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Would you like to test out the latest in green technology? Visit our new restrooms! - Nov 7, 2011

by Kelle Hartman, Children & Family Educator, Green Bay Botanical Garden

Who knew what we flushed down our toilets could be so earth friendly!  Or, more correctly, what we don’t flush, specifically water.  Low flow toilets have been around since about 1994 when the National Energy Policy Act became law.  This law required that all toilets sold in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush.  This was a huge improvement from the 5-7 gallons per flush that older models use.

Today, dual flush toilets have helped to improve water savings even more.  Dual flush means just that – the toilet has two flush options.  A lower flush and less water is used when flushing mainly liquid waste and more water can be used when solid waste needs to be flushed.  The toilets installed into the Donald & Patricia Schneider Education Center and the renovated lower level of our Visitors Center use the required 1.6 gallons per flush, but use only 1.1 gallons with the reduced flush setting.  ½ gallon of water may not seem like much of a savings, but consider how many times a day our toilets get flushed!  When all is said and done, these duel flush toilets will save up to 68% more water than even a low flow toilet.  This water savings equates to major money savings as well.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if we could eliminate all of the old, water guzzling toilets in the United States, we could save about 2 billion gallons of water each and every day!

So help GBBG save some water – pay attention to what you are flushing and choose accordingly.  Low flush for liquid waste (yes that includes some toilet paper too) or high flush for the solids!  Don’t worry about forgetting how to flush next time you use our restrooms.  The bright green handles (which are covered with specially formulated antimicrobial coating to protect against germs) and how-to signs will be a good reminder.  Stop by and try one out for yourself!

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