If you're planning a bathroom renovation in your home this autumn, there are plenty of ways that you can make your project more environmentally friendly. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers these tips for making your renovation a little "greener":
• Choose low-flow faucets and showerheads. It's estimated that a low-flow showerhead uses 45 litres of water during a five minutes shower whereas a normal showerhead uses as much as 135 litres! With bathrooms accounting for 75 percent of household water usage, it's in your best interest to invest in water-conserving fixtures.
• When purchasing lumber, choose only 'certified' wood products (the FSC is an international certification and labeling system dedicated to promoting responsible forest management of the world's forests.) An even greener option is to use recycled cabinetry whenever possible. Check Kijiji, have your contractor ask around or visit your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
• Choose materials, products and finishes that are low-emission, low-polluting, easy to clean and maintain.
• Create a bathroom design that will grow with your family and easily adapt to necessary changes as you get older (i.e. grab bars, non-slip surfaces, lower light fixures, etc.)
• Choose low-energy lighting and exhaust fans, install more energy-efficient, Energy Star windows, insulate the hot and cold water pipes and improve the insulation in the walls and ceiling.
By taking the time to investigate eco-friendly renovations, you will not only save on your household energy costs, but do your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
For more tips for homeowners, visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.