Tired of wasting gallons of water a year by flushing your toilet? Looking for more practical ways to save this precious resource? The answer lies in a new invention for toilet water. Keep reading for a cost-effective way to make a difference.
Don’t Rush to Flush | How to Conserve Toilet Water
There’s a reason we so commonly refer to toilets with royal sobriquets like “the throne.” In many households, time on the can takes on an almost regal significance; providing brief respite for haggard parents from their raging children, and for those very children offering a quiet place to contemplate the world or read the comics until their legs fall asleep.
Unfortunately, it’s also the biggest single water hog in most homes. Conservative estimates by the American Water Works Association suggest each of us sends as much as 6,000 gallons a year through our porcelain offices – variables can push that number well over 10K – which works out to a family of four flushing an entire swimming pool down the drain. Even with high-efficiency systems, adds the EPA, the toilet can easily account for 27 percent of a household’s annual water use.
Tim Cureton and Kenneth Messer have a way to combat the insatiable cravings of our commodes, and their solution comes in the form of an all-natural product designed to make people a little less apt to reach for the handle every time they use the facilities.
They’re the pair behind a company called Why Flush, makers of an eponymous proprietary blend of pine and citrus oils that neutralizes the pungent ammonia odor of urine, and which also includes vegetable-based cleaners and biodegradable detergents that help keep the bowl clean.
Basically it’s a new take on the whole “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” mantra, minus the gag-inducing yellow part.
“All you have to do is give it a few sprays,” says Messer, referring to the Windex-type bottle the product comes in. “It gives the water a fresh blue-green color and is completely safe for pets, plumping, and all septic systems.”
Users can expect one application to eradicate the smell of two to three bathroom visits (we’re referring to number ones, obviously), and Messer adds that a few subsequent sprays can keep the bowl fresh up to seven uses.
Hard data is difficult to pin down since everyone’s H20 use can vary, but even decreasing toilet activity by a couple flushes a day can work out to thousands of saved gallons/year per individual consumer. To put that in greater perspective, if the eight million folks in New York City took just one flush out of their daily rituals, The Big Apple could potentially save enough water annually to grow 400,000,000 apples.
Or cover nearby Jersey City in roughly two feet of water, whichever they prefer.
“The great thing about using Why Flush is that it also reminds you to be wary of your water consumption throughout your house,” says Messer. “It’s a simple way to keep the issue (of water consumption) on your mind, so maybe you’ll look at your irrigation system next or your washing machine and all the other ways you can potentially save.”
Buddies since college, Messer and Cureton don’t come from a background that would inevitably lead to Why Flush, though Messer’s former life as a stand-up comedian begs the question why there aren’t more off-color jokes in the company’s marketing copy. Cureton, meanwhile, is the self-described “Coffee Professional and Entrepreneur” behind Rise Up Coffee, a highly successful small-batch coffee roaster and retailer based in Maryland.
Jokes and java aside, the pair have always been highly environmentally conscious. Messer talks regularly about a pivotal moment when he was in El Salvador years ago and witnessed first-hand the lengths people go to get clean drinking water. Seeing people trek to the river “with buckets in hand” left a heavy impression on him, and Cureton had similar epiphanies while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Micronesia.
The importance of finding and/or creating clean water became an everyday challenge for Cureton. Lack of sanitation, specifically the disposal of human waste, is also a great challenge to those living on the outer islands of Kiribati. This all served to give Cureton a new perspective on basic sanitation.
“These life experiences made a lasting impact on the two of us, and played a central roll developing Why Flush,” says Cureton. “The challenge was straight forward enough – Make the unsustainable toilet more sustainable by developing a product to reduce the number of household toilet flushes.”
Of course the positive environmental impact of conserving clean, drinkable water is overwhelming, and for both of them it had to be done in the most sustainable and eco friendly way possible.
“To this end, Why Flush is completely neutral to the environment,” stresses Cureton. “The product is mixed and bottled in Detroit, MI, and packaged in 100% recycled cardboard. Why Flush is also a proud member of 1% For The Planet, donating 1% of gross sales annually to an environmental non-profit.”
Made entirely in the USA, Why Flush is currently available direct through the company’s website in cases of six 16-ounce bottles for $39.95 (shipping included), as well as on Amazon. Cureton says that’s enough to keep the average family’s chamber pot smelling clean for a full year. Consumers on the east coast can also purchase Why Flush at MOM's Organic Market retailers.
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