Whether you are planning a complete bathroom overhaul, or just want to make a few inexpensive changes, we can help you make your bathroom an altogether more eco-friendly place.
The little things
The smallest and most inexpensive changes that you can make to improve your bathroom’s green factor is to change the way that you clean yourself. Source and buy natural and organic soaps, shampoos and shower gels. Even the supermarkets are stocking some of these products now, but there are much bigger ranges available from health food shops and online (visit the EcoStreet directory for plenty of options). By using more natural toiletries you are not only ensuring that you aren’t absorbing as many dubious chemicals into your body, but you are also not pouring these chemicals down the plughole and allowing them to end up in our water table.
Secondly, it’s very simple and easy to change the way that you clean your bathroom. Ecover and other eco-friendly cleaning products are available in most supermarkets these days, as well as in health food shops and online (again, you will find lots of options listed at the EcoStreet directory). Many people report a decrease in allergies when switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. To save money and packaging, you can take this a step further and make your own simple cleaning products, or even try microfibre clothes that only need water to do the same cleaning jobs.
Switching to recycled toilet paper doesn’t take much effort. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco have their own brands of recycled toilet paper, and Nouvelle is widely available too. Referring to yesterday’s blog post, Sainsbury’s have launched a new range of FSC-approved toilet paper.
The bathroom is the place where we use the most water in the home. There are some little tricks that we can use to save water, and some helpful gadgets to help us take that saving further.
Save water by switching off the tap while you are brushing your teeth, keep showers short, and switch off the shower while you are lathering up. Another idea is to put a bucket or two in the shower with you to catch water, then use this water to water plants.
Put a Hippo or Save-a-flush bag in your toilet cistern to save water every time you flush. You can get these for free from most water companies. Or try the InterFlush which saves up to half of the water per flush. The kit fits into your toilet cistern and once fitted means that the toilet will only flush for as long as you hold the handle down.
Tapmagic provides easy to install tap inserts for a very reasonable price. The insert changes the water flow from the tap into a spray for uses such as brushing teeth or washing hands by just opening the tap a little bit. You can override the spray function if you want to fill up the basin fast by simply turning the tap on hard.
Install a water-saving shower head to save even more water while you are having a shower.
Starting from scratch
If you’re ripping it all out and starting over in your bathroom, there are lots of factors to bear in mind. First and foremost consider reusing or recycling what you are taking out of your bathroom. Freecycle is a good option if you don’t want your old bath and basin.
It is possible to install a composting toilet indoors, or if you want a more conventional loo, install an ultra-efficient dual flush toilet, making sure the one you buy is certified by your local water board.
Replace old taps with aerating or spray taps to save water, and make sure that your shower head is the same. Remember that power-showers are the enemy if you are creating an eco-friendly bathroom. If you must have a bath, go for a bath with a smaller capacity.
Consider installing a retractable clothesline across the bath, so that you have somewhere to hang wet washing when the weather isn’t great.
Low energy lights are a must for an eco-friendly home, as well as a low energy extractor fan if you need one in the bathroom.
Use a natural paint that is water resistant. Natural Deco offer a range that can be used in the bathroom.
If you want someone else to do it all for you, Nonsense Design offer eco-friendly bathroom design.
Life’s little luxuries
This all natural laundry basket from Nigel’s EcoStore can be composted when it reaches the end of its working life.
Buy natural bristle brushes and wash-bags from The Green Shop.