Monday, October 1, 2007

Toilet tidbits

It was bound to happen. Working at this job, it was only a matter of time before little bits of green wisdom started popping up in this blog. Don't worry. It's not going to be a lot of enviropreaching. Just interesting little nuggets I pick up in my daily duties.

For example, today's topic: toilets. I want to introduce you, if you have not yet been so lucky as to be introduced yet, to the Sloan water-free urinal. Are you wincing? Does the idea of a urinal without the cleansing benefits of water make you nervous? I understand. But it's awesome. Here's how it works.

Gravity and the toilet's slick design cause the pee to run down directly to the drain. There is a liquid that seals the holes along the drain, a liquid that is less dense than pee, so the pee sinks below it and the liquid seals it off, trapping the smells and everything else associated with No. 1. It suddenly makes flushing seem like such a waste! Hehe, waste. Anyway, it brings a whole new meaning to "if it's yellow, let it mellow."

And in other green toilet news, I need to share my new understanding of the low-flow toilet. They are more common than the water-free urinal - not to mention usable by both genders - so I'm guessing more of you have had run-ins with them. And I say run-ins because I think you might hate them. I hated them. I wanted to like them - they use less water! - but it seemed like one flush was never enough. But every time I had to resort to a second flush, I hung my head in shame. It seemed to defeat the whole purpose of the low-flow toilet. By flushing twice, am I using more water than I would have by flushing a traditional toilet once?

The answer is no. In fact, these toilets are actually called "dual-flush" toilets. The point is that they use half as much water as a standard toilet. So if you just use it for, you know, liquid relief, one flush is enough. (I guess it's the closest thing the ladies' room will get to a no-flush urinal.) And other, more involved bathroom habits, when mild in intensity, can usually be washed away by one flush. But if you have to two-flush it, go ahead! That's what it's designed for!


amelia said...

Ah, I knew a Doug bathroom habits post was inevitable! Does anyone take an unusually long amount of time in there? Who doesn't wash their hands? Do you still have your big orange Maverik mug to drink water out of?

All the toilets in our CA house were low flush and I'm glad you shared that bit of wisdom because I always wondered about double flushing. One fact about low flush: flushable tampon applicators are not safe. I learned this the hard way when, after the toilet overflowed, I received the lecture from my dad about creating a miny plastic bridge in the pipes that the poo could not cross...

Kersten said...

Wow. Lots of sharing!

Angela said...

I love the phrase "more involved bathroom habits," followed by the equally good "when mild in intensity." You're so refined. I would have said something like "When you're not taking a monster dump ... "

Enjoying the blog.

Jacelle said...

well we all know how erin conserves water..if its yellow don't wash hands..hahah