How to Flush a Toilet in Australia

G’Day, Mates! I’ve spent the last ten days or so traveling around Australia and will be sharing my observations and experiences in the next few blog posts.

What has really stood out – apart from the country’s natural beauty and the friendliness of the Australian people – is how easy it is to save energy and water here.


In the U.S., electronics waste 40% of the energy they consume just by being plugged in. Even if they’re turned off, they pull energy through the socket, which is why the U.S. EPA calls them “vampires.” If you want to stop the waste, you need to plug into an energy-saving powerstrip; the powerstrip turns the energy off when the electronics aren’t being used. The device saves energy, but it’s an extra expense to buy and can be a hassle to use if all your cords are behind your computer or desk.

In Australia, every plug has two on-off switches. One that turns the current on and off like a powerstrip does, and one that then lets the current flow to the computer or light so it actually works. It’s extremely convenient and doesn’t require any added expense or effort on the part of consumers. All new residential and commercial construction in the U.S. should be built with a similar system – we could probably reduce the amount of electricity we use by at least a third if we used this simple energy-saving technology.

dual flush toiletWATER

Aussies are brilliant when it comes to toilets. I’m not trying to be insulting! In the U.S., most toilets always flush an entire tank of water. Most toilets I’ve seen in Australia have two flush options – the full, and the half. Usually, all you need to use is the half flush option, a feature that probably saves close to ten gallons of water per person per day. These toilets are a matter of course here. It’s not about being “green,” just smart! For more info, check out this website.

Stay tuned for my report from the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

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5 Responses to How to Flush a Toilet in Australia

  1. Amy May 19, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    They have those toilets at the new Target Field Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

  2. Dana @ MFCK May 21, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Great blog post, it’s so interesting to see how other countries operate when we’ve been stuck in our energy wasting habits for so long!

  3. Richard @ Eco Living Advice May 22, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    These “half flush” toilets are also gaining in popularity in the UK. Many public facilities offer them but unfortunately one problem I have experienced is that quite simply it’s not always clear which is the “half flush” and which is the “full flush” option meaning that I often unknowingly waste water as a result. It would be nice if manufacturers labelled them more carefully so those of us who want to do our bit find it that tiny but easier.

  4. Commercial Electricity - Compare May 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Now that is a great Idea I know when I am working on my on building my business I sometimes wish there was someone to whom I could talk, it gets extremely lonely at times.

  5. holiday park January 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    That is interesting. I have read somewhere that the toilet water runs counter clockwise. Still, that toilet model should be introduced in the American market.

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