Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Goin" Green

I may be taking a chance with this blog seeing as I am the only male student in this class but the topic is water issues. I read about this in a few articles, however, have yet to find the actual research paper (I will keep looking). The information comes from an ad campaign ran in Brazil. With the cost of water going up in many regions and concerns about conserving our natural resources, there are lots of ways to save the water we use at home. This one might blow you away: you can save a minimum of 584 gallons of water per year per person in your household by just peeing in the shower once a day instead of the toilet.

It all goes to the same place. The only difference is that the shower “flushes” it down with water that was going to be used anyway. A toilet flush uses water that could have been saved, and that’s where you’re going to save some water and money. Your water savings will depend on how many people live in your home and how much water your toilets use. If your toilet was built after 1994, it will use a maximum of 1.6 gallons. If it was built between 1982 and 1993, it’ll use 3.5 or less. So if you have a family of 5, using toilets built after 1994, you would save 2,920 gallons per year if everyone peed in the shower once a day. If you have older toilets, the savings can be over 6,000 gallons a year, but at that point you would probably save more by buying some newer toilets or putting a weighted jug full of rocks in the tank of the ones you have, which will cause them to flush using less water.

Another great tip for saving with shower water, put a bucket in your shower to catch all that cold water that comes out while you wait for it to heat up. This water can be reused for other things. It’s really the same water that comes out of your kitchen sink, so you can use it for anything from watering your plants to making a pot of Mac-N-Cheese. If it grosses you out to think about it, reserve that water for use on plants, yards, car washes, or anything else where no one’s going to drink or eat it.


  1. Interesting topic... I like these ideas, actually. It really could save a lot of water and who is really going to know if you pee in the shower or not? It could be everyone's secret little way to save water. As far as the second part about saving the cold water while the shower is warming, I feel like it's a good idea but it may be a hastle. The dorm showers seem to heat up within seconds but I suppose it would benefit those who have slower-warming showers.

  2. Hmm... does this mean that people might stay in the shower longer to wash it out? There is some potential here, though I can see many might find it objectionable. There are also dual flush toilets that use only .8 gallon per flush, and many people don't flush liquid each time. I have dual flush toilets and find that the .8 gallon flush is sufficient much of the time. There are many opportunities to reduce water usage, such as front loading washers and more efficient dishwashers. Even for those living in areas in which water is relatively plentiful, there are benefits in energy savings as water has to be pumped, and less volume may benefit water treatment considerations.