Monday, November 22, 2010
Andrea Peloso: Save 95 gallons of Water per day, and 34 398 gallons per year!
The average US household uses 95 gallons of water each day just in toilet flushing. If you want to picture how much water that is, take a look at your nearest jar of olive oil or canola oil. About 750 ml, right? You have to more than triple that jar you see just to make 1 gallon. One gallon is 3.785 liters. So, let's just think about how much 95 gallons is per day! If you average that number out over a year, that is approximately 34 398 gallons of water each year. Just on the toilet. Can you imagine how much water that is?
Due to pollution, industry consumption, and human consumption, freshwater is currently in decline and endangered. Take it from a Canadian - I'm from a country usually famous for its supplies of water. If you think about it for just one second, that is really scary. This is not just cyclical drought but rather water is being pumped and polluted away. In some parts of the world desertification is happening. In others, people are yet to realize the very real water shortages at hand, and ground water is being depleted.
One of the big ways to fight this is to get educated and fight the privatization of water.
To get more involved, even if you aren't from Canada, go to the Council of Canadians website, they are connected with world wide water struggles. http://www.canadians.org/water/index.html
Also, you can immediately start to save 95 gallons of water a day by using grey water to flush your toilet. It's ridiculously simple, and even fun.
Here's what you need to do:
When you are taking a shower, keep the plug in and let the water fill up the tub. When you are taking a bath, leave the bath water in the tub once you are done. With a bucket, simply transfer the water from your bathtub to your toilet next time you need to flush. With some toilets this won't work, the toilet won't flush fully. However with most toilets, the incoming water from your bucket will simply flush the toilet for you. Then, pour a tiny little bit more water into your toilet from the tub (not enough to flush it again). Presto, you've saved gallons and gallons of water just by transferring your bath water to the toilet! I can't think of a simpler way to care for the planet. Except maybe unplugging a fridge. It is these simple personal victories that keep me going as I am also learning to be a more effective activist.
Another simple trick is to add a brick, or container of water to the actual water holder of your toilet. This reduces how much your water fills up.
There are amazing gray water systems out there, and its also good to get yourself a low flush toilet. But the use of gray water is even better. What's stopping us from doing such a simple thing?
The cistern of this toilet is filled by greywater from the sink above it.
This is an excellent lecture by Maude Barlow of the UN on the subject: http://vimeo.com/6833394