The next stop on our eco-friendly tour of the house may seem surprising! However, as a whole, the average family spends somewhere between a third and half of their time at home in this particular living space.
So we thought it would be a really good idea to look at where you can go green… In the Bathroom!
Drop by Drop…
Studies show that if every American used one gallon of water less per day, we would save more than 100 billion gallons per year. That’s more water than most third world countries use in FIVE years.
We know leaky faucets can drive up the water bill, not to mention the incessant drip, drip, drip. But it may surprise you to know that 17 GALLONS of water are wasted every day in the United States due to improper fixtures, old plumbing, and loose toilets. Double check all of the connections, washers, etc. on your sinks, and you’ll be saving the planet and a few dollars.
As of 1995, all toilets sold in the US must use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. If your home and bathroom are older than that, consider upgrading on your own dime. It will reduce a ton of water waste (older toilets use between 4 and 6 gallons per flush), and isn’t that expensive, plus it will reduce your water bill. Or spring for a little higher priced toilet with a dual flush mechanism, which uses less water for liquid waste deposits.
A low-flow showerhead is a great investment as well. According to the EPA, a properly installed low-flow showerhead can reduce water use by 20-30% without sacrificing the water pressure. Of course, you can also take shorter showers. And if you are willing to spend a little more to keep the planet clean, you can have a grey-water-diverter installed. It takes the used water from your bathtub or shower drain and saves it for gardening and lawn use.
And while we in Florida don’t generally lack for heated water, making sure your water heater thermostat is set to 120 degrees and is properly insulated will cut down some of your energy use for your morning shower.
How About an Extreme Makeover?
If you really want to go all out, or you’d been planning to remodel your bathroom anyways, take it to the next level. Definitely invest in the water saving gadgets we mentioned earlier, but don’t stop there. Look for flooring, countertops, even porcelain made from recycled materials. There are plenty of options these days. There’s no reason you have to sacrifice beauty to make a little planet-saving effort in your bathroom decor.
How Exhaust-ed is your Fan? Another pricey-er upgrade to consider is replacing the old exhaust fan in your bathroom. They’re there to help reduce moisture and humidity in the bathroom, especially after a hot shower, but we all know they don’t always work as we’d like, especially in Florida. There have been a lot of upgrades recently to the technology and if you can invest in a fan that really does the job, you’ll reduce the chance of mold and mildew, while making your air conditioning work less, saving energy and money.
Go Au Natural
Just like in the kitchen, there are plenty of cleaning chemicals in and around your bathroom that can be potentially dangerous. You don’t have to discard them right away, but slowly phase them out and replace them with all natural, organic substitutions. People tend to think these alternative cleaners are more expensive, but that’s not always the case. For example, the next time you have a clogged drain, instead of spending $7-10 on the industrial strength drain cleaner, just grab a box of baking soda, 3 cups of boiling water and a cup of vinegar. Your pipes will be flowing freely in no time.
Consider swapping out your linens with organic cotton. Organic cotton towels are just as soft and they require less energy and pesticides to produce than standard cotton. You can reduce the PVC in your home also by replacing your vinyl shower curtain with a heavy cotton duck curtain.
Going the all-natural route also works for your skin care regimen. Look for facial washes, hydrating creams and makeup that are 100% natural and organic. There are plenty of options out there, including vegan approaches. If you really want to go all-in, you can even buy candles, soaps, shampoos, deodorant and toothpaste that are more natural and safer for the planet too. You get peace of mind, and you may find they’re even more effective than the alternatives you were used to.
We discovered the same thing about pest control. For nearly 30 years, your neighbors from Bradenton to Punta Gorda have witnessed the high quality and effectiveness of our 100% organic, all-natural pest solutions. And like so many of the other tips, we’ve shared, they also save you money in the long run. Just give us a call to find out for yourself!