5 Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Being green is now something we must all do to combat the climate emergency, but what can you do to make a bathroom eco-friendly? Well, for this month's edition of our Expert Writers series, we're here to inspire you!
We asked Stacey Sheppard of the award-winning home interiors blog, The Design Sheppard, to share some of her ideas on how to make a bathroom environmentally-friendly. The second part of her double-feature is all about creating an environmentally low-impact bathroom.
Read on for some expert insight on how to create an eco-friendly bathroom!
If we’ve learnt anything over the past few years it’s that the planet has reached a tipping point and we all need to re-evaluate our lifestyle choices so that they have a lesser impact on the environment. This, of course, requires large scale change, but if we all do our bit then progress can be made in the right direction.
Bathrooms obviously aren’t the worst offenders but there are still plenty of changes that we can bring in to make our bathrooms more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at a few relatively straight forward swaps.
Use Low VOC Paint
Most paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds, known as VOCs, which are carbon-based chemical compounds that are not only harmful to our health but also the environment and they contribute to global warming. They can also be given off for years after the paint has dried.
Legislation has come into force regulating the use of VOCs in paint and in recent years the availability of low VOC paint has increased so there really is no reason not to choose it.
To learn more about VOC paint take a look at this study on it's emissions.
Replace the Shower Curtain
Thinking about sustainability, material choices must come high up on the list of changes that you make.
Curtains made from materials like plastic, PVC or vinyl are not the most eco-friendly. If you’re looking to replace your shower curtain, opt for materials like natural cotton, hemp or bamboo. Or, better still, install a glass shower screen which has a much longer lifespan than a fabric curtain.
Install Underfloor Heating
Installing underfloor heating is a good option if you are renovating your bathroom.
Underfloor heating is more efficient than a typical central heating system and uses less energy. Radiators heat a room via convection so the heat rises leaving most hot air at the top of the room and lower temperatures down lower.
Underfloor heating on the other hand radiates heat from the entire surface of the floor making the temperature more consistent in the room. The heat is also absorbed by people, furniture and objects. Savings can be further maximised by pairing the underfloor heating system with renewable sources of energy.
Choose a Steel Bathtub
Again a material choice here, but opting for a steel bathtub over an acrylic one will greatly reduce your environmental footprint.
Acrylic is created by burning fossil fuels whereas steel is a naturally occurring raw material meaning steel baths are 100% recyclable when they come to the end of their lifespan. Steel bathtubs also have the added advantage of being chemical-resistant so won’t discolour and they conduct heat much better than acrylic baths.
Choose Tiles Made From Recycled Materials
There are some really innovative companies out there now who are facing the environmental challenges head-on.
Alusid is a pioneer in sustainable surfaces and last year launched a recycled surface material loved by architects. Made from 98% recycled materials, including shards of glass from kerbside collections, broken sanitary ware, and glaze waste from ceramic manufacture, SEQUEL is entirely recyclable with no end-of-life.
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