Green Tip of the Week #14 – If it’s yellow, let it mellow

More and more, droughts and the resulting water restrictions are becoming a part of everyday life. Check out this drought map showing the current drought conditions in the United States. It’s rather startling.

This week’s green tip may gross some people out, but it’s something we practice in our house at least part of the time and is a great (and easy) way to conserve water. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow – if it’s brown, flush it down.” In other words, if you go #1, don’t flush. If you go #2, flush.toilet

Waste Not, Want Less has done some calculations to determine how much water could be saved by employing this simple technique.

“…let’s assume that most toilets in the U.S. are newer, and that the “average toilet” uses roughly 2 gallons per flush.

From personal experience, I’d be willing to bet that the average person goes to the bathroom about six times per day; five times to go number one, and another time to go number two. Obviously, this is going to vary from person to person, but let’s just stick with this guesstimate.

So, if we followed the ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow – if it’s brown, flush it down’ mantra, the ‘average’ person could save about 10 gallons of water per day. Multiply that by 300 million people in the United States, and that’s over 3 billion gallons of water saved each day. Over a year, that’s over 1 trillion gallons of water.”

Not too shabby for something so simple to do. I’m not advocating people do this at work or out in public because of health and cleanliness concerns, but it is something one could easily adopt at home whether it be all day, just in the evenings or just on the weekends. Every little bit helps.

So what about you? Do you let it mellow or would you consider it?

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