Small gadget, big savings

February 23, 2010

Toilets are a home’s biggest water users.  If you can’t change out your old toilet (which probably uses 13-20 litres per flush) for a new one that uses just 6 litres per flush, here’s a simple and inexpensive alternative.
It’s called a a toilet tank fill cycle diverter – a tiny device that installs in a toilet tank in seconds, and limits the amount of water that flows into the bowl during filling.  It saves water every time you flush – potentially saving over 10,000 litres per toilet per year!
Here’s a three-minute video showing what a diverter is, how it works and how to install it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bhu1PU2Wb8.
You can find plenty of models and suppliers by Googling toilet tank fill cycle diverter.
Two more strategies to save even more water:
– put a brick or bag of water in your toilet tank, so it uses less water every fill-up
– pour a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank.  If any of the color seeps into the bowl before you next flush, your flapper probably needs to be replaced – a small cost for HUGE water savings.  Here’s a one-minute video showing you how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejvb5lx5UxE .
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Every day, landfills across the country receive truckloads of things that are perfectly good but just not needed anymore.  It’s an inglorious end for stuff that still has useful service to offer.

But there’s a better way.  If you’re looking to get rid of perfectly good stuff that’s cluttering up your basement, garage or office, consider freecycling it.  Freecycling is making it available (via the internet) it at no cost to someone in your community who could use it. 

Check out www.freecycle.org; there’s a good chance you’ll find a local on-line group you can join.  If there’s no Freecycle group in your community, you can ‘be the change’ and start one!

You won’t get rich freecycling, but you can unclutter your life and you’ll do a good thing by keeping stuff out of the landfill before its time.  And maybe, you’ll discover that someone’s giving away something YOU want…

(If you prefer, there are plenty of charities across Canada that can use your used goods: http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/charityvillage/donate.asp)