Elements of a Green Bathroom

September 4, 2009 By Lili Wright

Green materials and ecological design are the cutting-edge ways to implement sound health and hygiene practices, ensuring that clean water, clean air, and healthy habitats remain available for all species over time.

1

As an alternative to vinyl flooring consider linoleum, made from wood flour, resins, and linseed oil.

It’s available in a variety of colors and can be cut and pieced into any pattern you dream up. In wet areas such as bathrooms, sheet linoleum should be used (not linoleum tiles).
2

For vanities and cabinets, avoid materials like particleboard that contain formaldehyde.

Instead, seek out sustainably harvested woods or rapidly renewable materials like bamboo, wheat straw, or sunflower plants bound with resins free of volatile organic compounds.

3

Countertops offer another opportunity to be creative.

Look for composite terrazzo products made from recycled glass, which sparkle with color and reflected light.
4

Consider recycled glass, ceramic, or porcelain tiles for the walls.

For an updated version of a classic look, consider recycled glass, ceramic, or porcelain tiles for the walls—now available in every color and sheen imaginable.
5

Safer, green alternatives to conventional caulking are now available.

Without sufficient ventilation, the toxic substances in conventional caulking can have serious health impacts. Safer, green alternatives are now available.
6

Older toilets use as much as 5 gallons per flush (GPF), compared to new models’ 1.6 GPF.

Dual-flush models save even more.
7

Consider what will flow out with the water as it leaves the bathroom.

Live in compliance with your commitment to a clean environment by thinking about the use and disposal of cleaning and body care products before you buy them. The Green Guide offers detailed buying guides to bathroom surface cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners.
8

Effective ventilation makes for a more enjoyable and healthier bathroom.

Operable windows and good ventilation systems will help keep fresh air circulating through the space. Look for the Energy Star when selecting windows and fans for your bathroom.
9

Designing for longevity is central to the issue of sustainability.

 A well-designed bathroom means less maintenance and fewer repairs. It can even postpone the need for costly remodels.

Tagged In: linoleum, green tips, water saving, dual flush toilet

Lili Wright

Lili Wright
Philadelphia, PA
Wright Design

About this author