What makes a Waterless Toilet green?
Let’s start off by talking about how a traditional toilet wastes our most precious water resource, compared to a waterless toilet.
What do you think the number 2,925,136,645,000 represents? Your first guess might be the size of the national debt. Well, sadly the national debt is about 10 times higher and is closer to $30 trillion. To help you understand how big 2.9 trillion is, let me point out that one trillion seconds is 31,546 years, so 2.9 trillion seconds would be a little more than 90,000 years!!
Let us break down the number 2.9 trillion down a little bit. The US population is approximately 325 million people. If we divide 2.9 trillion by 320 million people we get 9,125. Now if we divide 9,125 by the 365 days in a year, we get 25. Finally, did you know that when you flush your toilet you send 5 gallons of water down the drain, and on average you flush your toilet 5 times per day? So in a typical day you flush 25 gallons of water down the drain. Got it? That original number, 2.9 trillion, represents the average number of gallons of water flushed down toilets in the United States in one year!!
A flush toilet is a common fixture in virtually every house in the United States. We would like to think that the flush toilet, or more specifically using water to dispose of human waste, is a relatively modern invention. Many people refer to the room that holds a flush toilet as a water closet. This term was coined in England around 1870 and was used to differentiate a flushing toilet from what we might call an outhouse. So the good old flush toilet has been around for a little more than 140 years!! You have to wonder why we are using such outdated technology to handle our waste. A waterless toilet is a green solution.
It should be pretty clear that saving water and producing nutrient rich fertilizer are the two primary reasons why a waterless toilet is green. There are number of not so obvious reasons that make them an even greener alternative.
Not using water to flush a toilet obviously cuts down on your water usage. Cutting down your water usage means less water needs to be pumped to your home and from your home saving valuable energy. Waste water in our lakes reduces oxygen levels, which threatens the survival of fish and water plant life. Reducing waste water means healthier water and an improved environment. The humus produced in the decomposition process provides nutrients for plants, can help to neutralize toxins in the soil, and produce microbes that fight off disease. If a waterless toilet were in every home, the benefits to the environment could be substantial. Cities could become fertilizer factories thereby reducing the environmental issues associated with the manufacture and storage of synthetic fertilizers.
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