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When I was growing up, my parents strictly stuck with the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” principle.
Even now when they’re financially stable, this principle still rules.
After Mr. FAF and I became homeowners, I’ve been wondering if I should do what my parents did and if it’s really worth it.
I started thinking about how much money I can save if I flush only once every four times I use the bathroom.
It does look a bit too much at one point and needs to be flushed.
I started digging and looking at the numbers.
According to the United States Geological Survey, each flush uses on average 3 gallons of water (1.6 gallons/flush for new toilets and 4 gallons for old toilets).
Federal plumbing standards now dictates that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF).
Since our house was built in the 1970s, I’d assume 3 gallons/flush.
On weekdays, let’s assume I only use the toilet roughly 4 times after work in the evening.
On the weekends, it’d be about 12 times a day.
The average price of water in the US is about $1.50 for 1,000 gallons.
In a year, there are 261 workdays and 104 days off.
Let’s do the math.
You can replace the numbers in red according to your usage of the toilet.
If I flush every time I use the toilet.
On week days, I use the toilet 261 workdays * 4 flushes * 3 gallons/flush = 3,132 gallons or $4.698.
On days off, I use the toilet 104 days off * 12 flushes * 3 gallons/flush = 3,744 gallons or $5.616.
Total = $4.698 + $5.616 = $10.314 for 6,876 gallons
If I flush once every 4 times I use the toilet.
On week days, I use the toilet 261 workdays * 1 flush for 4 times of using the toilet * 3 gallons/flush = 783 gallons or $1.1745.
On days off, I use the toilet 104 days off * 3 flushes for 12 times of using the toilet* 3 gallons/flush = 936 gallons or $1.404.
Total = $1.1745 + $1.404 = $2.5785 for 1,719 gallons
Money saved = $10.314 – $2.5785 = $7.73/year
Gallons saved = 6,876 – 1,719 gallons = 5,157 gallons/year
A family with 2 working adults
Depending on the number of adults in your family, the amount of money and water saved a year can be much higher than the figures above.
For example, if Mr. FAF follows my footsteps, we will be able to save:
Money saved = $7.73 * 2 = $15.46/year
Gallons saved = 5,157 gallons * 2 = 10,314 gallons/year
If I flush once every four times I use the toilet, I’ll be able to save $7.73/year. This is not a huge amount. However, considering I can save 5,157 gallons for the earth, that’s something I need to think about.
How about you? Have you thought about implementing “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”? If yes, have you noticed a reduction in your water bill?
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