7 Eco-Friendly Trends for a Beautiful Bathroom
Because the bathroom is where water flows the most freely and paper products are consumed in bulk, it’s a great place to start making earth-friendly changes. Your bathroom can become the greenest and cleanest room in your house with a few simple modifications. Start with these seven design trends that are visually appealing and ecologically sound.
LED Vanity Lights
For the brightest and most energy-efficient vanity lights, install LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. LED vanity lights illuminate your space stylishly and can save you up to 70 percent on energy usage compared to traditional bulbs. You can beautify your bathroom by choosing LED lights that provide a warmer ambiance than fluorescent bulbs. LED lights are not only great for your bathroom vanities but also for ceiling and wall fixtures. They also show up in creative ways, such as backlighting for your faucet, giving a colorful glow to the water as it flows.
Choosing sustainable surfaces can update your bathroom’s design with eco-friendly flair. By choosing countertops, tiles and backsplashes made of post-consumer glass, you can add beauty to your space. Recycled glass is popular with eco-conscious consumers because of its design potential: It is available in various colors, textures and finishes. Glass surfaces are non-porous, so they are ideal for a bathroom setting. Being non-porous also makes glass surfaces easier to clean than their tile counterparts. Recycled glass can help you customize your bathroom’s look by adding color and shine.
Another earth-friendly option for bathroom surfaces is recycled ceramic tiles. Made of over 70 percent post-consumer materials, recycled ceramic tiles are eye-catching and save valuable natural resources. Ceramic tiles are hard and durable enough to be installed as floors, shower-wall surfaces and countertops. Lead-free glazes for recycled ceramic tiles are available in a rainbow of colors that complement your décor.
Once considered a luxury and often found in elite hotel suites, bidets are making a comeback. Bidets are inherently eco-friendly because they reduce the amount of toilet paper consumed by up to 80 percent. Bidets update your bathroom by adding elements of luxury and sustainability. You can combine a bidet toilet seat with a low-flush toilet to further improve your carbon footprint.
The latest low-flow showerheads don’t sacrifice your shower experience to save water. Their designs allow a refreshing water flow that can reduce water use by over 50 percent. By reducing water consumption when showering, you can feel good about doing your part to save one of our most valuable resources. Investing in a high-quality, low-flow showerhead can pay for itself in six months of use through energy savings.
Bamboo Cabinets and Flooring
By choosing bamboo flooring and cabinetry instead of other materials, you can add beauty and a strong “green factor” to your bathroom. Bamboo is an extremely renewable resource — the plant is one of the fastest-growing on the planet. By not contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests, bamboo is a smart, beautiful and durable surface choice.
Often found in public restrooms, motion-sensor faucets are finding their way into home bathrooms. Proven to save water use, the faucets are available in elegant models that complement most designs. The faucets are great for families with kids — who tend to be the culprits when faucets are accidentally left on overnight, wasting valuable water.
About the Author: Sally Masterson is an interior designer who specializes in sustainable design. She consults with home and business owners to improve their carbon footprints.