Wasting Water: Two Tissues – Two Flushes

¡Súmate al reto del Agua!

(Turn off the water faucet!)

Today at the gym I was absolutely furious after finishing my workout.

I’d just returned to the locker room to use the restroom. While washing my hands there was a man who’d entered one of the stalls behind me. I heard him blow his nose and a toilet flushed shortly thereafter. What? He FLUSHED a tissue down the toilet? But wait. It gets worse. After the flush the man left the stall, took 3 steps away, then returned to the same stall and I heard him blow his nose again – and then ANOTHER FLUSH!

HOW MANY LITERS OF WATERS DID HE WASTE FOR TWO NOSE BLOWS?? I don’t have any idea but likely at least 4 Liters of water per flush. That’s EIGHT liters of wasted water for two nose blows. AND THERE WAS A TRASH CAN RIGHT OUTSIDE THE STALL!!

I was angry after the first flush. But after the second one I just wanted to shout at him and ask him how he could be so wasteful. I took a second and couldn’t formulate the sentence in my mind in Spanish. I couldn’t think of the word for FLUSH and I don’t know the word for BLOW NOSE in Spanish so I was lost.

One of the many TV public service commercials they broadcast is on this very topic. In the scene you have two teens or young 20-something girls in the restroom. One blows her nose and goes to flush the tissue down the toilet. The other girl, obviously the conscientious one, stops the friend and suggests she throw it in the trash can instead. What an idea!

Other times at the gym I’ll be using the restroom and I find guys shaving over the sink with the water spigot wide open to its maximum, never turning it off the entire time they’re shaving. And if you even DARE to suggest someone to turn off the running
water they become angry, defensive, and tell you to mind your own
business. Isn’t the environment EVERYONE’S business? Don’t I have a
moral right to make such a suggestion?

It’s people like those I mention above whom are destroying our planet the fastest. They’re obviously selfish, mindless people. You can’t really fault the lack of available education and promotion that takes place because you can’t avoid it these days. Here, every time there’s a TV commercial break at least one of the ads is related to the environment. This to me is incredible. You’d never get this kind of percentage on USA television. That’d be depriving corporations of millions of dollars – many of the same corporations which are polluting our water, air, and land.

SAVING WATER seems to be SO EASY to do. So why don’t more people care?

Links of interest: Canal de Isabel II, El Reto de Agua, Guía para el ahorro de agua, An Inconvenient Truth,


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1 Response to Wasting Water: Two Tissues – Two Flushes

  1. erika says:

    I hated waste long before I really cared about the environment. Even if we had limitless resources, why should we be wasteful?
    Every sink in the world should have one of those motion sensors so the water only runs if there is an object underneath. This is especially true where kids wash their hands because they don’t have that capacity to reason through waste; even with their parents trying to teach them, much water is wasted in hand washing.
    Keep making your suggestions; even if people get angry maybe they’ll think about it later more seriously. (But try to avoid a fistfight:) )
    I’m not sure they’re selfish people. Not even necessarily mindless, they just haven’t been taught to think that way. When I was younger I used to waste water brushing my teeth. Then we were visiting family and my cousin said something about how much water was wasted and that’s all it took for me to turn the faucet off when I didn’t need it.
    Maybe wasters don’t watch enough tv 🙂

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