Sometimes the bathroom is the last thing that we think about when we think about the environment. But because this is a room that has water and heated water, it really should be on the radar when considering making changes in your home for the better. As a bonus, updating a bathroom, even with small changes, may increase the value of your home.
Upgrading your toilet, the most used fixture in your home, can reduce your annual water use by almost 15,000 gallons a year! Look for a model that uses 1.6 gallons per flush. There are also dual toilets that allow you to select the power of the flush based on what has been put into the bowl.
While we are by the toilet, you can consider switching to a bathroom tissue that is created from recycled paper. Choose the highest composition of recycled materials for the biggest impact.
A more radical choice would be to install a sawdust toilet. These require some work, but they use zero water. The basic premise is that waste is collected in a bucket or box of sawdust and then emptied when needed.
For the shower, install a low flow shower head. This will aerate the water and regulate how much is used, so you’ll enjoy a good shower but will significantly cut down on your water use. Also consider mounting a wall timer in the bathroom to help you take shorter showers.
Hot water heating is one of the biggest uses of energy in your home, especially when it comes to showers. Installing an instant hot water heater in the bathroom will not only save energy (you may even be able to shut off your main furnace in the summer), but you won’t waste water by running the shower until it heats up.
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