Happy Back to School Month from your friends at the Responsible Flushing Alliance!

A new school year means a new year of challenges to overcome and memories to make. We all want our children to be as prepared as possible for what they may face in the classroom. This means packing the essentials: pencils, crayons, notebooks, glue sticks, and more. Parents also take care to equip the little ones with the knowledge they need to succeed, ranging from the ABCs, to timetables, to tying their shoelaces. But there’s one skill you may not have considered before: smart flushing habits.

Learning to flush responsibly doesn’t come as naturally as you may think. In fact, about 60% of adults in California admitted to flushing items they knew weren’t supposed to go down the drain! Having smart flushing skills do more than what meets the eye. Showing your kiddos what belongs down the drain will prevent clogs from surfacing, meaning our schools can stay safe from unsanitary sewage spills. No one wants to slip in that!

Plus, by practicing smart flushing habits, the little ones can do their part to protect wastewater infrastructure. Many stray wet wipes (or hot dogs! No really, check out our infographic about it.) end up getting flushed throughout the year. Over time, the big machines in treatment facilities get tangled up in non-flushable products, which require taxpayer dollars to repair. According to NACWA, non-flushable wipes resulted in an estimated $47 million for repairs in California in 2019. Those tax dollars could have been spent on the very schools we’re looking to protect! Not to mention the sewage that spills into our communities’ drinking water and hurts local wildlife.

How to Teach Kids About #FlushSmart Habits

It’s easier than you think! Looking for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on wipes packaging is the quickest way to figure out if those wet wipes belong down the drain. This symbol can be found on all wet wipe products designed with long synthetic fibers designed for the trashcan, not the toilet. You can teach your kiddos that if they see the symbol, they put it in the trash.

TIP: Need an extra hand teaching responsible flushing habits? Don’t forget to mention the Clog Monster may pay a visit if you flush the wrong stuff into his lair.

You can also check out our Enrichment Materials for one pagers, arts and crafts, and coloring books all designed to teach the little ones what not to flush. In the meantime, here’s a quick list of what else the little ones should never flush:

  • Baby Wipes or Household Cleaning Wipes
  • Paper Towels, Facial Tissue, Makeup Wipes
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease
  • Food, Trash, Plastic Bags
  • Rags, Cloth, Disposable Gloves
  • Cotton Balls, Cotton Swabs, Dental Floss
  • Feminine Products
  • Hair/Hair Weaves
  • Medications/Syringes

The Responsible Flushing Alliance is leading the way with its #FlushSmart consumer education campaign. RFA is dedicated to keeping homes and communities healthy through proper flushing practices. This includes supporting clear and prominent labeling of all items that should not be flushed, including promotion of the “Do Not Flush” symbol on non-flushable wipes.

For more information, go to http://www.flushsmart.org or @flushsmart on Twitter or Facebook.

About Responsible Flushing Alliance 

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501 (c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what not to flush. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed. 

Responsible Flushing Alliance Contributing Members 

Albaad Inc., ANDRITZ Group Nonwoven Division, DUDE Products, Essity, First Quality, Glafelter, Johnson & Johnson, Kelheim Fibres, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nehemiah Manufacturing, Nice-Pak and PDI, Papel Aralar S.A., Procter & Gamble, Rockline Industries, Sellars Nonwovens, and Suominen Corp.