How to have a green bathroom

Did you know

… going green in the bathroom might be easier than you think. You already may be doing things that you didn’t realize were considered green. To help you along your way, here are some things you might do or products you might use if you’re planning to be more eco-friendly when you renovate your bathroom.

Great tips to be found in the following article – covers cabinets, flooring, paint, fixtures, accessories, cleaners, lighting, tiles, toilets and more.

Read How green is your bathroom?

When Green Products & Green Design Don’t Measure Up

Came across a post on AbbeyK’s on interior design blog that referred to this Interior Design Magazine article When Green Products Don’t Perform.

Non- or under-performing green product alternatives are a concern for every designer and specifier. I posed the issue to some of my colleagues and heard horror stories—bamboo flooring that comes apart in high traffic zones only after a couple of years, low odor and fast drying concrete sealers that do not adhere well and chip, scratch or stain easily, cork that fades relatively quickly under UV rays.

Failures such as these sour both the designer and client on green products and green design in general … we have found that it is incredibly important when a building is beginning its ‘journey’ towards sustainability that the first green products are successful.

My thought isn’t that this isn’t just a problem for designers, it’s a challenge for anyone interested in “going green” and promoting environmentally friendly alternatives. The green product is supposed to be “the good guy” – you want green products and green design to succeed. After all, you have to go out of your way to find and research green products, buy them, and usually pay more for them. Maybe you even tell your friends about them. To have them turn out to be a bust, well, it’s disillusioning.

So how do you prevent Green product failure?

The Interior Design article recommends you

  • Use green products in established categories and that have a track record
  • get “word of mouth” recommendations
  • request product testimonials from manufacturers
  • ensure proper installation & maintenance
  • try before you buy – ask for product samples
  • find a forum where green products are discussed, such as list serve Big Green

From personal experience and other research:

  • don’t use green alternatives where they won’t perform well
  • don’t go low end – “you get what you pay for”.

I would also suggest look for ratings and reviews on green products. If you are interested in trying green products, you are probably an early adopter and may well be the one writing these reviews … but they are out there if you look …

Do Blog Searches for products you want to try

You may stumble on a houseblogger who has tried it out and learned from the experience. Keywords to use would be the brand name and type of product. Then ask questions on the blog posts.

Visit Green Review Sites

The Green Home Guide offers editorial reviews on green products & services – “unbiased reviews and advice from professionals and homeowners like you”.

Five Limes – community / consumer reviews and ratings on green products and local stores and services.

Finally, back to the blog post that got me on this topic, AbbeyK makes a good point: if your green design product ends up in a landfill before it’s time, it “can end up not being green in the long run”.

EcoManor – the first certifiably green mansion

Take a look at “the first home over 5,000 square feet ever to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council”. Features?

  • wheat-core doors,
  • elegant wallpaper made from recycled newspaper,
  • floors made from “fallen” oak,
  • soy-based cellulose insulation, and
  • an energy-use monitor in the kitchen.

Read more and take the video tour – Fortune online.

Eco-friendly stylish furniture from sustainable wood, twigs, reeds

Furniture made from reclaimed wood, sustainably harvested wood, and twig inspired pieces & accessories and are very fashionable right now. In the home décor world, green is the new black, so to speak. “Green” furniture was once only found in trendy, cutting edge stores but now more mainstream retailers like Crate & Barrel are taking notice.

Lockport Chair from Crate & Barrel

“I think it’s all part of this back-to-nature movement,” said Betty Kahn, spokesperson for Crate & Barrel. “Now, it seems very important that people just feel, inside or outside, that they’re going back to nature. People want to live green and this is part of that.”
Julie Young, Times-Dispatch

Crate & Barrel have just introduced a new line of furniture made from sustainably harvested wood and recycled fill.

Twisty Stool from VivaTerra

If you enjoy the look of wood, you should check out the VivaTerra catalog online. It features a wide range of striking pieces made from sustainable wood (the Twisty Stool made from Monkey Pod wood is a favorite, right), reclaimed woods with a more rustic feel (weathered hardwood salvaged from old houses, railroad ties, teak planks, barn beams), and twigs. See more at VivaTerra …

Looking for custom and one of a kind pieces? Or feeling crafty enough to make your own? Then check out the Twig Furniture Directory which features unique furniture made by artisans and how-to resources. Also check out this tutorial on How to make twig furniture on instructables.com.

Go Green With Style – The 2007 Domino Green List

Domino magazine has partnered with treehugger.com to produce their 2007 Green List, which celebrates companies and products for your home that are not only eco-friendly (either made from rapidly renewable resources, responsibly grown, recyclable, or biodegradable) but irresistibly stylish too. Winners include:

Explore more on domino.com.

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