Yep, a full post on the can;)
I was just skimming through my feeds and noticed Guy Kawasaki’s post on the a green building at Stanford. Interesting indeed, until I read this:
Guy: “Here’s something I’ve never seen before: Depending on what you put in the toilet, you select the power of the flushing action. What will people think of next?”
Ummm… hate to break it to you Guy… but Europe (and I’m sure other countries) have been doing the two flush system for a while now. I’m sure they come to N. America and just gasp at our consume-all behaviour and appliances.
(This is a normal flusher – although it varies. But always a large button for more water and a little button for less water)
So, since this ‘two flush’ system was such a shocker; even for a guy (no pun intended) who I’m sure has traveled a bit. I thought I’d do some research on the actual water consumption of toilets.
- Each toilet flush consumes an average 15-19 L (seems quite high considering other non-Canadian websites are citing about 10L per traditional flush)
- and worse when I see that there are 3L flushes using this Czech Republic ‘WC Stop’ tool
- 30% of our water use goes to toilet flushing (in Canada, that’s a disturbing 100L a day!)
- supposedly, 41% of Canadians have a water-saving toilet installed and my province, Ontario supposedly has it in legislation… but I have NEVER seen a dual flush toilet in Canada. (That was my first reaction in France… “why don’t we have these?”)
Here’s another cool thing that we COULD be doing yet are too dense to realize the savings…
WE CAN RECYCLE WATER TO FLUSH TOILETS.
Think, why are we using clean drinking water to flush our waste? Duh duh.. I don’t know. Seems ridiculous when you stop and think that people are living through droughts yet still haven’t connected the dots on this one…
(Well, at least it’s being done in the Stanford Building)
Recycling “greywater” (wastewater from laundry, sinks, bathing etc. that isn’t contaminated with feces/toxic materials, which is called blackwater) is a smart and sustainable idea. This recycled water takes up about 50-80% of residential wastewater. It obviously isn’t for drinking but it can be reused for things like lawn watering (soil acts like a natural filtration system) and aha… FLUSHING TOILETS!
There are obvious obstacles in putting this into practice (first off, need two pipe systems to make sure you don’t mix the two types) but I think it’s most definitely worth trying.
Wasting a precious resource down the drain, flooding sewage plants and polluting effluents to to the natural environment…
Figuring out a way to do this right.
In the mean time… we can always follow the camp rule (note: when I say “camp” – that would be the Northwestern Ontario way of saying cottage;)
“If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down”
haha.. can’t believe I just added that saying to my blog;)
Anyways, enjoy the bright (at least here) sunny Sunday afternoon!