Contributing Writers

Water reduction starts at home

Posted by TheGreen on 12/21 at 04:35 AM

This Christmas we decided to do something a little different. As part of becoming a little bit greener, we decided to get rid of our two 13 litre flush toilets and install new TOTO Aquia Dual Flush Toilet CST414M. The cost to purchase the toilets was a little high ($350 Canadian), but we feel the water savings were more important. Since we had to replace the floors in the two bathrooms, it was an ideal time to upgrade.

For those that are not familiar with the dual flush toilets, our research shows there are two main brands that people talk about the most. The Toto 6l / 3.2l flush (1.6G / .9G), and the Caroma 6l / 3l flush (1.6G / .8G). There are a lot of positive and a lot of negatives reviews on both of these toilets, so I think it comes down to what you the consumer wants. Note the Caroma uses a smidgen less water than the Caroma Dual flush toilet.

If like us, you are not sure where to begin, here are the two main sites we used to help make a decision. The Terry Love website has a great forum that has a lot of reviews and straight up talk about the pros and cons of both the Toto and Caroma toilets, and about Dual flush toilets in general. You can find a lot of consumer reviews at the Toto that we bought, keeping in mind that it is a Toto specialist site. At you will find a lot of reviews on the Toto toilets, but again, nothing on the Caroma. It is worth taking the time to read through the bulk of the reviews to get a good grasp on the issues people had.

Most of the sites have reviews that rate the installation of the Toto Aquia Dual Flush Toilet as being quite difficult. Our experience though was one of ease. Yes, you need to drill 6 extra holes in the floor to install all the mounting hardware, but with the right tools, this was quite simple. As the reviews state, you will need a 5/16” carbide tip drill if you are mounting the toilet on a tile floor. The 1/4” drill will not suffice. The only real difficulty we experienced was getting the water supply line installed on the toilet after we had the toilet installed. Although it was possible to get the supply line installed, if I had to do it again, I would install the supply line onto the toilet before sliding the toilet onto the base PVC flange. Then hook the supply line to the supply feed. Note that you will possibly require a longer supply line due to where the hookup on the toilet is. Apart from that we are set.

Another complaint from people about the Dual Flush toilets in general is that it gets dirty very quickly. One of the ways these toilets use so little water is how little water they keep in the bowl. As a result, number two can easily mark up the sides of the toilet. Well, so be it. Just keep your toilet cleaning arsenal handy, oh, and the fan turned on!

In the summer time we often have four five kids using the main toilet throughout the day. This can result in 15 or more flushes a day, which was about 195 litres of water used each day just on flushing the pee away. The new Toto Dual Flush will use only 45 litres, or save us 140 litres a day, on those higher use days. That alone is great to see.

Bottom line, the Dual Flush toilets are not for everyone, but if we are redoing your bathroom, it is well worth considering getting a toilet that has a small water footprint.

If you found this article useful, or if you have questions, feel free to post some comments. I will do my best to answer the questions that I can.

About the author: TheGreen

Can the warnings get any more serious??

Posted by TheGreen on 12/12 at 04:53 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

If you’re reading this, chances are you are concerned about the environment. So this is a bit like preaching to the choir. But if anyone you know questions what’s happening to this planet of ours, have them read this:

Humanity faces oblivion if it fails to reach agreement on global warming, Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, said yesterday as the US and the European Union continued to scuffle over a successor to the ten-year-old Kyoto treaty on climate change.

“The world’s scientists have spoken with one voice: the situation is grim and urgent action is needed,” Mr Ban said at a gathering of 190 countries on the Indonesian island of Bali. “The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically. We are at a crossroads: one path leads to a comprehensive climate change agreement, the other one to oblivion.”

Click on the link and read on.

About the author: TheGreen

The greatest environmental crime in history

Posted by TheGreen on 12/11 at 03:32 PM

I hadn’t given much thought to Alberta’s oil sands projects, other than that yes, they produce more oil and that adds to the problems facing the world. But getting the oil out of there in the first place has some pretty horrific effects on the environment - before it ever makes its way to your car. Check out this story from The Independent about BP’s decision to get in on the oil sands game. Think about it the next time you buy a car, crank on your oil furnace or think of moving to Alberta for one of those high-paying jobs.

About the author: TheGreen