From record flooding to debilitating droughts, climate change is expected to create more and more severe weather events. To help prepare for water shortages in your area and to do your part to conserve this precious resource, the first place to start is in your bathroom. Seem weird to combat the effects of climate change using your commode? It actually makes perfect sense, considering toilets account for roughly a quarter of the 70 gallons families typically use on a daily basis in the home. To give you some perspective on that, you drink just half a gallon of water every day if you follow the 8 glasses-of-water-per-day rule. Every drop that you flush may bring your community closer to its next drought, not to mention cost you money you don't need to spend. Fortunately, there are lots of solutions, none of which requires the return of the outhouse.
#1: Fix leaks. A leaky toilet can cost you 9.5 gallons of water per day—nearly half the amount you probably use doing your daily business. Food dye dropped in the toilet tank can help you find leaks; if you put a few drops in the tank and the dye appears in the bowl, you've got a malfunctioning flapper. It's easy to fix; just get to the hardware store and follow the directions that come with the replacement.
#2: Use the brick-in-the-tank trick, without a brick. Displacing water in your toilet tank is one of the easiest, and usually cheapest, ways to conserve water. But an actual brick is the worst thing to use; as it sits in water all day, the clay starts to break apart and the resulting sediment will clog up your tank. Instead, use a plastic milk jug filled with sand or rocks. This will save you about half a gallon per flush, or about 2.5 gallons per day.
Published on: September 23, 2009
Updated on: June 11, 2012