Happy Monday and welcome to the fourth edition of "The low-impact loo," a special series of product-centric posts dedicated to a part of the home that's hard to ignore when both nature and Mother Nature call: the bathroom. We spend a good amount of time in the bathroom — most of us start and end our days in there — and it's an easy place to lower your environmental impact in numerous ways without sacrificing an ounce of style or comfort. 

From plant-based toilet bowl cleaners to PVC-free shower curtains, there's no shortage of relatively inexpensive products that can help you make a drastic difference in your bathroom when it comes to improving indoor air quality and the eliminating potentially harmful toxins. However, don't forget that this is the bathroom after all, a place where water conservation rules supreme when it comes to green upgrades.

Replacing an ancient, water-wasting shower head with a high-pressure, low-flow model is an easy, not-too-spendy fix with huge payoffs. The key here is to look for a shower head that meets your aesthetic requirements (chrome, brushed nickel, etc.) while using less than 2.0 gpm (gallons of water per minute). Stick with the big, reliable brands with large selections — Delta, Kohler, Moen, etc. — if you'd prefer but always keep an eye out for the EPA's WaterSense label that guarantees that a shower head uses 2.0 gpm of water or less while still providing for a lovely, totally not underwhelming shower experience. According to the EPA, if the average household switched out older, 2.2+ gpm shower heads with WaterSense branded models, 2,300 gallons of the wet stuff could be conserved each year. Plus, 300 kilowatt hours of electricity could be saved annually. Not too shabby. 

Below are six water-efficient shower heads for your consideration so you can get a taste of what's out there. Plus, I've included something that every conservation-minded bathroom shouldn't be without regardless of a shower head's gpm rating: a timer. Because after all, what's the point of installing a water-efficient shower head if you're going to indulge in 25-minute showers? Click here for a full list of WaterSense labeled shower heads. Happy stand-up bathing and water-saving!

Caroma Flow High Efficiency Showerhead @ Green Depot (34.95)

Waterpik EcoRain 2.0 Total Body Showerhead @ Target ($33.24)

Delta Faucet H2OKinetics Water Amplifying Adjustable Showerhead - Chrome @ Amazon.com ($25.99)

Oxygenics TriSpa Handheld Showerhead Unit @ Target ($56.95)

Kikkerland Shower Timer @ Kikkerland ($5.50)

Moen Envi Three-Function Eco-Performance Showerhead - Chrome @Amazon.com ($49.50)

Kohler Purist 1.75 GPM Multifunction Showerhead @ Kohler ($105.30)

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The low-impact loo: Shower heads
Save a bundle on utilities while also enjoying a luxurious, rejuvenating shower (but let's not spend 20 minutes in there, okay?) with a H2O-conserving shower he