Water conservation is a big deal [insert water waste stats here].
Because of this, I like to do my part to conserve by turning the water off when I brush my teeth and limiting the number of flushes of the toilet to “only when absolutely necessary”. We have a rhyme to help us remember.. “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. Essentially, you want to collect pee in the toilet and flush the poo.
This is a fine way to contribute to the ’cause’, but it’s not a cut and dry issue…
What about the Courtesy Flush??
The courtesy flush is a flushing method used in prisons and corporate bathrooms to reduce the stink (and in prison save yourself a beating) when in the company of other waste patrons. The method is simple: Make an extra flush during and/or immediately after releasing your ‘colon bomb’. The extra flushing wisks away the hot stink before it has a chance to stain the walls and burn the eyes of those nearby.
While this practice improves bathroom morale, it is extremely wasteful of our precious natural resources and should be used only in the stinkiest of situations. Developing your sense of when to use the courtesy flush is an important part of being a responsible water conserver, and should not be taken lightly. “Flushing Judgement” can be honed and improved upon over time and since everyone is different, it’s important to test and re-test your practice. My favorite statistic is occupancy per 30 minute interval. If this is a high number (after lunch, or early morning) I like to give a quick courtesy flush even if someone isn’t in the restroom.
Although the rate of courtesy flushing can be a complicated issue due to high occupancy or other issues, it’s important to remember that each flush means something to our environment… keep that in mind.