(BPT) - Home is the place a person can always escape for some rest and relaxation. This year, upgrade your home to be a place that also helps you conserve water and be a better environmental steward.
Technology has come a long way in improving performance and efficiency in household fixtures, especially when it comes to water usage. There are many ways you can update your home's water-using fixtures - without sacrificing quality, comfort or design:
* Choose brands you trust. If you are planning to replace a number of fixtures in your home, look to a manufacturer that is committed to water conservation and innovation. For nearly 100 years, TOTO has innovated to make people's lives better and protect the environment, as embodied in its PeoplePlanetWater philosophy. TOTO's beautiful, innovative designs perform flawlessly while respecting the plant and honoring our water supply.
* Replace your toilet with an ultra-high-efficiency model. Older toilet models can consume up to 27 percent of a household's daily water usage, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When replacing a toilet, look to install products made from high-quality materials that have a low impact on the environment. TOTO's dual flush NEOREST 550H consumes only one gallon of water for the full flush, and a modest 0.8 gallons for the light flush. In addition, the NEOREST 550H uses electrolyzed water, which has a slightly acidic pH value - to kill bacteria and clean the bowl - helping homeowners reduce their use of harsh cleaning products, which benefits the environment and saves money.
* Make easy enhancements. Replacing a showerhead is a relatively effortless upgrade, but can certainly help reduce the amount of water used each week in your household. Showers are traditionally the third largest water-consuming appliance in the household. Look for a replacement showerhead that boasts the WaterSense label, as these products are at least 20 percent more water-efficient. Encourage your family to shower in under 10 minutes to further reduce the amount of water you use.
* See improvements with a low flow faucet. Installing a low flow faucet into your bathroom can not only help you decrease your water usage, but also add style as well. The Wyeth Single Handle High-Efficiency Faucet is WaterSense certified and has a flow rate of a mere 1.5 gallons per minute. A transitional design, this faucet appears to float above the sink and features a sleek, easy-to-use handle. Take water conservation a step further in your home by always shutting the water off when not in use - for example, while brushing teeth.
* Minimize splashing. When using the bathroom sink, a lot of splashing around can occur. Water that ends up on the floor or the rest of the lavatory sink is wasted water, and then will require cleaning - a thankless task. TOTO has designed the Curva Self-Rimming Lavatory to help contain splashing thanks to its contemporary style and overhanging lip that delivers water effectively where it belongs - in the sink. This lavatory is also made using sustainable manufacturing processes.
Conserving water and protecting the planet using TOTO and other water-saving products not only can help you create a relaxing ambiance in your home, but also gives you a mental pat on the back knowing you are reducing your environmental footprint.