option for reusable containers is to get them second-hand from thrift stores and garage sales. This helps give these containers a second life, reducing your reliance on buying new containers.