Sunday, August 22, 2010

Intro/Fear not your urine

    A former boss of mine once quoted another guy (or lady) who said that fear exists when there is a lack of knowledge.  I bring this up because what has spurred me to start writing this is the slightly paranoid tendency I have to give some credit to the environmental extremists saying we have about three weeks left before all hell breaks loose. 

    I’ll admit it, yes, the darkest premonitions are slightly disconcerting.  So after months of frustration and a feeling of helplessness while breezing over these articles of global warming and reports of catastrophic natural disasters I decided (with some prodding from my girlfriend, who am I kidding, it was all her idea) to start doing some research and chronicle it here for all to see (or at least my mom who I’m sure will read it).

    Here it is, maybe a year from now we can look back and have a MythBusters moment, will a year’s worth of knowledge seeking and discussion remove the fear of an apocalyptic war for resources, or will the possibility still scare the shit out of all of us not excited to emulate Kevin Costner in Waterworld.  (He really did pull off that leather vest though, so that’d be cool.)

Hopefully this will achieve three things:

1)  Share my train of thought and research on random issues dealing with all this global warming gloomy end of the world business. 

2)  Hopefully spur on some discussion.  I’m more or less starting from scratch here so I’d appreciate any thoughts on my posts, good sites and references. 

3)  Find some little golden (or should I say green) nuggets of advice.  Simple things that we all could do everyday if we actually believe that it will have some helpful impact. 

    I don’t mean to jump right into the deep end but here it is, I’m gonna slap you in the face with a maxim to live by:

“If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.”

Yep, it’s out there; take a minute to let it digest. 


The largest use of household water is to flush the toilet. 

Now it’s time to play the numbers game! 

    Toilets in America range from behemoth porcelain relics using 3.5 gallons per flush to newer water efficient water closets that use 1 gpf.  For the sake of this point and because I can’t find a better statistic we’re going to average that off to 2.25 gpf. As of August this year there are approx 310 million people in the US making it the third most populated country in the world behind China and India.  On average we take 6 trips to the bathroom a day including one requiring a magazine, take it easy, everyone poops, even cheerleaders.  So I’m suggesting, out of the six trips we only hit the handle once.  If we only flush the big debris down the toilet then we’re each saving 11.25 gallons of water a day, that’s 78.75 gallons a week, 315 a month, and 3780 gallons a year or each household could save 9450 gallons a year.  Now, if 1% of our population did the same that means we would conserve 11,718,000,000 gallons of water a year.  That’s just under 12 billion gallons, pretty, pretty good

Some perspective:

-It takes 1,500 gallons of water to brew a barrel of beer (32 gallons) So you personally could save the amount of water to produce 2.5 barrels of beer each year.  Enjoy!

-When you get about 130 friends to do this with you for a year you’ll refrain from flushing away an Olympic size swimming pool full of water.

Oddly enough, the average Facebook user has 130 friends.

-The average dishwasher uses 9-12 gallons of water per cycle so by leaving your pee alone you could offset that daily use.

-With a newer shower head you would cancel out a 5 minute shower.


    This is the rule in my apartment and at many of my friend’s places as well.  I’ve tried to get my parents on board but it hasn’t been the smoothest sailing.  My mom says it’s gross because it smells and will stain the toilet to which I respond what’s gross is that nuclear yellow urine that comes from a liquid diet of coffee and soda.  PING!  Here’s the second reason why refraining from the frequent flush is a good idea, if you need to wear sunglasses because your pee is brighter than a thousand glow sticks at those raves that I was never cool enough to go to then maybe it’s time to have a few glasses of water in between your dozen or so daily caffeine injections.  A quick tangent, 75% of Americans are not drinking enough water everyday, quite often our bodies register thirst as hunger causing us to seek out some snacks when we probably just need a glass of water.  We are also the current title holders for most obese country with 30.2% of our pop wrestling above their normal weight class, but that’s another article. 

Big finish.  Leave your pee alone, it won't bite, take the yellow warning signs for what they are and drink some water.  Although, I will grant an asparagus exemption, that’s just gross.