Water is a precious commodity, and one way to green your lifestyle is by making your plumbing more water-efficient. But water-using appliances often use other limited resources as well, such as electricity, manufacturing materials from non-sustainable sources, and even space in your heated and cooled house.
Here are some ways to make your plumbing appliances add to the eco-friendliness of your home.
1. Choose a smaller appliance
In some cases, a smaller option can be more energy efficient. For example, an oversized water heater tank simply wastes energy by keeping more water hot than you need, whereas a smaller one would avoid that. A smaller washing machine may also help you save energy if you tend to have trouble filling a larger machine completely before running it.
Choosing a smaller appliance can help eco-friendliness in other ways as well. For example, the appliance can take up less space in your home, allowing for more efficient use of heated and cooled space. A smaller appliance can require fewer raw materials to produce, as well.
2. Find one with an eco cycle
Water-using appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers often have several different options for their cleaning cycles. A washing machine, for instance, may have a shorter and less water-intensive cycle you can use, and setting it to cold wash can save on water heating. A dishwasher may have an eco cycle, but not all of them do, so make sure you choose a dishwasher that offers this option.
3. Choose one that works with graywater systems
In many cases, an eco-friendly lifestyle can include some level of graywater reuse, even if that just means using cooled cooking water on your plants. Plumbing appliances, such as your washing machine, can often be hooked into a graywater system, such as the common laundry-to-landscape style of system. While most washing machines can be used for such a system, machines with high-quality pumps tend to work the best.
4. Look for an alternative
Some plumbing-related appliances are very standardized and if you're looking for a more eco-friendly option, you may want to choose an alternative. For example, instead of a hot water heater with a tank, you could choose a tankless one or even an alternative that uses solar heat to warm your water.
For laundry, you could choose a compact, non-electric washer that's even more space-efficient than a conventional washer and doesn't use electricity.
These are just some of the ways you can tailor your choice of plumbing appliances to go along with your eco-friendly lifestyle. Your plumbing contractor can help you brainstorm and implement more ways to reduce your environmental impact through plumbing use.