Double, double toilets and troublesDate: May 26, 2021
Inspired by the recent 99% Invisible podcast Pipe Dreams, I decided to do a little more research to see if I could “flush” out some more ideas of change to the not so glamorous household item and water waster, the toilet.
It is weird to think about toilets, I mean it’s there and we use it daily but how often do you really think about it, how it works and what it does. If you’re anything like me, it probably isn’t ever thought about unless it stops working for some reason. I’m not intending to go into the detailed functionality of the toilet with this post but based on what I heard in this podcast, I am going to try and inspire anyone reading this post to make a more conscientious decision on their toilet choice when doing your next bathroom remodel or even just updating your toilet.
That’s a lot of water…
As mentioned in the podcast by Chelsea Wald, interviewee and author of the book Pipe Dreams, it is estimated that worldwide nearly 4 billion gallons of fresh water are used per day for flushing toilets. That leads to nearly 100 trillion gallons of wastewater a year and that amount is expected to increase by 50% by 2050. With the world population not having that much water to spare currently, that increase in usage could lead to nearly half of the world living in a water stressed region. Pretty concerning to think about when you push the lever of your toilet that may use from 1.5 or up to 7 gallons of fresh water to flush away waste.
Out with the old and in with the new…
My first thought was to see what kind of alternative toilets are out there and how they rank for water conservation. Obviously, we could all go back to using an outhouse or modern compost style toilet, but I don’t think that is going to fit in today’s society. Here is a link to an interesting Treehugger article that ranks some of the most up to date water saving toilets available:
Still a bit more curious like I was? Here is another link to HGTV article that highlights some more high-tech water saving options that you might want to consider:
Using the power of a rain shower…
As you can see there are plenty of options for considering what to put in your new bathroom or in place of your old toilet. Most of the options you see in these articles conform with the modern plumbing systems most of us have in our houses. What if we changed that up a little? What if we found a way to save the rainwater outside of our house and try using that for our toilet system? Here is a good read from Drexel University that explains why we should save our rain water to use with our toilets:
Who knew there was so much to think about when you take a second to think about toilets?
Put these options and the motivation to explore your options in your memory bank for your next bathroom remodel. Let’s all make the best choices we can, when we can, to save as much water as possible for ourselves and future generations.
Stay happy and stay healthy!