Monday, 11 August 2014

Modern conveniences

Let me show you my eco friendly toilet flushing system. Here we have the very latest design, note the pan hanging from the door handle. This system is also environmentally friendly in that it uses water which has fallen from the skies. It also has the added bonus that it costs not one penny use.
It is much more comfortable and economical than the previous lavvy design of a wooden box with a round hole cut into the lid where one would perch one's bottom, with a bucket underneath to catch the unmentionables. These small brick built rooms were often at the end of a long garden, which required a torch and an umbrella to stumble down the path in the middle of a rainy night. Although these incurred no cost while being used, they did require a payment to be made to a waste disposal company who came along in a lorry with a big hose, and sucked the festering slurry into its tank.  
Thank goodness all that has changed now. My little privvy is attached to the house, just outside the back door, which is under cover in the passage. It has a modern flush system, but I prefer to bypass that by using rain water. With the recent rain we have been having I have been able to fill up the reservoir. This should be sufficient to provide twenty five flushes at a cost of 1p per flush, thus saving 25p. These figures are not confirmed, I have just made them up. 
My water harvesting system works well, it rains and droplets are deposited into the plastic receptacles in the garden. Heavy rain over two days gives enough water to fill the reservoir in the little girls room, light showers take a little longer, maybe a week or more before there is sufficient in volume.

The method of transportation from one place to another requires a certain amount of physical fitness. Basically I have to lift and carry, taking care not to trip and splash myself. Best to wear sturdy footwear for this job, and bend the knees when lifting so as not to injure the back.

And there you have it, a simple money saving solution which has the potential to save hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. That figure came to me in a flash, as an example of how much a family might save. Me being a single person on a water meter I reckon I save a bit for myself, and a bit for the planet. Why not have a go and build your own water saving system, it only takes a bit of time and effort, and you could be quids in. Let me know how you get on.
Toodle pip.

27 comments:

  1. Every little penny adds up. You personify what it means to make it count. Yippeeeeee.

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  2. You could also save the water from your daily shower to flush the loo with? I plan on doing this when water charges are introduced in Ireland!

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    1. Hi Enie, a good idea. I don't have a daily shower, but I leave the bath water in the bath and use it to flush the upstairs loo.

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  3. I bet you save more than a bit. Clever you. Would definitely do the same if we had a water meter. Its more tricky with children and a fussy husband but I am totally with you. Those outside pots and tubs are great but a proper water butt system may be more efficient - perhaps off a shed or garage? Anyway glad to see you saving money on those water bills. Debbie

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  4. A lot easier than melting ice and snow to flush,like we had to at Christmas!
    Jane x

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  5. Move to Scotland and you can have a very generous flush tho' you'll definitely need bigger buckets to catch the wet stuff that's been cascading down around here!

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  6. "These figures are not confirmed, I have just made them up."
    You made me laugh with the above line.

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  7. Good on ya'! By the end of the year, you'll be "flush" with cash. Ha, Ha! Here in Southern California, we haven't had rain in a dog's age so I save water from the bath and the kitchen to water my plants and flush the toilet (liquids only).

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  8. I well remember the toilet at my grandfather's being as you mention but we didn't go there in the night prefering to use a potty which got emptied the next morning!! Good idea especially for an outdoor lav to use rain water or as Enie says you could save your grey water and use that too should you run out of rainwater (fat chance just lately!)

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    1. Aaah, the potty under the bed, my granny had one. I slept in a big bed with my auntie when I stayed there, and hated it when I had to 'go' in the middle of the night.

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  9. You are saving on water cost but, you still have to pay for sewage/waste water removal....but it's a good starting point hey? I'm desparately trying to get water barrels and guttering/drainpipes etc for my back garden. The plants respond better to rainwater. I don't know about your water supply but lately mine seems to be more chlorine tasting than when I moved here 18months ago. I think that's why my tomatoes have not flourished this year at all, apart from 2 tumbler toms planted in an old pair of size 9 wellies!

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    1. Yes there is a charge for waste water removal, can't get out of paying that, but it's not much.

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  10. That's a very eco friendly idea. About a year ago the flush on our toilet broke (one of the dual flush types).My husband 'fixed it' but we now realise that we have been getting the larger flush every time. Yesterday he checked our yearly water charge, which had gone up £15, after taking into account an increase in the charges and realised what had been happening. It's amazing how much cash you can flush away - and we don't flush every time! Even so, our water meter is still much cheaper than un-metered.

