An average household in UK flushes the toilet around 7,300 times per year this adds up to about 30% of the total water used, which is around 1.8 billion litres of water a day.
According to the Guardian, the average Briton uses 50 toilet rolls each year which adds up to an annual nationwide usage of 3 billion rolls. EcoFrenzy shows you how to help the environment and your bank balance by minimising the amount of water and toilet tissue we use every day.
Money saving tips
Dual flush toilet
The dual flush toilet is an important advancement for flush toilets offering 2 types of flushes.
A solid waste flush uses 6 litres
A liquid waste flush uses 3 litres
Instead of 5 x 6 litre flushes each per day, if each member of a household flushes 1 x 6 litre and 4 x 3 litres per day, that would save around £13.20 per person per year (= 6.57kg CO₂)
Old style toilets
There may be over 7 million old style toilets in UK, which could be using up to 13 litres of water for each flush. Put a 3 litre container full of water in the cistern and it will reduce water usage immediately, saving each member of a household around £16.50 per year. (= 8.2kg CO₂)
How often do you flush the toilet?
Many people do not flush the toilet every time they have a wee. If you flush 1 x 6 litre and 2 x 3 litre per day instead of 5 x 6 litre, the savings for each member of a household is £6.50 per year. (= 3.3 kg CO₂)
Here’s a little rhyme to remind you –
‘If its yellow let it mellow
If its brown flush it down’
Cleaning your toilet bowl
In time your toilet bowl can become stained and unsightly. Rather than using a horrible toxic cleaner, a good dose of Bicarbonate of Soda can produce sparkling results.
Recycled toilet rolls
Try using recycled toilet rolls made in UK. Manufacturing recycled toilet tissue saves a lot of trees. If you can buy recycled toilet rolls from UK this has the added benefit of reducing the transport miles associated with importing toilet tissue from overseas and helps reduce your CO₂ imprint.
A few facts about recycled paper going into toilet rolls
Producing recycled paper uses 28% – 70% less energy than making virgin paper, uses less water and less trees. For every tonne of paper used for recycling, the savings are at least 30,000 litres of water, 3,000 to 4,000 kWh electricity (enough for an average three-bedroom house for one year), 17 trees and up to 95% less air pollutants.
Reducing wood in toilet rolls
To reduce the wood required to produce toilet rolls, some manufacturers are including small amounts of alternative plant fibres from bamboo, cotton, hemp, wheat and sugar cane in their products.
Composting toilets treat human waste by using biological processes to turn it into organic compost material that can be used to fertilise the soil. They are small-scale, complete waste processing systems that are surprisingly easy to maintain, incredibly efficient, and use little or no water.
The three Ps
The three Ps, pee, poo and (toilet) paper are the only things that should be flushed down the toilet.
A bin is the best place for all un-flushable waste. Put wet wipes, cotton wool, floss and cotton buds in the bin. Use bags or toilet paper to discreetly dispose of sanitary products waste – again, in the bin.
Do not put rubbish down the loo
Putting rubbish that belongs in the bin down sinks and toilets causes blockages in pumps and pipes. When this happens, sewage can back up into your home, cause bad smells and overflow into rivers, causing pollution and harming wildlife.
Harsh chemicals in toilet tissue
Some commercial toilet tissue is made using harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach. All patterned and scented tissues contain chemical fragrances, lotions and dyes which can adversely affect tissue’s ability to biodegrade. Please try and avoid these products.
The increase in waste wet wipes is compounding another big headache for Thames Water – fatty food. Fat can be poured down the plughole when warm but sets into hard ‘fatbergs’ when it cools down in the sewers. Wipes then stick to the congealed fat causing more serious blockages.
Flush toilets work well because of the ‘S bend’. This S shaped tube connects to the sewer plumbing under the toilet and its shape creates suction which literally pulls the water and waste out of the toilet bowl and into the sewer without letting any waste or dangerous gases rise up into the bowl.
Anglian Water and rubbish
If Anglian Water put all the rubbish it collected from sewers and normally sent to landfill every year into skips and stacked them on top of one another, they would reach almost as high as Mount Everest (8,850m).