Ed. note: For the next several weeks, we'll be running a series of posts featuring easy, high-impact ideas and tips to help you get ready for Earth Day. Stay tuned!
Saving water is simultaneously one of the easiest and most effective ways to be a better TreeHugger; we'll start by looking at one of the biggest water-users in the house: the toilet. With standard models using multiple gallons each time you push the handle, they literally flush fresh, clean water down the drain. If the "if it's yellow, let it mellow..." mantra doesn't work for you, here are a handful of ideas and products that'll help reduce the amount of water you flush on each visit to your toilet.
1) This quick review of alternative toilets includes one with a waste incinerator and a couple of waterless, composting models.
2) The Bio-Lux composting toilet uses sawdust as an "artificial soil matrix" to decompose human waste into odorless water and carbon dioxide through aerobic fermentation. You empty it twice a year and toss the compost in your flower garden.
3) TwoFlush offers a quick 'n easy retrofit that turns any toilet into a water-saving dual-flush model.
4) This Argentinean model takes the water used in the basin, for hand-washing and such, and reuses it when you flush.
5) Gadgets like the dual flush toilet and controllable flush handle can save about 67% by flushing less water for light loads.
6) Sinkpositive is a handy device that cycles clean water through the faucet, for hand-washing and such, and reuses it the next time the toilet gets flushed.
7) The Propelair potty literally 'blows the crap and water down the drain' with just a little water and a quick burst of air.