Going Green in Your Bathroom

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Going Green in Your Bathroom


picture of an old bucket If it is time to remodel your bathroom or you are just looking for ways to support the enviroment while saving money in the meantime you may want to consider this before you start. The bathroom is the second greatest source of water and heat waste in the home to the kitchen.

27% of water consumed in the home is in the toilet alone! This fact led to people putting large objects such as bricks in their tank and to the infamous low flow toilets that never really worked.

A better solution to save both water in both consumption and energy is by installing a dual-flush toilet. These toilets consist of two flush buttons; one for light work and the other for heavy. I think you get the picture. These toilets have been in use in Europe for many years and are now available in the US for around $250 - $400 (in line with other top brand toilets).

                                                                                                                         picture of a toilet

These toilets can save up to 17,000 gallons of water per year and up to $50 to you. If you do not need to replace your old toilets just yet, you can retrofit your existing comodes with a dual-flush mechanism for about $70!


Who doesn't look forward to a warm shower or bath at the end of a stressful day? Of course that makes this the greatest source of energy use in your bathroom. In this situation you need to go directly to the culprite - your hot water heater!

 You can add extra insulation to your tank-type heater by installing an insulated blanket around it - this reduces energy use by 4-9%. You can help further by insulating all accessible water pipes. Lastely, most water heaters are set to 140 degrees, by simply turning your temperature down to 120 degrees you will still be able to enjoy a nice hot bath while saving up to $60 per year!


If you are ready to replace your 15 year old hot water heater however you might consider a new storage water heater. They are technically similar to high efficiency furnaces and puts nearly all possible BTU's into the water instead of up the flue. A 50 gallen unit currently runs about $1700 (vs $380 for tank type models) and cost around $400 to install. These prices will no doubt go down as demand goes up. A cost which is offset by the current tax credit of $300 and an annual fuel savings of approximately $100 per year!

They do take a bit of getting used to though as you are likely to get a shot of cold water before the hot water kicks in.


Don't forget! 22%-40% of our landfills are from contruction debris. You can help reduce ground pollution, odor and the unsightleness of landfills by donating your items such as toilets, sinks, vanities and light fixtures to places like the Habitate ReStore.


Maybe your item is just what another "green" remodeler is looking for!

Comments (3)

Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Judy thanks for the useful information... we can go green in all aspects of our lives, and it is as simple as making "better" choices.

Sep 22, 2010 12:04 PM
Mona Stanfield
Dallas, TX - Dallas, TX
Elle Realty

Good post.  Can you go into more detail about the difference with the double button flush?? LOL  No really it is so important for us all to go green.  I want the world to be a better place while my little boy grows up.

Sep 22, 2010 12:07 PM
Spencer Frazier
SpencerFrazier.com, SoCal Properties, Canyon Lake, CA - Canyon Lake, CA

i just saw one of those double flush addons at costco for like 29.99.  I was about to get it, but I will probably go pick it up next time. 


Mona - The double flush lets you flush more water for #1 and less for #1 lol

Sep 22, 2010 12:13 PM