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  11. We plan to catch rainwater on a large scale when our new garage/workshop goes up, the guttering will lead to an underground water harvesting tank which will be used to water the polytunnel and veggie beds during dry periods. Hopefully we will be able to collect thousands of gallons to use when we need them. Well living in North Wales we have to make the most of all the rain we get and the polytunnel will always require watering year round. It should save us a fortune over the course of the rest of our lives.

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    1. Good plan Sue. You are thinking ahead and have everything covered. It's good to read about your progress.

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  12. I only have a strip wash - never a bath or a shower - what is called "ablutions". I rarely wash my hair though. Perhaps once or twice in the whole of the winter (and then it is a bowl and a jug). I may wash my hair slightly more in the summer.

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  13. I so remember the outside "lavvy" and the call through the village of " close your windows cos the Honey Cart is here" as you say thank goodness those days are gone. In my last home I had 2 rain butts on every wall, shed and both green houses. Here there are none, there will be before the winter.

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  14. We have our own well so we don't pay for water - which sounds great, except we do pay for the electricity to power the pump that brings the water to the loo (until we get our solar system up and running). Although we try and save water as much as we can here I hadn't thought about the loo so much. I always run off the cold water into a bucket when waiting for the hot water to come through and usually use this water on the garden but I could actually flush the loo with it. Good idea Illona. Mmmm food for thought.

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  15. What a terrific idea! I love it. :)

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  16. Your description of the previous lavvy design is spot on. It was awful especially on an icy winters night. I grew up in the countryside in an old un-modernized cottage with no bathroom, central heating, hot water or any of the 'luxury' that is today and this was back in the 70's and 80's. If the heating and hot water where we are now was to break down I would know how cope but I would never want to go back to an 'earth closet'.

    Elaine, Oldham

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    1. Hi Elaine. I think most people of our age would know how to cope when something is not working, but young 'uns wouldn't.

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  17. Danneke having a few moments browsing again,~~~~ I think most of us a a certain age group will remember the trip down the yard to the lavatory often called the NETTY in the north east of england. . Most facilities in the eastern bloc are what we loosly call a spread axle job, a ceramic tray with a hole near the rear for the waste, usually there is a small hose connected to a tap to wash the tray out and a bucket to put toilet paper in, still a bit primitive for this day and age. I too collect rain water for use in the garden , used to be able to wash hair with rain water but not now as there is acid rain and just not safe. My water bills are not too bad but I am carefull, all our area is on meters now, I found it does make one more aware of using what is not necessary.

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  18. Cracking money saving idea. I love how you worked your figures out. Very clever!

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  19. Do you put the water straight into the toilet bowl or into the cistern? If it's the cistern do you hold the ballcock up in some way to stop it automatically filling after its been flushed?

    An even better way to save water would be to 'go' straight into a bucket then tip it down the outside drain. Liquids only of course!

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    1. Hi Gwen. I slosh it straight into the bowl from a height, taking care not to splash the surrounding area. I used to pee in a bucket and put it on the compost heap. I might start doing that again when I don't have any rain water, but to save walking up the garden I have an outside drain nearer the house.

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  20. Ha ha oh yes the ootside netty thats what we in the North east called it. Plus with cut up newspaper for toilet roll.
    mind you always found something to read in there only in the
    the summer though as it was freezing. My grannie kept chickens in the back yard as well and if the rooster got out of his pen you knew he was waiting for you outside the door! I was terified of the thing.
    I live in a flat at the mo but have a juliet balcony and catch water in a small container to water my plants that grow there. I dont see why I couldnt catch more to flush my inside netty. Great idea. Love love love your blog. I ove to sew too and taught my self on my grannies old treadle machine being short 4ft 11" everything was too long for me in the 60s mini dress era. So used run into a fabric shop after
    work to buy 3/4 yd of fabric. In less than an hour I had a shift dress and a matching dolly bag to go out to the local dance. This was 36" wide fabric as well so plenty room then to fit my hips with inches to spare, sadly gone are those days, wouldnt even fit my thigh now!

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    1. I remember the days of running up my own clothes, such a proud moment when you can say the outfit you are wearing is one of your own creations. Mini skirts and shift dresses were my speciality. I don't make clothes now, I can pick them up cheaply from car boot sales and charity shops.

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