Sustainability doesn’t only include driving an electric vehicle or installing solar panels on your house.
While these are great ways to help protect the environment and lower carbon emissions, even little changes go a long way.
One way to lead a more eco-conscious lifestyle is through proper disposal of common household materials.
Flushing items in your toilet that don’t belong there can actually be harmful to the environment, as well as cause costly plumbing issues.
Check out this guide on common items to never flush in your toilet. It might not be the most glamorous way to be green, but every little choice we make matters!
The question – can you flush baby wipes down the toilet, especially the ones that say they’re “flushable?” The answer – absolutely not!
Flushable wipes are bad for plumbing – and the environment – for many reasons. They don’t disintegrate like toilet paper does. Most flushable wipes remain intact in your sewer system which can cause clogs and breakages, leading to costly repairs and maintenance down the line. and the wipes that make it through the sewer system can end up in our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Feminine Hygiene Products
We’re talking pads, tampons and other products for your lady parts. They absorb liquid and can expand to several times larger than their normal size. Naturally, this leads to buildup and blockages in your drainage pipes.
From there, water will back up and overflow, leading to further repairs. Always place used feminine products in the trash. Better yet, consider a reusable menstrual cup to reduce waste and save money!
You might be tempted to flush old meds down the toilet, but don’t do it. Flushing medications may not cause blockages like the other items on this list, but it’s highly unsustainable.
Toilet water doesn’t break down medication, and the toxicity in pills and other meds can have toxic effects on water, soil and natural ecosystems. If you’re not going to use your medicine or it’s expired, throw it away.
Paper Towels and Tissues
This may seem surprising given that paper towels and tissues such as Kleenex are paper-based items, but they aren’t designed for plumbing systems. They won’t break down the same way as toilet paper, and paper towels can cause expensive blockages and breakages in your pipes.
Like the other items on this list, if you use paper towels or tissue, dispose of them in a trash can. Or, eliminate them from your life entirely by using reusable cloths and and handkerchiefs. I heard they’re coming back in style!
I hope you found this list of things to never flush down your toilet helpful! I know I’ve been guilty of flushing several of these items in the past. Here’s to doing better in the future in all the ways that we can.
Posted on January 1, 2022
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Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.
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