Part 2: Products that can help save the environment
I previously blogged about why we should save water and some helpful hints for ways we can all reduce our demand for such a precious resource.
There are a variety of products available for sale branded as Eco, reduced carbon footprint etc which are sometimes met with suspicion by consumers – and quite rightly, sometimes these phrases are marketing code for increased price. There are however, some small choices individuals can make when selecting a new or updating an existing bathroom. I am going to show you a selection of products that are available on the open market and on Bathshop321.com which offer simple ways to save water or lessen environmental damage.
1. Install a dual flush cistern toilet – these are widely available and are commonplace in most suites – they are easily identifiable by a small and larger button on the flush. When you flush you have the choice of using 3 or 6 litres of water. Most modern toilets are fitted with this; however, according to www.waterwise.org.uk a traditional style cistern can use as much as 13 litres every flush – that’s clean water literally flushed away. Excuse the pun but a bog standard WC is available from just £69 (Galaxia Cistern (inc fittings), Pan and Seat)
2. Install a smaller volume bath – great if you only use your bath for the kids, the dog or to stand in when you shower – even better if you want to fill your bath to the brim without feeling guilty! The Derwent Eco Bath holds only 140 litres compared with our best selling P shape bath which holds 220 litres – a big difference.
3. Fit an eco click tap – this offers a two click option – one for light flow e.g teeth brushing or full flow – hand washing. Hudson Reed offers a comprehensive collection and the ranges include Deco, Art, Logo, Motif, Arcade and Arina to name but a few.
4. Look for products that are made from recyclable materials – there are some wild and wacky sources (e.g crushed almond husks) out there – unfortunately this does tend to equate the much higher prices.
The alternative option many people consider – particularly when money is a crucial factor is to modernise an existing suite. This saves the precious resources associated with manufacturing a new suite (from materials to shipping – often around the world).
1. Clean up your existing suite. Can tiles and ceramic/acrylic be scrubbed, treated and re-painted? Often removing old grout and re-siliconing can make tiles look instantly fresher.
2. DIY-it! Make sure everything is in good working order, check all the seals, washers and check they do not leak.
3. Get the paint brushes out. A fresh coat of paint, again can brighten up a dull looking bathroom – on the eco theme, once again specialist paints are available which are made with less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and so have less environmental impact.
4. Recondition existing baths – some companies specialise in reconditioning damaged, chipped or scratched cast iron or acrylic baths, sinks and toilets. This saves the resources associated with the creation of a new bathroom suite – perfect if you have some hidden gem, like a roll top bath, less perfect for an avocado suite!
5. Accessorize! There is a plethora of accessories available which again can freshen up a tired looking room without the need to buy a complete new suite. You might consider a new toilet seat, a smart accessory set, a new cabinet, a mirror, a shower screen or new curtain – there are lots of jazzy designs out there (even some made without the use of PVC). Perfect for an immediate overhaul.
To summarise, it seems manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and considering environmental impact both in the manufacturing process and for how the products will be used in the bathroom. I don’t think you have to buy items specifically branded as eco, environmentally friendly and whatever other slogans are banded about. It simply comes down to a series of well informed decisions when purchasing (or modernising).