How to Save Water by Limiting Toilet Flushing

How to Save Water by Limiting Toilet Flushing

Water is one of our most precious natural resources. As populations grow and climate change leads to droughts, it’s more important than ever to conserve water. An easy place to start saving water is by limiting toilet flushing. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how I limit my toilet flushing to save water.

Why Limiting Toilet Flushing Saves Water

Toilets are the largest water users inside most homes, accounting for nearly 30% of indoor water use. Each flush uses 3-7 gallons of water. By flushing less frequently, I can make a significant dent in my indoor water use.

Here are some key reasons to limit toilet flushing:

  • Toilet flushing is a major water waster, especially flushing for liquids or barely used toilets.
  • Limiting flushing saves thousands of gallons per person annually.
  • Saving water reduces utility bills and benefits the environment.
  • Water shortages are becoming more common with climate change and population growth.

Reducing toilet flushing is one of the easiest ways for me to lower my environmental footprint through water conservation. Even small changes add up, especially when shared by my household and community.

How Much Water Can I Save?

The amount of water I can save depends on my current flushing habits and the number of people in my household. Here are some estimates:

  • The average person flushes 5 times per day with older toilets.
  • Newer low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush compared to older 3.5 gallon models.
  • I can save 2-4 gallons per day by only flushing when necessary.
  • For a household of 4, that equals 290-580 gallons per week, or 15,000-30,000 gallons per year!

The more people in a home, the more dramatic the impact. But every flush I avoid makes a difference.

Ways I Limit My Toilet Flushing

Here are the techniques I use to limit flushing and conserve water on a daily basis:

Flushing Only When Necessary

  • I don’t flush after just urinating. I only flush toilet paper.
  • I flush poop ASAP but don’t flush every time I use the bathroom.
  • I check if I really need to flush after minor toilet paper use.
  • My family limits flushing to 2-3 times per person daily.

“If It’s Yellow, Let It Mellow”

  • I use the common saying, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” as a rule of thumb.
  • Yellow (urine) doesn’t require flushing but brown (poop) should be flushed.
  • Leaving yellow mellow prevents thousands of gallons from being wasted.

Fewer Flushes for Liquids

  • I use empty plastic bottles to collect urine for flushing later.
  • I flush urinal toilets less by using bathroom trash cans.
  • I turn off running water in bathroom sinks while brushing teeth, shaving, etc.

Check For Necessity Before Flushing

  • I check if I really need to flush after just urinating. Often I don’t.
  • After minor toilet paper use, I consider if a flush is needed based on smell and sight.
  • For a #1, I flush 1-2 times a day rather than every time.

Use Water Displacement Devices

  • I keep a brick or container in my toilet tank to reduce water used per flush.
  • Adjustable toilet tank bags can be filled to desired water displacement.
  • I installed a dual-flush conversion kit to have light and heavy flush options.

Use Composting Toilets

  • Composting toilets don’t require water and completely eliminate flushing.
  • I use a composting toilet to avoid flushing liquid waste entirely.
  • Urine diverting toilets save water by separating the yellow and brown.

By following these toilet flushing conservation tips, I can easily save thousands of gallons of water every year. It just takes some small habit changes to make a big difference!

Addressing Concerns with Limiting Flushing

I understand some people may have concerns about limiting toilet flushing. Here are some common concerns and solutions:

Odor Control

  • Keeping lids down and using bathroom fans helps contain odors.
  • Regular cleaning and emptying of urine bottles prevents smells.
  • Using kitty litter or baking soda in urine containers can help absorb odors.
  • A few drops of essential oils in toilet water can create pleasant scents.

Hygiene Issues

  • Limiting flushing mainly applies to liquid waste which causes minimal hygiene concerns.
  • As long as solid waste is flushed ASAP, hygiene is maintained.
  • Standard cleaning of toilets and frequent emptying of urine bottles prevents bacteria growth.

Guest Comfort

  • I keep a sign in my bathroom politely asking guests to limit flushing.
  • For visitors uncomfortable with my rules, I make an exception to flush more.
  • I explain how this benefits the environment and ask for their participation.

With some common sense practices, I can limit toilet flushing while maintaining a sanitary, odor-free bathroom. The environmental benefits make it worthwhile.

Spreading Awareness to Save More Water

While I make big strides in my own home, I believe we need social awareness to drive large-scale change in flushing habits. Here is how I advocate for reducing toilet flushing:

  • I talk to friends and family and explain why they should limit flushing.
  • I share toilet flushing statistics and tips on social media.
  • I ask my company and organizations I belong to install water conservation signs.
  • I support campaigns to reduce water waste from needless flushing.
  • I contact my political representatives and suggest incentives for water-saving toilets.

With some creative thinking and public education, I believe we can fundamentally alter how society views toilet flushing. The less water wasted in my community, the more we conserve for the future.

My Success in Saving Water

By being mindful of my toilet flushing habits, I’ve made excellent progress in reducing my water footprint:

  • I decreased my average flushes per day from 5 to just 2-3 times.
  • My family of 4 saves 200-400 gallons per week compared to our old habits.
  • We reduced our home’s indoor water use by over 15% in the first year through less flushing.
  • Our utility bills dropped $12-15 per month from flushing less.
  • Based on my estimates, I’ve saved over 50,000 gallons over the past 5 years!

Limiting toilet flushing requires minor effort but makes a huge environmental difference. I feel proud about doing my small part to conserve water for future generations.


Toilet flushing accounts for nearly a third of home water use, resulting in thousands of gallons being wasted each year. By flushing only when necessary, using displacement devices, and spreading awareness, I’ve significantly reduced my water usage. Limiting toilet flushing is one of the easiest and most effective ways I save water on a daily basis. With some simple habit changes, we can all dramatically lower our environmental footprint. What water saving tips do you use at home?