Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Toilet Water Conservation With a Milk Jug

When I was in fourth grade I had to do a presentation in front of the class on anything I wanted.  I got my presentation idea from this book, 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth.  I conducted my presentation on how to conserve toilet water without replacing the toilet.  The process is very simple: you fill an empty milk jug with some rocks and water, (to give it some weight) and place it in your toilet tank.  The milk jug is displacing the water so the toilet uses 1 gallon less water each time it is flushed.

Paul enjoyed putting some rocks in the jug when we played in the creek one day. 

This creek is full of life with fish, crayfish, and salamanders!


jenn merfee-t May 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM  

What a wonderful idea! It is tempting to take a milk jug to an old hotel and pop it into the back of their heavy flow toilets.

We've been looking at the simple activities in the 50 Simple Things book you recommended and are waiting to get The New 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth book from the library!

What other little things are you doing around your home to save energy and materials that others may be able to replicate?

Holly May 31, 2012 at 7:47 AM  

Hi Jenn, I hope the book inspires you! Two things I have done recently is use the water in the dehumidifier to water the plants on the porch. With all the humidity, the humidifier fills up about every 3 days in the basement.

To keep the house cool on these 95 degree days, we keep all the windows open in the morning until around 8:30 and then close them all. On a day with outside temps at 95 degrees, the house stayed at 82 degrees and that's with us opening outside doors to go in and out.

Elia Lester April 2, 2013 at 8:01 AM  

At fourth grade, how can you be so interested in plumbing resolutions? You’re cool, Holly! So this presentation you did was pretty much like improvising a high efficiency toilet. I’m sure this would earn attention. It’s encouraging to know that there’s a way to dramatically cut your water consumption, even if you don’t have the budget yet for upgrading into green fixtures. Just one question though, can the reduced toilet water flush away thoroughly, even without the pressure-assisted technology?

Holly April 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM  

Hi Elia,

When using the milk jug method in older toilets, there still seems to be enough water and "umph" to flush everything down. New toilets are designed differently and are typically low flow anyway so I don't know if this method would work as well. I hope this answers your question.


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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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