16 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly

Making your bathroom more water- and energy-efficient might not seem sexy, but it can make a big difference in your home’s utilitybills and environmental impact. These are somebig and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

When we’re talking about making any room more eco-friendly, there are really two things going on:

  1. The things in the room.
  2. Your habits in the room.

The list below looks atboth ways to improve efficiency in the bathroom and good habits you can adopt to conserve water and energy when you’re bathing or using thetoilet. Some are quick and easy fixes while othersrequire a time or cash investment.Have a look through the list and see which options are the best fit for your home and budget!

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

16 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

1.Stop theleaks. Running toilets and leaky faucets are more than just an annoyance. In fact, when you add up all of the little water wasters like these across the U.S., it adds up to over 1 trillion gallons of water per year. If you have a leak or suspect one, get a plumber in as soon as you can to repair it or take a stab at repairing it yourself.

Related: 20 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

2. Go low flow. This is an affordable way to make your bathroom more eco-friendly that almost anyone can do. Installing a low flow faucet on the bathroom sink or your showerhead is incredibly easy. Really, it is. I’ve done it, and if I can do it,I’m betting that you can, too.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

3. Go dual flush.If you’ve got the budget,this is a big water saver. Dual flush toilets use around half the water to flush liquid waste compared to standard toilets. If getting a new toilet is not in your price range, you can buy kits like this one to convert a regular toilet to dual flush.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

4. Go old school. If you want a really low-tech solution to reduce the water your toilet uses, put a small plastic bottlefull of water into the tank, so it won’t fill withas much water. Back in the 90s, some people put bricks into their tanks to displace some of the water. Do not do this! A brick erodes over time and will mess up your toilet.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

5.Skip abath.Unless you take very long showers (16 minutes or more), a bath uses far more water to get you clean than a shower.Take showers instead of baths to rack up the water savings! This will also save energy, since you bathe in hot water. Reducing hot water usage is a double whammy, saving you water and energy.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

6. Skip a shower.Showers use less water than baths, but afive minute shower still uses about 12.5 gallons of water. Sure, if youwent for a run or worked in the garden, you probably need a shower. But if you just hung out watching TV or even worked in an office all day, do you really need a daily shower? Even skipping one shower a week makes a difference!

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

7. Get an efficient water heater. Whether you’re taking showers or baths,you’re taxing your home’s hot water heater. Heating water accounts forabout 20 percent of your home’s energy costs, so getting a better heateris a great way to make your bathroom (and kitchen and laundry room) more eco-friendly. Consumer Reports has a great guide to the best water heaters. If you can swing it, it looks like a tankless is the best bet from an energy-conservation perspective. Tank water heaters store hot water, meaning they’re constantly running to keep the water hot. A tankless heater only turns on when you turn on the hot water tap.

8. Turn down the water heater. It only takes a couple of hours to reduce the temperature on your water heater, and this fix is free! You don’t need it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn it down to 120 to save money and energy in the bathroom. The video above shows you how to adjust the temperature on your home’s water heater.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

9. Try the shower bucket. Whether you have a tank or tankless water heater, it takes a few minutes for your shower to get hot. Rather than let this water go down the drain, you can collect it in a bucket and use it to water house plants. You can also use the shower bucket when you’re dripping faucets during a winter freeze. Drip the tub faucet instead of a sink, and stick that bucket underneath.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

10. Ditch the PVC shower curtain liner. Vinyl shower curtain liners are no good for the planet or for your home’sair quality. PVC liners offgas harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad news for indoor air quality and your health. Unfortunately, PVC shower curtains are not recyclable. The best thing that you can do is toss the old one and replace it with a non-PVC alternative. Companies like Ty even make non-toxic shower curtain liners that you can recycle.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

12. Turn off the tap. When you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands, you don’t need water running while you scrub. A sink faucet uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Turn it off until you really need that water to rinse.

washing hands

13. Stop with the anti-bacterial soap. Anti-bacterial soap is not necessary, and when it rinses down the drain it is an environmental nightmare. It’s no more effective than regular ol’ soap, and there’s even evidence that it weakens heart and muscle function. No, thank you!

Related: 6 Reasons to Stop Using Antibacterial Soap

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

14. Choose LEDs. Just like anywhere else in the house, efficient light bulbs add up to big energy savings over time. LED bulbs are a bit of an investment up front, but they last up to50 times longer than incandescents. And unlike CFL bulbs, they don’t contain mercury.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

15. Get recycled toilet paper. Do we really need to cut down new trees to wipe our bottoms? No, we don’t. While you’re at it, try to use less toilet paper in general.It still takes energy and water to create a roll of recycled TP.

Big and small ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

16. Chooseorganic towels. Next time you have to replace your bath towels, choose organic cotton. Conventional cotton is one of the most water-intensive and polluting crops on the planet. Don’t go out and replace your perfectly good old towels with organic ones, though. The lowest-impact choice you can make is to buy nothing.But when your old towels are starting to fall apart, go organic.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to save water or energy in the bathroom? Tell us in the comments!

Related:
20 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home
6 Reasons to Stop Using Antibacterial Soap
14 Tips for Using Less Heat this Season

Image Credits: All images via Thinkstock.

78 comments

Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fookabout a year ago

Thank you.

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Sarah H
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

thanks

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Melania Padilla
Melania Pabout a year ago

Good list

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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maxine B
maxine Babout a year ago

Regarding replacing cotton towels -- encourage people to donate old towels to animal shelters, who are always in need of them, rather than throw them out. Folks can then replace these with organic.

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Marc P
Marc Pabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hallabout a year ago

Thanks

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