Q: Dear Ed: My wife and I are going to age in place and keep our present home. With that said, we plan to remodel one of the extra bedrooms into a big eco-friendly bathroom. Any green plumbing recommendations to share with us?
— Martin, Washington state
A: My first green thought for your new bathroom is to design it to be as water-efficient as possible. I suggest checking out the WaterSense program, where plumbing products are labeled to help guide you in choosing high-performance, high-efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads.
I also want to mention that it's a good idea to install high-efficiency fixtures in any bathroom, not just green bathrooms.
Now, natural products and natural lighting are also favorite green topics.
If possible, get some sunlight in there with skylights or light tubes.
For natural plumbing products, I like stone vessel sinks. Some are even etched with nice designs.
Finally, this green-friendly product surprises a lot of people: cast iron. Cast-iron tubs and shower bases are made with a good portion of recycled materials, and like the name says, it can be a strong choice for your new green bathroom.
Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and internet shows and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.
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