Thursday, November 4, 2010

"If it's yellow, let it mellow"....sort of (Day 82)

In the interests of water conservation I am not flushing the toilet as much.  We already have low flow toilets (6L), so we already use less water than most people when going to the bathroom.

I've read with interest on other blogs about people following the "if it's yellow, let it mellow" rule.  But really, I live in a house with 5 people, one of whom we are toilet training and the other two in whom we are trying to instill basic hygiene rules.  I'm not about to throw all of that hard work out the window, er.. down the toilet.

I can't justify following the rule all the time - not if I want my kids to have good hygiene.  It's easy to explain to the 8 year old that she can flush the toilet at other people's houses, but not at home.  I'm not so sure the 5 year old would grasp that.  Other people want their toilet flushed, and I can't blame them.  I definitely am not going to try it in public either.  I think that's gross!

As well, I watch other people's children on occasion, and I really don't want to have a disgusting mess waiting for the parents or kids when they come over.

My variation on the rule is this - no flushing in the middle of the night, no flushing until after DH and I are ready for the day (showered, etc), and no flushing in my personal upstairs ensuite unless necessary.  The kids are great with the no flushing in the middle of the night rule.  DH and I are working out the early AM issues, and since I am by myself during the day, I run upstairs to my bathroom to use the facilities.

So here's to less water down the toilet, and maybe a little more water in our lakes and rivers.


  1. I think your approach is totally reasonable!
    When I grew up, we were taught not to flush at night because it woke my dad up, so not flushing at night is pretty much hard-wired in me. As for the rest of the day, I flush about every three times, unless it's "Number 2" which, of course gets *immediately* flushed.
    What I WISH is that it was common practice (and lega) to use greywater for flushing: it;s not the number of flushes that bothers me, it's the waste of potalble water that does.

  2. Oops... those were supposed to have been typed in as "legal" not "lega"! And "it's", not "it;s" :-) And "potable", not "potalble" Flush that!

  3. I agree. I don't know about the rules governing greywater use here in Ontario, but regardless, we'd have to retrofit our house to collect it, which is an expense I am not willing to incur at this time! :)

  4. I agree that it can be difficult to follow that rule completely. I have a similar variation, where we never flush at night (it makes a lot of noise in our apartment anyhow), only flush once before leaving the house in the morning, and on weekends or evenings, flushing every 2 pees (sometimes 2 just for me, sometimes one for each of us). It's a good start for us!

  5. Thanks for your comment, environmentalgoddess. We've been pretty successful at following this rule, although DD2 (who is three) has been known to remark "Ewww, someone didn't flush the toilet!" :)