Monday, March 17, 2008

Change#12 - Letting it mellow and checking our flappers

A long time ago I walked into a bathroom (I can’t remember whose it was... was it yours?) and noticed they had a wooden sign above their toilet. It said: ‘If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down’. At the time I thought “What the hell? Gross! Why would anyone want to let it mellow?” It just seemed really quite strange to me. Several years later, I now realize I was peeing in the house of revolutionaries... if only I could remember who these people were! A big part of being green is conserving water. According to Canada’s supply of fresh water is running out (presumably because we’ve polluted most of it and sold the rest of it to the U.S.).

The GreenLunns have been experimenting with this ‘let it mellow’ business for a while now. Turns out, it really isn’t as gross as I first thought. First of all, it doesn’t smell or anything. Secondly, it’s pretty easy to do; you just don’t flush unless you really have to. If the look of it is off putting, you can just close the lid. Pretty simple change and it’s free (and actually will save us money. Now that we own a home we realize just how expensive water is). So if you come over and the toilet is 'mellow', just know we weren't raised in a barn, we are greening our planet one less flush at a time. This being said, I'll probably go around flushing the toilets before guests come over... and there won't be a 'let it mellow' sign hanging above our toilets anytime soon... Derek wouldn't let me... and besides even I have my limits.

I’m also going to be investigating to see whether either of our toilets have leaks in them by putting a cup of coffee in the tanks. If the coffee leaks into the bowl, then I’ll know we have a leak and need to replace our 'flapper' (or, um, ballcock if you will). I have this sneaking suspicion that our upstairs toilet has a leak. Sometimes when I’m having a bath (an eco-sin I’ll be dealing with a little later) it speaks to me in whispers. A leaky toilet wastes gallons and gallons of water so I’ll be checking on our flappers very soon. The City of Ottawa is offering a toilet replacement program as an incentive to replace all of those old wasteful toilets that use up to 20L per flush. I wonder what kind of toilet we have...

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