Monday, April 28, 2008

Green Your Toilet





Forgive my potty mouth for this post, but it simply must be talked about! According to some reports, the average household uses 185-291 gallons of water per day. On average, 60% of a family's water bill goes down the drain in the toilet and the shower, 20% in the laundry and 20% in other indoor areas like the kitchen. WOWZA! 60% of our water flushed down! The ideal solution would be a greywater system. Unfortunately, that is not in the budget yet. Anyways, I digress…
We needed to replace our toilet recently, and went on a search for an affordable, environmental choice for our family. We decided on an American Standard Toilet in a Box from Home Depot that only flushed 1.6gpf. It was actually one of the most cost-effective toilets in the place, it looks great, it’s not dinky, and saves water! I was excited-weird! We have installed it, and 2 months have passed. Let me tell you, our water use has gone down 40%! I had no idea my other toilet was such a waster! It looked fine, but was costing us $100 more/yr to flush! In one year, we will have paid for our new toilet and will continue to save after that.
I think that a toilet is worth replacing if your current one is not as efficient. My big question is always, what to do with the old when you replace it with the new. As far as toilets are concerned, call your local waste disposal company, and inquire about recycling facilities. Toilet recycling facilities typically crush the porcelain and use it to make concrete for roads or sidewalks. In fact, toilet porcelain was collected to provide homes for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. For more info on disposal, take a look at H2ouse.org. Other toilet options include dual flush toilets and hybrid toilets. These involve separating the urine from the feces, and using less water for the urine, cutting down on water use even more. Check your toilet every few months for leaks and efficiency.

5 comments:

Kellie & Marc said...

Good to know! We're planning 2 bathroom renovations this summer and were just starting to think about new toilets (is it sad that's what I have to think about?). I'm glad to know that they don't cost and arm and a leg.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

You know, that's a really good point - if we're flushing water away because our toilet is bad at its job, it would save us more in the long run to go get a new one. I've been thinking about it for while, I think you've convinced me to replace them both!

Sarah said...

I have never considered a toile wasting water for some reson. When we buy our first home I will deffinetly replace it with a better one.

Green Mamma said...

Greening our homes, one step, er flush, at a time. I agree that a greywater system would be ideal, especially if you keep a garden. For now, at least your family is reducing its impact by flushing away less water.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Thanks for the great info, it's amazing how those little things add up. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).