Green and Gorgeous: How to Create a Stunning Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Patch Plant's Bathroom Plants Collection surrounding a sunken bathtub below a window

Patch Plant’s Bathroom Plants Collection

Today’s post will take a look at how we can create an eco-friendly bathroom that is not only more sustainable, but that still looks stunning. I’ve written before about the eco-friendly home upgrades we can make but I have never dedicated a whole post to the bathroom. So how can we make environmentally conscious choices without compromising on style?

Embrace Natural Materials

An ensuite bathroom in a suite at 1 Hotel Toronto. The bathroom features lots of natural materials

Bathroom from the studio suite at 1 Hotel Toronto in Canada. Image Credit Brandon Barré

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Natural Materials! You honestly can’t go wrong when you bring natural materials into your home. It is one of the main principles of biophilic design and it can transform your bathroom. Biophilic design materials include wood, cork, bamboo, rattan, linen and stone.

Bringing nature into our homes benefits our mental and physical health and wellbeing and also helps to create a home that feels richer, warmer and more authentic. In this way, we can also bring more texture into the bathroom and create a more sensory experience that draws not only on the visual connection to nature but one that is stimulating to our sense of touch.

Think about a spa. Spas tend to focus on the senses and bring in elements that look, smell, sound and feel appealing. So consider bringing in natural materials to recreate that biophilic spa feel in your own home.

But this post isn’t just about the bathroom looking and feeling good. Of course, we’re also trying to create a bathroom that does less harm to the environment. Natural materials are more sustainable because they are easier to replenish, recycle and reuse. So always opt for natural materials over their synthetic counterparts where possible.

Opt for Water-Efficient Bathroom Fixtures

A 2-In-1 Combined Wash Basin & Rimless Toilet. The washbasin is directly above the toilet cistern

Boston 2-In-1 Combined Wash Basin & Rimless Toilet from Bathroom Mountain

As you already know, water conservation is a crucial aspect of an eco-friendly bathroom. Thankfully, nowadays, modern technology offers an array of stylish and efficient fixtures that don’t compromise on aesthetics. So, you might want to consider installing low-flow toilets, taps, and showerheads. Many of these look just as good as the less efficient models so no need to compromise on style.

When it comes to hot water, make sure that you choose an energy-efficient way to heat your water. Whether that is a combi boiler, a hot water cylinder, a heat pump or some kind of solar water heater, make sure you choose a system that meets the needs of your family whilst using the least energy possible.

And don’t forget to keep on top of your plumbing maintenance. Leaky taps and showers waste a lot of water, even if it doesn’t look like much.

Go with Eco-Friendly Paints and Finishes

A bright an airy bathroom with a freestanding yellow tub and lots of plants. The lower wall is painted in white and the upper wall is painted green.

Up Up Away and Grassy Claypaint from Earthborn

When it comes to painting and finishing your bathroom, it’s essential to select products that are low in volatile organic compounds. Did you know that high-VOC paints release harmful chemicals into the air, contributing to indoor air pollution? Thankfully, more people and companies are understanding why this is dangerous, so there are many eco-friendly paints available that come in a wide range of colours and finishes. 

So you don’t have to feel like you’re limited in the slightest and this allows you to create a beautiful space without compromising air quality. They are safe for the environment, safe for those with asthma and allergies and safe for children. All whilst looking gorgeous!

Choose Energy-Efficient Lighting

A hand reaches out to turn on a round LED mirror on a wooden slat wall in the bathroom

Covert 800 Bathroom Mirror from R2 Bathrooms

Before you even consider what lighting to have in the bathroom, the first thing you should do is look at maximising the natural light in the room. Make sure that windows are an adequate size and ensure that they are unobstructed. Use frosted glass or window film to maintain privacy while letting light flood in.

You’ll obviously need some artificial light too so consider installing LED lights that are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and available in various colour temperatures to create the desired ambience. Remember to take care when choosing lighting for your bathroom, as there are strict regulations regarding the type of lights you can use.

Incorporate Sustainable Textiles

Egytian Cotton Bath Towels bundle in top of a bathroom vanity unit

Allure Spa Luxury Egyptian Cotton Bath Towels

Where possible choose natural organic cotton towels and linens for your eco-friendly bathroom or other sustainable fibres like hemp and bamboo. These materials are soft, durable, and eco-friendly and better for the environment.

Choose Recycled Materials

A bathroom sink with mirror above on a tiled wall and

Yuri Sand 90% Recycled Tiles from Walls & Floors

The next best thing after natural materials is recycled materials. This will help you to lessen your environmental impact. You could also opt for fabrics like shower curtains, rugs and bathmats made from recycled materials such as recycled single-use plastic bottles that have been transformed into beautiful, soft woven textiles.

You could also choose tiles that are made from recycled materials such as glass or ceramics. This helps to keep materials in use that would have otherwise been destined for landfill. It also requires less energy to make recycled products.

Bring in Plants

Bathtub in a bathroom which is full of plants.

Image credit: Dobbies

Plants have been hailed as a style statement in interiors for some time now but there are also lots of added benefits from bringing plants into your home. As well as looking great, plants help to boost your mood, help you overcome the winter blues, and purify the air.

Choose Efficient Heating and Ventilation

Vibe radiator in brushed brass from Scudo Bathrooms

It is important to choose the right heating and ventilation system for your bathroom. In general, systems that heat through radiation will be more energy efficient than those that heat through convection. These systems heat objects and surfaces as opposed to heating the air in a room.

Therefore you might want to look at systems that heat through radiation including infrared heaters and underfloor heating. These systems radiate heat from the walls and floors but do not waste energy heating the air.

As bathrooms tend to be damp areas of the home it is important to think about ventilation so you don’t end up with a mould problem. Choose energy-efficient ventilation fans to remove moisture and maintain air quality. Opt for models with a stylish design that complements the bathroom decor. This is obviously easier said than done as ventilation fans don’t tend to be the most sexy of home appliances.

Choose Eco-Friendly Bathroom Cleaning Products

sustainable cleaning products from Seep

Plastic-free cleaning products from Seep (affiliate) are compostable or easily recycled

Once you have made these small changes to create your eco-friendly bathroom, there will be the small matter of keeping it clean. Even here, there is an opportunity to make better choices. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals. They are safer for the environment and maintain a healthier bathroom atmosphere.

Instead of choosing cleaning sponges and cloths made from synthetic materials that breakdown into micro-plastics and pollute our waterways, instead choose sustainable cleaning products that are made from natural materials and will biodegrade safely.

If you have the time and inclination you could even consider making your own cleaning solutions using natural ingredients like vinegar, lemon, baking soda, and essential oils. It’s amazing what you can do with some household natural ingredients.

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