By Responsible Flushing Alliance

April 22, 2021

Earth Day is an annual event focused on promoting clean and sustainable living habits that will help preserve the Earth’s resources for people and wildlife alike. One of the more important aspects of this day is water conservation. Water is one of the Earth’s most in-demand natural resources. Every community and ecosystem on the planet depends on water for sanitation, hygiene, and daily survival. Yet our water systems face growing threats from pollution and significant change due to altered climate activity.

Access to clean, safe water is one of the biggest issues facing our planet, and every day, millions of gallons are wasted through frivolous activities. Currently more than a billion people live in water-scarce regions, according to the World Resources Institute – and that number is steadily rising. Even in wealthy, first-world countries like the U.S., there are communities this very moment facing issues limiting their access to clean and reliable water, which was made evident in the 2014 Flint (Michigan) Water Crisis.

It is up to us to adopt better habits to stop wasteful behavior and conserve our water supplies. And one of the ways to do that is through responsible flushing.

Did you know that every time you flush a toilet, its uses approximately 10 gallons of clean water? That’s a lot of water! And though toilet flushing is a necessary home activity, it is important we behave responsibly in the bathroom to prevent wasting the clean and safe water that flows through our homes.

Practicing responsible flushing behavior means only flushing items that were designed to be flushed down the toilet and throwing out all other items in a waste basket or using another method of proper disposal. And though it may seem easy and convenient to throw your hygiene and personal care products in the toilet and flush it away forever, it’s really just a waste of water and a major plumbing risk because most of the items we use in the bathroom should not go in the toilet. So, those paper towels and makeup wipes, or dental floss and Q-tips, should not be flushed down your toilet.

Flushing items that were not designed to be flushed is not only a waste of clean water, it threatens the health of your home. Since they are not supposed to go in the toilet, they do not break down – leading to major build up in your home plumbing and eventually … a dangerous clog!

One of the best ways to prevent wasting the clean water that flows through your home and into your toilet, is to avoid flushing those products there were not designed to be flushed down the toilet. And if you are ever unsure of which products should not be flushed, look for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on the product’s labeling. This symbol signifies that an item should not be thrown in the toilet but disposed of in a trash can or another method of disposal.

For more information about responsible flushing behavior and how smart flushing habits can help us conserve water in honor of Earth Day, visit http://flushsmart.org/.