Going Green In The Bathroom – Have you ever planned to renew your tiny space with some of today’s hottest eco-friendly trends in bathroom designs? Remember, eco-friendly can also be eco-pretty, as you discover ways to get back to nature and save money with energy efficiency throughout your home. Natural elements and lots of color can give you a complete bathroom makeover with very little expense. Let’s take advantage of Mother Earth and look at ways to embrace her beauty and going green.
When we say ‘going green’ we mean literally, as frosted pastel colors are absolutely the hottest colors of the year. Elusive blue, silvery green, or earth colors are calming hue and easily makes you feel the warmth and gentle breezes of a tropical paradise.
It’s easy to blend the colors of ocean seascapes with bamboo, organic cotton towels, and natural botanical skin products.
Create ambiance for a slower pace by accenting your bath countertop with tall glass canisters filled with dried lavender, rosebuds, and other dried flowers. Create warmth by using gem tone colored candles of ocean blue, lush green foliage, and sunset oranges. Enhance your setting, minimize use of your overhead lighting and illuminate your bath with an elegant, energy-saving table lamp.
Bathrooms do not need to be the stark and cold places of our childhood. Use of earthy palettes and textures such as brushed-nickel, leather, stone, and glass, can all add to create a clean and reflective quality to your bath which is both comforting and luxurious and a long distance from ultra-modern styles.
No matter what size of room you have to work with or what style of bathroom you desire, the space does provide a very functional purpose in your home. With that in mind, let’s consider the necessity of lighting and things you need to consider, especially relative to the impact of your utility bill. Energy efficiency lighting is now becoming fashionable, as well as functional.
As a rule of thumb, general lighting takes care of 90% of the bathroom lighting needs; that includes ceiling lights, soffits, and wall sconces. Task lighting is needed for the remaining 10% and is required to perform the personal grooming activities. Most importantly, bathroom lighting should provide plenty of even, shadow-free lighting for shaving, grooming, and applying makeup. To ‘face the day’, you need the same image in the mirror as you would see in the natural daylight.
In the past, bath designers overwhelmingly chose incandescent bathroom lights over more efficient fluorescent fixtures because they buzzed, flickered, glared, and lacked dimmer options. Responses to energy regulations have led to fluorescent fixtures with dimmable ballasts, accurate color representation, and cool white and full spectrum colors, along with higher quality materials and innovative design styles. This all translates to delivering beautifully lighted rooms while keeping your utility bills lower.
When looking to upgrade your lighting, you should take note of some contemporary and beautifully illuminated bathroom cabinets. In essence, manufacturers have combined bathroom mirrors with lights offering some really cutting edge and sophisticated designs. Again, when space is limited, an option like this is a great functional solution.
If you still cannot find fluorescent lighting to fit your needs, you can also consider efficient halogen lighting options. No matter what, natural lighting is the best and cheapest form of illumination. If you are planning a major bathroom renovation, you can always consider installation of a window or skylight to lessen your dependence on electricity.
When it comes to energy efficiency in your bathroom, you are not limited to just lighting and water conservation. Other strategies for going green in your bathroom could include replacement of the following:
– Cabinets and vanity tops made from wheat-board or other low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) materials. Standard cabinets can off-gas potentially harmful VOCs for up to 15 years.
– Ventilation or a vent fan to remove odors, airborne irritants, and moisture needs to be left on for at least 20 minutes after a shower. Consider a timer to ensure for that vent fan or if space and design permits, include a operable window for natural ventilation and daylight.
– Tubs and showers. Shower surrounds should be made from recycled glass, ceramic or porcelain tile. Recycle an old tub with a professional refinishing, although they are typically more comfortable, as older tubs are wider and deeper, they will also require more water to fill.
– Flooring. Tile and natural linoleum are the best choices to hold up in a bathroom environment. Cork and bamboo flooring may be an option, just ensure it can weather the water exposure.
Going green in your bathroom might just be as simple as changing the color of your bath towels; hopefully we have given you many more ideas for energy efficiency and lighting.