Making your home eco-friendly can feel like a daunting task but these simple changes to your bathroom will help you achieve easy, green living that is both functional and stylish
1 Eco-style and design
Our everyday choices can have wide environmental impact. When it comes to achieving an eco-friendly bathroom space it’s important to consider not only the permanent fixtures but your temporary products too. Think about what happens to the items in your bathroom when you’ve finished with them. Can you reuse or refill them? Are they biodegradable?
Try to source recycled tiles, vintage fixtures like faucets, and keep an eye out for bamboo products. Bamboo is the perfect eco-choice for your bathroom. It’s a renewable, hard-wearing material and instead of dying after it’s cut down, like trees, it regenerates. You can find bamboo products everywhere from toilet paper, to towels, and even bathrooms sets.
Use as much natural material throughout your bathroom as possible. Try moss bathmats, the latest eco-trend that brings nature indoors. Choosing good quality products for your bathroom from the outset prevents more items ending up in the landfill, saves on resources for replacements, and in turn saves you time and money.
Utilising natural light as much as possible can help you to cut down on your energy usage. Get rid of those blinds over windows and get natural light streaming in. For privacy, simply replace clear windows with frosted glass, or use frosted film as a budget-friendly alternative. If space is at a premium in your bathroom, the addition of a skylight is a fantastic way to add an extra burst of light. Hanging a large mirror will also help to reflect natural light and create a bright, open space.
Ensure any lighting you do have in your bathroom is eco-friendly. The IXL Easy Duct Tastics range is a practical, elegant lighting option, as each model is fitted with energy efficient 12W LED bulbs. Their smart Neo Tastics range – a 3 in 1 bathroom heat, vent and light product – are also supplied with 3 energy efficient 9W LEDs.
Water wastage is one of the key factors contributing to pressure on our planet and worst culprit in your home is the bathroom. Aside from having shorter showers, the easiest way to achieve water efficiency is installing eco-fixtures to your shower head and taps. This will allow for low water flow but won’t compromise on pressure. Your toilet also uses more water than your shower or washing machine, so invest in a dual flush system to help bring your water consumption down. If you’re in the market for new tap wear, shower, or toilet keep an eye out for the WELS label and pay close attention to the star rating it has been given.
The New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) was designed to make it easier for you to choose products with the best energy efficiency and water consumption. Each label gives you:
- A star rating indicating relative water efficiency
- A water consumption or water flow figure. Litres per minute for showers and taps, and litres per flush for toilets.
Heating is an important factor when it comes to maintaining a hygienic, comfortable bathroom. Having an inefficient heating system can be costly for both your pocket and the environment, which is why infra-red heat lamps are a good long term option. The specially designed IXL Tastic infra-red heat lamps work by heating the person drying off, not the whole bathroom. They also emit warmth instantaneously, so there is no warm up time required.
Efficient, effective ventilation is vital for keeping a bathroom both family and eco-friendly. A build-up of steam can cause mould and mildew to grow, which is not only bad for your health but can ruin your paint and eat away at tile grouting. An excellent air ventilation system can help to reduce steam and mould, which can minimise your need to use harsh chemicals to clean.
Air quality is crucial, especially if your bathroom doesn’t have a window you can open, so replace your standard fan with model that is fitted with back draught flaps. The IXL Easy Duct and Neo range close automatically when the exhaust fan is not in use which prevents warm air escaping, and minimises heating and cooling costs. This can also contribute to your home’s 5 star energy rating.
6 Cleaning Products
Harsh chemicals are prevalent in most of our everyday household cleaning products. Finding alternatives prevents your family from being exposed to these toxic ingredients and helps to reduce harmful waste in our waterways. New Zealand has a wide range of organic and ethical cleaners, as well as beauty and body products available. You can also use natural, inexpensive ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda for a truly green clean.
For more eco-friendly bathroom inspiration check out the range of IXL Appliances here