Green Bathroom Tips

Green Bathroom Tips -Conserve water, solar water heater for a green bathroom.

Green Bathroom Tips

Green Bathroom Tips | Conserve Water, install solar water heaters, aerators and low flow shower heads for a green bathroom.

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There are a lot of things we, as homeowners and consumers, can do to reduce our cost of living simply by reducing water and electricity usage. Many times all it takes is a little common sense and some self education. If you have children, make sure to get them in on the action!

Make It An Educational Experience:

This can be a valuable learning experience for your children, a challenge even, to see who can save the most water or electricity. You can graph your results and use cost charts to show them how much money they actually saved and why it's so important.

In the process, we, as grown-ups, will have to eat a bit of humble pie and when dealing with our own wasteful habits.

You know what they say about that dripping faucet. It's only one drip at a time but at the end of the year it adds up to several hundreds of gallons. What we're trying to say is that small adjustments or little changes over time will make a tremendous difference.

Brush With Less Water

Brush With Less Water

Green Bathroom Tip 1

When you brush your teeth, turn the water off during the brushing cycle. You don't need it so don't let water go down the drain. Even if you have a low-flow aerator on your faucets, it is likely flowing up to 2.2 gallons per minute.

If you have older faucets with no low-flow aerators your water may flow between 5 and 10 gallons per minute (gpm). Now let's do a little math:

Let's say on the good side you have newer faucets with low-flow aerators installed and you get 2.0 gpm. You have 4 people in your household that brush their teeth 2 times a day for 1 minute each brushing.

Let's see....that would be 2.0 gpm x 1 minutes x 4 people x 2 times x 365 days = That is 5,840 gallons, down the drain in just one year, just by turing off your water during brushing! Starting to get the idea? Yep, it's the little things that count.

Green Bathroom Tip 2

Let's crank it up a notch now. Let's install a 1.0 gpm low-flow aerator on your faucet. Now you're saving at least a gallon per minute each time you turn on your faucet. The lesson here? Turn your water off when you don't need it and have a low-flow aerator when you do turn it on.

And that's with a low-flow head that meets the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 governing maximum faucet flows that can be installed in new homes. If you have an older faucet, you may save five gallons per minute or more!

Green Bathroom Tip 3

Keep air flowing in your bathroom. Since the bathroom remains wet for quite a bit of the day, it's important to dry this room as often as possible.. If you have an operable window, you can use this in good weather. But what about when the weather is bad? bad? Run a low volume fan in your bathroom. Make sure it's an Energy Star Fan.

Here is a rule-of-thumb for sizing a fan. It is recommended to have 1 Cubic Foot per Minute (cfm), per square foot of bathroom floor area. If you live in a humid region, increase that to 1.5 cfm/s.f. So if you have 8' x 10' bathroom floor area you will need an 80 cfm fan.

You'll also want to consider a quiet fan.. Fans are rated in Sones. The lower the sone rating the quieter it will be. Also shoot for low wattage consumption. For a quality fan at 80 cfm you should be able to find one at between 1.0 to 1.5 sones (really quiet) and about 30 watts of consumption. Be sure you put the fan on a timer with auto-shutoff.

Green Bathroom Tip 4

Spray down your shower with a homemade mold inhibitor, consisting of: 2 cups vinegar and 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil. Put in a sprayer and mist your shower walls and floor directly after your shower. This will save a whole lot of scrubbing later and there will no need for toxic chemical usage.

Green Bathroom Tip 5

Green Bathroom Tip 5: Take shorter showers. That one is obvious, but again, the numbers are incredible for your savings. First, make sure you have a Low-flow Shower Head. That alone will save thousands and thousands of gallons of water from being wasted.

Here's another thing we do: Since energy costs are out of sight where we lived in Hawaii, ($0.45/kw) we had to save electricity, thus hot water wherever we can. Since hot water usage typically accounts for 1/3 of our electric bill, we reduce hot water usage as much as possible

Now I like a long-hot shower just as much as the next person, but now I've learned to make this a special event, not an everyday occurrence. Did you know you can get your actual shower time down from an average shower time of 10 minutes to less than three minutes? How do you do that you say?

First of all, follow Green Bathroom Tip #6 below and install a recirculating pump in you hot water system so you can get hot water immediately. That saves a lot of water too - hot water, because you're drawing your hot water all the way from the heater.

Next, wet yourself down good, including your hair. Now turn off the water. Yes, that's right, turn it off. Now shampoo, wash and handle the rest of your shower duties and turn the water on to rinse off.

I routinely take 5-10 minute showers and only use 2 to 3 minutes of water. Do I miss that 10 minute shower? Sure, sometimes, but I treat myself when I'm tired, sore or have just had a really long day, and that makes a long shower all the more enjoyable! Now let's look at the numbers again.

We are saving about 5 minutes of water per shower and that's a conservative number. With 4 people and 1 shower per day and a 2.5 gph water-saving shower head that would be: 5 minutes x 1 shower x 4 people x 365 days = 18,250 gallons of hot water/year. That fills up the typical water heater about 45 times. That's a lot of waste!.

Green Bathroom Tip 6

Install a Hot Water Recirculation Pump on your water system. Now if you don't have access to your water pipes, this one may be a bit difficult, but if you do, here is what you do.

The trick is to form form a "loop" in your hot water system. In other words, your hot water should travel around your house in a circuit to feed all your fixtures and then return to the water heater. You need to get that return if you don't already have it. If you are designing a new home, this is an important aspect to consider during the design process.

The recirculation pump is very small, usually 1/12th hp and uses very little power. Want to be even greener? Put the pump on a timer so it starts up slightly before anyone wakes up in the morning and shuts down when you aren't using hot water. Not green enough for you? Buy a DC pump and run it off a rechargeable battery and a solar panel charging system.

Green Bathroom Tip 7

Don't double flush your toilet. New Water Saving Toilets are designed to flush once. If there are two-flush people in your family, they may be using too much toilet paper. OK - that's enough of that one - you know what I mean. (dare I say, include a diet with more roughage?).

Green Bathroom Tip 8

Do not use any disposables in your bathroom other that toilet tissue. It's much greener to use washable towels whenever possible. This goes double for cleaning. Use washable rags and Microfiber Cloths in lieu of paper towels.

Another thing to consider is the use of Recycled Toilet Paper. This will reduce the destruction of old-growth forests and is a great sustainable choice.

Green Bathroom Tip 9

This one is a house-wide tip. When buying cleaners for your home, buy refills and reuse your spray bottles. Besides, the refills are a lot cheaper since you're not paying for all that packaging each time you make a purchase. Look for cleaning products that come in recyclable packaging to reduce the amount of trash you produce.

Green Bathroom Tip 10

Fix leaking faucets immediately!. Try one of these Faucet Repair Kits. Keep one as a spare for those emergencies, so you don't have to quick run to the store and risk not finding a part. Buying one is as easy as going to the online store with the make and model number of your faucet. Pickup a low-flow aerator while you're there.

Those nasty drips can cost a lot of water if not fixed. Also, if water is dripping inside your cabinets - on the floor, in the wall, or whatever - you will attracting insects like carpenter ants, termites, or worse yet, black mold.

There you have it. The Green Living Made Easy Tip Ten!. We've only touched the tip of this iceberg, but we'll continue to add more as time goes on. Work on these for now, and you will have a much greener and healthier bathroom that requires less maintenance, uses a lot less natural resources and keeps more money in your pocket.