Eco Bathroom Design with Tropical Elements
With threatening issues like climate change, global warming, pollution, and chronic diseases, a lot of us are starting to adopt a more eco-friendly way of living.
A great place to start practicing eco-friendliness is none other than our homes. You’ve probably heard about energy-efficient appliances, photovoltaic panels, green home products, etc. What about an eco-friendly bathroom?
It’s surely a great idea.
But how do you achieve an eco-friendly bathroom?
Whether you are yet to construct your home or planning a bathroom remodel to fix some recurring water damage issues, you can achieve a stylish eco bathroom using tropical elements.
But before that, let’s talk about what makes an eco bathroom.
What is the eco bathroom?
The word ‘eco-friendly’ often makes us imagine all things green and natural such as bamboo furniture, plants on pots, wood, and accessories made of natural fibers. But there’s more to being eco-friendly than meets the eye.
An eco-friendly bathroom is clean, ‘green’, and energy/water-efficient. It involves using appliances, fixtures, and other stuff that helps reduce your carbon footprint. They include solar water heaters, windows for allowing natural light, natural cleaning products, reclaimed goods for furnishings, and sometimes (and if you are really serious about it) a water collection system to conserve water.
Your goal is to lessen the toxic products of building materials and products you’re using that can harm the environment while creating a sustainable and efficient use of energy and natural resources (in this case, water).
When pulling together an eco bathroom, always consider these things. Once you become familiar with the basics of an eco-friendly home, designing becomes much, much easier.
Eco Bathroom Design Tips & Ideas
It’s best to hire a contractor who specializes in eco-friendly homes to be sure that every component of your new bathroom is eco-friendly. Basically, you should buy products that reduce your energy or water consumption and lessen your exposure to toxic chemicals. These include:
- VOC-free paints, coatings, and finishes. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among the top environmental pollutants mainly because most building materials contain them. Luckily, there are now VOC-free options available today.
- Sustainable floor and wall coverings. Many people, even those who don’t intend to make their homes eco-friendly, choose eco-friendly floor and wall products for their aesthetic appeal. Among the popular options include bamboo, natural plasters, cork, reclaimed wood, and ivory palm. If you’re a fan of wallpaper, opt for PVC-free, heavy metal-free products.
- Recycled products. The cool thing about eco-friendly living is that you don’t always have to spend. Actually, the best approach is to use things you already have at home and transform them into something new and beautiful. So before you throw that old vanity in your bathroom, check if you can reuse it. Maybe it just needs a little varnishing or repainting.
- Lighting fixtures. As much as possible, you want to use natural light for your eco-friendly bathroom. Make sure to have at least one window. Also, consider installing a skylight or a glass block for exterior walls.
Eco-friendly Bath Furnishings
When shopping for major bath fixtures, consider using a dual-flush toilet that lets you save over one gallon of water if you’re just flushing liquid waste. Modern toilets are designed to reduce water consumption so if you have a pretty old toilet, maybe this is the time to replace it. Same thing with your old-age water heater.
According to the Energy Information Administration, 18% of energy consumption in U.S. homes is for heating water. For the showerhead, go for a model that uses an aerating system which creates a misty spray without the need for a lot of water. Experts recommend choosing appliances and fixtures with the ENERGY STAR logo from EPA to be sure that you are buying eco-friendly products.
Lastly, make sure to fix any water damage issue. Leaky baths don’t help with water conservation.
An eco-friendly bath is incomplete without plants. They serve two purposes. One, they make your bathroom beautiful. Two, they deodorize and freshen the air by releasing oxygen and taking in carbon monoxide.
To complete that eco-friendly look, go for natural, earthy colors like green and brown. Again, opt for eco-friendly paints for a non-toxic home. For your accents and decor, you can have an oiled teak shower mat, soap dish and towel stand made from bamboo, a waste bin made from banana, eco sheets and towels, etc.
For the cabinets, your best option is wood. Among the best options (apart from reclaimed wood) are solid wood, recycled wood, and free wood. Yes, they are more expensive than PVC and other synthetic types of cabinets but they are sturdy and last for a long time. When shopping around for vanities, don’t forget to choose the VOC-versions.
With these tips and suggestions, you can create a stylish and sustainable bathroom design.