To celebrate Earth Week, every day this week we will be bringing you tips on products, services, and new technologies that can make every part of your life a little greener. Today, we look at ways to improve your bathroom, so keep reading for ways to reduce your water and heat, and save money too!
There is a lot more that you can do to help the environment from your bathroom than just turning the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth – actually, an incredible amount. Many new technological developments have just recently become a reality for households, and a new system called “greywater” (that was alluded to in yesterday’s special) is the most interesting of them all.It is a frightening reality that we will have water shortages in 20 years if we don’t change the path we are on, and when you realize that each of us flushes 1/3 of our water supply for a year down the toilet, it is time that we started using recycled water (or “greywater”) to do the flushing. The best part is, that they come in all sizes – a small, sink-toilet filter (like the one pictured here), or a large, house-hold wide system that collects from sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and even your showers (like the one pictured here). The water you save is always filtered, and can be used for more than just flushing a toilet, too: imagine being able to water your lawn all summer long, regardless of watering restrictions. With a greywater system, you don’t have to feel guilty about having a thriving landscape.
It should be obvious by now that a shower conserves more water than a bath, but if you’re still looking to save water in your shower, look into switching to a low-flow shower head. Although they have been given a bad reputation since the infamous Seinfeld Episode, they use nearly half the water that a normal shower head does, and can still provide the same cleanliness. If you spend around $10 to fix a low-flow head on your shower, you could save $75 per year on water bills and $50 on energy bills. Clean your body with a clean conscience!
The next technology that is finally available in residential buildings is drainwater heat recovery (or greywater heat recovery). This recovers and reuses hot water heat from your dishwasher, washing machine, and, most of all, your shower! We all run our vents while we’re having a hot shower, but why not use the vent to channel the hot water heat back to your water heater? You could save as much as 60% of your heat energy by installing a system like this, and take one step closer to being self-sustainable.
If these all sounded like great ideas, but you’re not ready to take the plunge yet, you can start small, too. Consider buying toilet paper made from 100% recycled (like this product).And finally, when you are buying soap, make sure you know what is in it, and how it gets there. Watch the following video to see what I mean:
Palm Oil is not as plentiful as we might imagine, so if you love Dove soap, considering contacting their parent organization Unilever through the form created by Greenpeace here, and do your part to save a bit of the rainforest from your bathroom.
That wraps up our Wednesday edition of Earth Week Tips, but check back tomorrow for a great round-up on everything you need to know about keeping your car green, and what can be expected from the auto industry in the coming years.