Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Feeling a Bit Flush?
Alright pardon the pun, but ever since I read that at least 1.5 billion people in the developing world lack access to clean water, I was absolutely floored. Imagine what future generations will say about ours: They used to flush with drinking water?!
The decadence of this form of plumbing is only increased when you consider what else we do with drinkable water: wash cars, water lawns, hose off driveways--- meanwhile potable water supplies become more scarce around the globe. I know many of us are of the "if it's yellow" club, but if you are not, Toto and other toilet manufacturers are now offering a dual flush system, offering you the option of how much water you'll need for the flush. If you aren't ready for a new system, I hear the good ol' brick in the tank is a decent way to limit the amount of water per flush, which is on average five gallons. Of course it's better to shower than fill a bathtub, and to turn the water off when brushing teeth or doing the dishes, but it seems reasonable to begin collecting and using rainwater for our gardening needs. Many islands such as Bermuda have been doing this for years, designing roof lines to increase rain collection. One product James saw at the builders expo in Las Vegas was the rain pillow, a simple and affordable system for the average homeowner to set up. At Potic Cottage last weekend, James replaced our gutter downspouts with a chain system which feeds into a steel bucket, hoping to collect a bit of water for the plants on our deck and our bird bath. It's a start, but I'd love to hear about more water saving strategies we may not have considered in order for us all to become more ecologically aware.