Though bathrooms are generally smaller rooms in the house, there’s a lot of “stuff” that goes in and out of there. Think about how much water you use in the bathroom? What about the chemicals used to keep it clean? And all the paper products? When you start to think about all that it adds up to be a lot of waste and a lot of unsustainable practices. But it may be easier than you think to curb those bad habits and make your bathroom a more eco-friendly place. For the next few blog posts we are going to write about some different ways to make your bathroom oasis greener to better complement your sustainable wood bath décor.
In 2006 the EPA started WaterSense, a program which labels products such as toilets, sinks and shower heads for efficiency and provides information about conserving water. They even allow you to calculate your own water savings if you were to use the approved products. One of the major suggestions is to use low-flow fixtures which use less water than typical fixtures. As of 1992, showerheads cannot have a flow rate of more than 2.5 gallons per minute per federal regulations. If you own an older home, you may want to check if your showerheads fit the new requirements. If not up to the new standards, you could save both money and water by replacing them. Below is a quick test from the department of energy to help you check if your showerhead is in the clear:
- Place a bucket — marked in gallon increments — under your shower head.
- Turn on the shower at the normal water pressure you use.
- Time how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket to the 1-gallon (3.8 liter) mark.
- You’ll know if your showerhead is acceptable if the time to fill the bucket is more than 20 seconds. If it’s less than 20 seconds you should replace it.
Since WaterSense started, the program has helped to save 467 billion gallons of water and $8.9 billion in water and energy bills. Look for the labeled products in your local home improvement store to help make your bathroom a more eco-friendly place and save you money! Likewise, the EPA also has some suggestions for conserving water around your home in areas besides the bathroom (think about all that water used for washing clothes!) which you can read here. However, if you’re going to make one quick and simple change to save H2O then you should fix leaky pipes. It doesn’t take much cost but the savings can be drastic.