So I live in Southern California and we are in a terrible drought. Aquifers and wells are being depleted and drained. There are massive amounts of people, businesses, and farms using up the little water we have left. Water is getting more expensive. We can only live 3 days without water. We need good clean drinking water to survive. Our lives depend on it. One way I use water regularly is by flushing the toilet. Some of my friends and family might know, I have urinary tract issues. I had chronic urinary tract infections for years and now have a condition called interstitial cystitis, and I’m sure all kinds of other damage caused from the uti’s. So… I pee a lot! Toilets can use anywhere between 1.6 – 7 gallons of good clean drinking water to flush! So what my boyfriend and I have begun doing is peeing a few times before flushing, and then when we take a shower and are heating the water up we have it come out the lower faucet straight into a plastic trashcan (a bucket would work too!) and then when we hop in and turn the water to the shower head and take our shower we keep the trashcan in there and catch even more water. Throughout the day we use the water we collected to pour in the toilet and it works just like flushing. But it would have just gone down the drain of the shower if we didn’t catch it and we could have instead used 7 gallons of fresh water to flush. Yesterday I literally didn’t have to flush the toilet at all, just used the bucket water 🙂 Boom! Lets imagine I pee 10 times a day. And lets also imagine I have an older toilet that uses 7 gallons of water to flush. If I flush every time I pee I would use 70 GALLONS of clean drinkable water to flush my toilet!!! I could use that 70 gallons of water to meet my drinking water needs for 140 days!!! Over a year that would be 25,550 gallons (enough drinking water for 140 people to live for an entire year. I myself have the power to do that!!!). I also empty my cat’s water dish in the bucket when I change her water. Now just because you may happen to live where you get more rain than us Californians doesn’t make you immune to the need for clean water and the need to protect this important natural resource. I spent the last year up in Western Washington where it is pretty much a rainforest for 3 seasons of the year, and I was astounded to learn of multiple people whose wells had dried up or were very low. The water table is getting lower everywhere. Even where it rains. Water is being transported out of where it is naturally to places like California and Arizona, it is being polluted in places where there is mining and fracking. It sounds scary, maybe even hopeless, but it isn’t. You have the power. You can make a difference. I potentially protected 70 gallons worth of water yesterday, and could save 25,550 gallons with this simple act over the next year. You can too. We can only go 3 days without water. We need clean drinking water to live. It is part of what we are. Protect it!
When I finally have my own property I will definitely be installing an outside composting toilet. 🙂
Happy water saving!!