Want to Conserve Water? Then Flaunt Your Pee!

OK, maybe don’t flaunt it per se, but DO resist the urge to flush every time you have a piddle.

Why? Well for starters, each time you flush gallons of perfectly good water swishes your stuff away, regardless of how much (or little!) you filled the bowl. That’s the toilet equivalent of filling your kitchen sink with sudsy hot water every time you wash something, even if all you’re washing is one single spoon. You wouldn’t waste so much water just to wash one utensil, so why are you wasting so much water for a few drops of pee?

The toilet is the biggest waste of water in your house. There’s nothing else in your house that will dump nearly two gallons of water in as short a period of time. ~ Kenneth Messer

Metro Vancouver’s chart shows our water use for our porcelain potty’s is obscenely high compared to other household things; an average human doesn’t poop enough for this amount of toilet water use to make any sense!

While many still consider it “gross” to encounter toilet water tinted yellow from another’s unflushed urine, it’s time for them to get over it. Everybody pees. Whoop-de-doo. Knowing this, it’s easy enough to normalize the practice of lower-frequency flushing.

Rick Paulus, writer of “If It’s Yellow, Seriously, Let It Mellow” for Pacific Standard, points out that many people view many acts of water conservation as “scatological” which contributes to the almost non-existent public discussions that should be happening. Some of the “taboo” ways he mentions include: urinating in the shower, turning off the water to your toilet and flushing it with used water instead, not washing your jeans or underwear just because you wore them for a few hours. Showering with a friend.

If you’re still flushing down number ones, you’re almost as bad as a climate change denier. ~ Rick Paulus

While it’s doubtful that the practice of lower-frequency flushes when doing number one will happen in public places, if everyone were to start (or for those who already do, continue) in their own homes it’d make one helluva difference! Not only would there be more usable drinkable water available, homeowners would drastically reduce their water bills and ultimately you’d be helping conserve a natural resource that is slowly becoming not so readily available – places like Brazil are currently experiencing severe droughts and the 13-million+ residents would probably smack us privileged first-worlders for ignorantly flushing away a crapton of perfectly good water when we really didn’t need to flush.

Sorry dude, someone used all that water in their toilet. Their pee deserved it more than your livelihood.

Paulus suggests shaming others when they question why you don’t flush your pee, essentially normalizing it and making your guests question why THEY still flush. Don’t be ashamed of doing it, be proud, for you’re doing your part to help conserve water! And if anyone gives you flack, Paulus suggests responding with an, “Oh, you still do that?”

And if you’re worried about stains and smell, Why Flush exists just for this so you really have no excuse.

So if it’s yellow, do let it mellow, and only flush as is truly needed. The world will thank you for not flushing its resources away, in every literal sense of that phrase.


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