Growing up, lots of us were familiar with a toilet-themed rhyme: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. / If it’s brown, flush it down.”
Not the most poetic words ever written, but they get the job done. The simple, memorable stanzas help to remind people of all ages how to save water and follow toilet etiquette.
That’s because, just like showering every single day, flushing the toilet every time you “go” is wasteful and indulgent.
Still, it’s a bad habit that a lot of us fall into, mostly because it doesn’t feel socially acceptable to skip flushing the toilet.
It’s always a good idea to flush “number two,” but if it’s just pee? It’s about time to change our approach to flushing.
That’s why we need to undertake a big group effort to make “let it mellow” the new status quo — we’ll all benefit!
Scroll through below for a few helpful thoughts to keep in mind next time you’re tempted to flush.
Thumbnail Photo: Flickr
Reason #1: It Spreads Way Less Germs
If you’re someone who would never dream of leaving your pee in the toilet, your number one reason is probably hygiene. It’s gross and unsanitary to skip a flush, right?
Well, hold on to your hats, because we’re about to blow your mind: You spread more germs when you flush.
Studies call it “toilet plume,” and it’s what happens when you flush and send up a spray of yuck into the air around you.
Flushing as infrequently as possible (and keeping the lid down when you do) can seriously cut back on how many germs are floating around your bathroom.
Reason #2: It Saves Nine Gallons Of Water
Every time you flush the toilet, you’re using a heck of a lot of water to pull the waste away.
If you have a super-spiffy, efficient toilet, you’re probably only using about 1.5 gallons a flus — but older toilets use an average of three to five gallons of water, in some cases even using as much as seven gallons.
If you flush every single time you pee (six to 10 times a day), you’re wasting nine gallons of water at best every day.
Reason #3: Pee Is Pretty Clean
It’s a common misconception that pee is sterile. Technically, that’s not the case, but it’s not too far off the mark.
Urine does contain bacteria, though it’s remarkably clean compared to, say, saliva, which is teeming with microorganisms.
So, while your pee isn’t pristine, it is clean enough to leave in your toilet for a few hours.
Reason #4: You’ll Save Tons Of Money
Homeowners are well aware that every single leaky faucet and light left on overnight is money out of their pockets.
The same is true of your toilet, which is why homeowners should consider investing in water-efficient toilets and skipping the flush when they can, which could make a big difference in their water bill.
If you rent your home, using a lot of water may impact your monthly payment, so avoid flushing and consider petitioning your landlord for a more efficient lavatory setup.
Reason #5: It’s Quickly Destroying Our Planet
The world is slowly running out of fresh drinking water, and if we keep consuming at our current rate, the whole planet will be in dire straits within a few decades.
If all of us work together to conserve water by doing things like not flushing the toilet and taking short showers, we can help keep all of humankind healthier and safer.
When we conserve water, we stop exhausting our planet’s limited aquifers and give them more time to build back up again.
Reason #6: It’s Disruptive
If you’re a light sleeper, you probably find yourself getting up in the night to pee.
A midnight trip to the toilet is perfectly fine, but consider leaving it in the bowl instead of flushing it away.
A single flush can wake up the whole house, and might even contribute to more members of the household getting up and using the bathroom.
Reason #7: It Throws Off Water Pressure
Have you ever been in the shower when somebody flushed the toilet in a different part of the house?
It can be a real bummer — at best, you lose water pressure for a few minutes, and at worst, you get scalded or frozen as the flow of warm water gets disrupted.
Now, not every plumbing system does this; if you’re lucky, you can run your dishwasher and shower (or do a load of laundry) at the same time without a problem.
Still, if you notice your toilet affecting water pressure, it might be a good idea to save your flushes until no other appliances or water sources are running.
Reason #8: It’s The New Normal
One of the biggest reasons that people struggle with leaving pee in the toilet is because it seems socially unacceptable.
You might be able to pull it off at home, but what about at work or in the bathroom at a restaurant?
Well, more and more people — and businesses — are adopting environmentally savvy “let it mellow” policies, and you can be a part of the change.
In addition to implementing it at home, consider suggesting similar policies in your workplace, your coffee shop, your kids’ school, and so on — you just might change the world!
Do you “let it mellow”?