Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Potty Talk

Our water usage as a whole is just plain depressing. We have tripled our water usage in the last 50 years. A major concern is inland water shrinkage caused by rivers being diverted for irrigation. Ever year the fire season in many places get longer and longer and some there are no fire season anymore. Its just fire's all year long. Guess what they use to put these fires out? You guessed it, water.
Drought, fire or flood and global warming are causing havoc on our world's water supply. Fresh water is used in our toilets. Yep, the water we use to drink is used in our toilets. Why waste fresh water on our toilets? No idea.  One thing we can do is limit our water usage when it comes to our toilets. This is a really easy thing to do and requires no gadgets or even cost one penny.
"If it's yellow, it's mellow.  If it's brown, flush it down." Really do not know who said this but its sticked for over 30 years now. This is a great option for those who have standard toilets but do not have the money to replace them. You will see a significant reduction on your water bill just by doing this one thing. Especially those with children (4 munchkins for me).

Did you know the average adult produces .6 to 2.5 liters of urine each day? How about this, the average person flushes a toilet between seven and nine times a day. Holy cow! Today I decided to count how many times I visited the bathroom and it was 6 times. If you own a standard high flow toilet then your using up to 6 gallons per flush. Low flow toilets use about 1.6 gallons per flush which is a huge improvement. Thankfully now in 2010 we have several options for toilets now. Lets get familiar with them.

Dual-flush toilets have a half-flush button that initiates a .8 gallon flush just for urine and a full-flush button that initiates a 1.6 gallon flush just for solids. Standard toilets cost around $100 depending on brand. The dual flush toilet cost on average $300-$400. Thats a huge price difference and is probably the reason why people usually go with the standard toilet.

The no-mix toilet has a divided bowl that separates human waste. Liquids go in front and solids are deposited in back.  Water flushes the solids into your sewer system and urine is sent to a storage tank.  Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology demonstrated that separate collection and treatment of urine could greatly reduce water pollution, reduce the cost of sewage treatment, and last but not least, allow the urine to be easily recycled into fertilizer.  Yes you read it right, fertilizer.

Waterless toilets
Waterless toilets require no water or a flushing system.  They are made of specially glazed, perfectly smooth ceramic or of synthetic materials with a liquid-repelling gel coating.  Liquids cannot stick to these surfaces, and neither can odor causing bacteria.  The urine flows off the surfaces of these urinals and is funneled through a trap that contains a biodegradable liquid sealant that is lighter than water.  The urine flows right through the sealant and the sealant closes up after it, preventing odors from wafting up from the urinal. They also require half as much maintenance and cleaning as did the conventional flushing models. These also require less plumbing and are less expensive to install.
Places to find waterless toilets
Kohler Online Catalog
Waterless Ecotrap
Fun Fact:Waterless urinals have been installed at the Taj Mahal, The Rose Bowl Stadium, The Statue of Liberty, and McMurdo Station in Antarctica.  If these places are using them, why can't the average family do it?

While your at cutting back on your water usage, try cutting back your toilet paper usage too! Were still going strong on our clothe wipe challenge. Once in a while I have to fish out a pee pee clothe(what my kids call them) but thats okay. So far I have only bought toilet paper once a month. I buy one dozen rolls of toilet paper and it last our family of 6 a month. Average savings for us is over $20. Wouldn't you like to keep an extra $20 in your pocket? Try this challenge!

1 comment:

bidetsprayerman said...

I know a way to save more on toilet paper than any coupon or special. This covers all the bases = saves you money, helps the environment, helps your health, makes you feel better, it's so easy to do and it costs less than $50.00; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without feeling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but remember the water use of industrial users far exceeds the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.