If you are trying to make your home more green, the bathroom will provide you with many opportunities. Depending on the materials and fixtures used to complete the bathroom, you can accomplish a number of green goals, including reducing the amount of water used, limiting your exposure to chemicals, and protecting indoor air quality through moisture control and ventilation. Here are some ideas that you can use to make your bathroom greener.
Toilets account for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption, making them the main source of water use in the home by far. More water is wasted due to leaks and inefficiency. There are several options available that are greener than the standard toilets that are found in most homes. WaterSense labeled toilets are high-performing, water-efficient options that could help save nearly 2 billion gallons of water per day across the country. Dual flush toilets have two flush volumes-a full flush for solids and a reduced flush for liquids only. You can also use composting toilets, which can help conserve water and energy, reduce water pollution, and generate useful garden compost, if your local building codes allow them.
More than 1 trillion gallons of water are used by faucets across the United States each year, accounting for more than 15 percent of indoor household water use. The aerator (the screw-on tip of the faucet) ultimately determines the maximum flow rate of a faucet, so simply changing the aerator can significantly reduce the flow of water through the faucet. WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories can reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing performance.
Many commercially available bathroom cabinets are glued together using an adhesive that contains formaldehyde, a harmful chemical that can contribute to a wide variety of health issues. Finishes commonly used on cabinets also contain harmful chemicals. To avoid exposure to these chemicals, choose cabinetry made from natural and sustainably harvested materials, such as bamboo and certified woods.