Delicious organic produce for lunch, soft sustainable cotton in our bed sheets, color coordinated recycling bins in the garage – going green seems to be all lovely jubbly, until we get to the place that decidedly is not – the toilet.
I recently read an article in the UK Guardian on this, under Ethical Dilemmas. The facts are ugly indeed and are a real dilemma we should be aware of:
” …4,000 litres of water to wash away the 13 gallons of faeces and 130 gallons of urine we each produce annually (plus, huge amounts of energy are required to run sewage works)…
Each year more than 200m tonnes of human waste and vast quantities of waste water and solid waste go untreated around the world….”
It also rightly points out that ours is a “flush and forget” society, which is bad enough as it is, but whats worse is that 41% percent of the worlds population have no access to sanitation at all. And all this waste, which when not disposed of properly has some pretty devastating effects, affecting the health of millions in the developing world, mostly children.
So what can be done? Well, at the very least, you should have one of those toilets that uses the least amount of water possible, with a dual-flush system. Teaching members of your household to flush only when absolutely necessary is also good and easy to execute (for instance, with children and #1, to just please shut the lid, # 2 may be flushed).
More drastic measures are as follows:
Building an Eco-Toilet For Outdoors: If the above product inside your home is just a bit too advanced (and costly) for a beginner greenie like yourself, you could attempt to purchase a kit to build one in your garden or yard. Ecovit has an aptly-named “Privy Kit” which converts any outdoor toilet into a modern urine-separating toilet for only about $100.
Hire A Green Plumbing Company – These people help with finding green solutions for home and commercial waste requirements. Companies who provide this service can also help with the right fixtures, pipes and heaters which save water, energy and promote better sanitation. Try Green Plumbing USA or Green Plumbers in Australia.