21 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly
The average Briton spends roughly three hours each week in the bathroom. Over an average lifetime, this adds up to a whopping 520 days! The time spent in the bathroom is not the issue; rather, it’s what people do in the loo that causes problems – the frequent use of electricity, paper, and water. As such, the bathroom has the potential to harm the environment.
Luckily, making your bathroom greener and more sustainable doesn’t necessarily require a complete renovation. Here are 21 ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.
Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly by Saving Water
In 2013, the Energy Saving Trust conducted the most comprehensive study of water use in the UK. The report found that bathrooms accounted for 68% of all water used in British households. Because bathrooms use so much water, even small reductions in water use can make a large impact on the environment. Here are eight easy ways to save water.
1. Fix Leaky Toilets
Don’t ignore toilet leaks. A leaking toilet wastes 200 to 400 litres of water a day – an amount equal to 5 full bathtubs. Left unfixed, these leaks can also add £300 a year to your water bill. Check for toilet leaks regularly. Use these simple tips from Thames Water to see if your toilet is leaking. Then, get the leak fixed promptly.
2. Buy a More Efficient Toilet
In contrast to traditional toilets, modern toilets are designed to save water. One such design is the dual flush toilet which lets the user choose between “high” or “low” flush options. Dual flush toilets can reduce water use by as much as 9 litres.
3. Make Your Toilet More Efficient
If you can’t afford a new toilet, you can still increase your toilet’s efficiency with a cistern bag. A cistern bag is a small device that fits in the toilet tank. Cistern bags can save up to 5000 litres of water annually, and most water companies provide them free of charge.
4. Get a Low-Flow Shower Head
A five-minute shower with a traditional showerhead uses 40 litres of water. Low flow showerheads reduce water by using air to redistribute water pressure. While the efficiency varies from brand to brand, any low-flow showerhead will reduce water usage and costs.
5. Take Mindful Showers
Because showers account for so much water use, taking shorter showers is the easiest way to reduce water use. Use a timer or a song to remind you when to turn off the water. Another method is to break up water use. Rather than running water through the entire shower, turn the water on briefly before and after the soaping process.
6. Turn Off the Taps
In a recent survey, 40% of Brits admitted to letting the water run while brushing their teeth or washing their face. Considering the water typically goes straight down the drain, it’s hard to tell how much water you’re truly wasting by letting it run. But running taps waste six litres of water per minute – and can add up quickly. To save money and water, run taps only when you need water.
7. Use Less Water in the Bath
Reconsider how much water you need to bathe. Lowering your bath by just one inch can save five litres of water. Cutting an inch or two from your bath allows you to still get clean while saving money and helping the environment.
8. Reuse Bath Water
There’s no need to drain used bathwater. This “greywater,” unlike toilet water, does not contain contaminants. Though greywater cannot be used for cooking, it can be used for many other purposes, such as watering plants.
Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly by Saving Energy
While the relationship between water and electricity is often not immediately clear, 20% of energy costs in the average British home come from heating water. Inefficient use of electricity impacts our air, water, and land, so, saving energy is another way to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.
9. Replace Your Boiler
Outdated boilers have flues that allow heat to escape. Modern condensing boilers are more efficient. These newer boilers are designed to capture the heat that older boilers lost. Installing a new boiler can save you up to £315 each year.
10. Switch to a Green Tariff
All UK tariffs must provide renewable energy options. However, some “greenwash” their activities in an attempt to attract eco-conscious consumers. Nevertheless, there are many companies that truly provide green energy. Switching to a green supplier could save you £300 each year.
11. Change Your Light Bulbs
While bathrooms usually don’t have large appliances, they often have more lightbulbs than other rooms. To cut energy costs, switch to more efficient light bulbs. Two of the most common types are CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LED's. While the bulbs themselves may cost more, they last longer, and each new LED bulb will save you £2 each year in energy costs.
Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly by Saving Paper
Perhaps more than any other room in the house, bathrooms rely on paper to function. The average Brit uses 127 rolls of toilet paper each year, with the UK ranking third globally in paper towel usage. But paper products are rarely eco-friendly. Because paper comes from trees, it contributes to deforestation. The manufacturing and transportation of paper increase its already large carbon footprint. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce paper use.
12. Use Bamboo Products
Unlike paper, bamboo is renewable. Trees take years to reach maturity, but bamboo is a grass, so it grows quickly. The ability to replace itself rapidly makes bamboo far more eco-friendly than paper. While paper still dominates the market, “paper” products made from bamboo are increasing in popularity.
13. Use Recycled Paper
If you can’t find bamboo or other alternatives to paper, recycled paper is the next best thing. According to Good Energy, the carbon footprint of recycled paper is 47% less than that of virgin paper towels. Reach for recycled when possible.
14. Find Reusable Products
The fact that most paper products are meant to be used once and immediately thrown away increases their negative impact on the environment. Finding reusable versions of these products – such as reusable makeup wipes – will make your bathroom greener.
15. Get a Bidet
Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly by Ditching Plastics
Bathrooms are filled with plastic bottles and tubes. These small containers cause big problems because plastics continue to release harmful greenhouse gasses into the air while they languish in landfills. So, considering plastic use is a necessary step toward making your bathroom more eco-friendly.
16. Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly by Ditching Plastics
To the extent possible, avoid buying products made from plastic. For instance, rather than buying cotton buds with harmful plastic stems, choose buds with stems made from sustainable materials. Similarly, instead of buying body washes in plastic bottles, opt for bar soaps. Because they lack plastic packaging, bars are a more eco-friendly alternative.
17. Think Durable, Not Disposable
If you must buy plastics, buy versions that are meant to last. For instance, rather than buying a pack of 10 disposable plastic razors that will end up in a landfill, buy a durable plastic razor. You will be able to keep the handle indefinitely. Though you will have to replace the razor cartridges, this is far less wasteful than replacing the entire razor.
19. Buy Recycled Plastics
If you must buy plastics or items packaged in plastic, look for recycled products. The package should clearly indicate how much of the content comes from recycled plastic.
18. Reuse Your Plastics
If you have plastic bottles in your bathroom, don’t despair. These bottles can be reused again and again for many purposes. They can be used for household projects or they can be filled with your favourite eco-friendly products at a refill station.
20. Recycle Your Plastics
Britons recycle just 50% of their bathroom products. Putting a recycling container next to the trash bin might help you remember to recycle.
Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly Today
Each person has a part to play in protecting the environment. Though saving the planet may seem impossible, even small steps toward sustainability make a difference. If you want to make your bathroom more eco-friendly, visit QS Supplies. We provide many sustainable selections, including dual flush toilets, low flow showerheads, and bidets. Our team can provide everything you need to create a greener bathroom experience.