Photo Credit: @alysonchaseinteriors
Some of us hear terms like 'eco-friendly bathrooms' or 'sustainable bathrooms' and our minds run to composting toilets and cold outdoor showers. Most of us aren't ready for that level of sustainability!
Fortunately, there are all kinds of ways to have attractive (indoor!) bathrooms that use far less natural resources yet don't compromise on beauty or function. For every style, from rustic to modern, there are sustainable products and ideas that will fit your aesthetic.
A Beautiful and Sustainable Bathroom
Let's think first about the design choices we make. If you're designing a bathroom from scratch, consider how you can choose sustainably manufactured materials, or reuse items that might otherwise be thrown away.
Here are some sustainable ideas for popular decorating styles:
Choose a shower screen rather than rods and curtains that have to be replaced. Build in a simple glass or tile screen to a walk-in shower, with a floor that drains slightly away from its open entry area. It has a pleasing, sleek look and is so much easier to clean than the old sliding doors or mold-growing shower curtains!
If you're lucky enough to have an old clawfoot tub that's rusting or stained, you can get it resurfaced and give it a whole new life. Nothing adds more character than a freestanding tub, and you can paint the exterior an accent color to help it stand out.
Other rustic features include wall paneling with reclaimed floorboards with a waxed finish, or freestanding storage units like an old nightstand or cabinet renewed with a water-resistant coat of paint.
Concrete is your friend! One of the most long-lasting and energy-efficient building materials, concrete can be made from pre-used materials and is the perfect surface for industrial-style bathrooms, either for walls, floors, counters, or all of the above.
Exposed copper piping is another fabulous industrial look, and you can keep faucets and shower fittings simple using exposed copper pipes and fittings. Integrating wood into an industrial scheme can warm it up, such as the Big Sur Warm Teak Frame from MirrorMate on a bathroom wall mirror.
Classic style with quality materials never goes out of date. A big part of sustainability is durability, and including elements of marble or quartz in your bathroom give you a stately look as well as a material that will outlive us all. No harsh chemicals are used to clean marble or other types of stone—another sustainable benefit. Another traditional touch that's sustainable is reusing crystal chandeliers—they may have to be rewired, but nothing looks more stunning over a freestanding tub or a vanity.
Bohemian style gives you permission to mix and match many looks and has a theme of staying close to nature, so it goes hand in hand with sustainability. Think of natural materials like wicker baskets and wood shelving. Think of novel repurposing like refitting an antique dresser with a sink and countertop for a unique and sustainable bathroom vanity.
Other eco-friendly vanity ideas include using buffets, tables, or cabinets. Finish the look by framing a wall-mounted mirror above the vanity with a MirrorMate wood-look frame that you can paint to match the vanity. Bring nature inside with live plants that will also help purify the air.
New Ideas for Eco-Friendly Bathrooms
Photo Credit: @alysonchaseinteriors
As sustainability takes an increasing role in our lifestyle choices, we'll make our decisions more carefully, choosing materials that won't have to be quickly replaced, avoiding plastics (which take so long to decompose), and realizing that we don't have to buy everything brand new.
Another important piece of a sustainable mentality is knowing whether the products you buy new have been made in a way that respects the environment. MirrorMate prides itself on sustainable practices—starting with the idea that an existing wall mirror can be upgraded with a MirrorMate frame rather than removed.
The wood-look frames are constructed from medium-density fiberboard—a material made from repurposed sawdust and wood—and most frame materials are sourced within 100 miles of the factory. Other eco-friendly practices include receiving stock in reusable crates, using recyclable paper products, and making most frames in the USA.
Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Tips
If you're remodeling an existing bathroom, keep these eco-friendly tips in mind:
- If you're redoing the floor, consider under-floor heating; it's very energy efficient.
- A wood floor in decent shape can be painted. There are now non-toxic, washable, durable floor paints available. Consider painting a pattern for a unique and inexpensive wow factor.
- If you decide to repurpose furniture into a vanity, keep in mind that you want the countertop to be at around 36 inches.
- Learn about the water-saving features available now for showers, toilets, and sinks. You can get flow regulators on taps set for efficient delivery, dual flushes on toilets, smaller tubs, and cold-start technology that delays your hot-water heater from kicking in.
- If there's any chance that you'll be in your home as you grow older, consider remodeling with the needs of older people in mind. Making your shower easy access with seating and grab bars is a good example, and these features are useful for everyone in the meantime.
Lessen Your Footprint with Sustainable Bathroom Products
If a new bathroom or a remodel isn't on the horizon for you anytime soon, you can also take steps toward sustainability by choosing eco-friendly products for your bathroom. Learn alternatives to the harsh chemicals that are used in many cleaners. Find products with less packaging, such as bar soap instead of liquid soap, or maybe glass dispensers for liquid soaps instead of disposable plastic ones.
Don't underestimate the power of baking soda combined with white vinegar or lemon for naturally cleaning nearly all bathroom surfaces—you need to let it sit 20 to 30 minutes for maximum effect and may have to scrub a little longer, but natural products are much healthier. A small amount of olive oil is also useful for polishing stainless steel.
Bathroom Mirror Frames from MirrorMate - A Sustainable Choice
Photo Credit: @spacefordreaming
Even the small actions we take toward sustainability, like putting a MirrorMate frame on a wall-mounted bathroom mirror, will make a difference in what kind of world we create. Check out MirrorMate's wide selection, and enjoy making your bathroom more eco-friendly!