Monday, 22 March 2010

Bottle up the flush. Challenge 100!

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We have set up a blue tank at the Quad. No it got nothing to do with election time. The colour is merely a coincidence!

Malcolm suffering from slave labour

With is (hoping students will understand its purpose) we hope to collect a 100 empty bottles of plastic. Not for any fancy recycled art exhibition even if we had the human resources and facilities to do it we could. But, rather to simply stuff each one with stones, fill it up with water and place it in flushing tanks at the University. Something like what you are told on the discovery channel of people trying to either save some more or as we are doing to reduce the consumption at the university... How far can it go?.. good question.

Joseph realising its his turn now!

Let me draw the assumptions first.
There are 9,000 students full-time at university. Excluding staff
That these each use the bathroom facilities once a week (excluding holidays and days of exams) for 195 days. Therefore, 27.8 weeks
Putting two 500ml Kristal bottles in each flushing.

The figures made are enough to make one realize that the figure of water saved from this simple 'Blue tank' exercise may save up to 250 thousand litres. Not bad for a flush a week per student case study.

Now try make it once, 7 days a week, for every person in a year in Malta.
1 x 7 x 410,290 x 365... well the (small)calculator I have brings about an error.

The original layout for the tank

So the scope is really not what we do at University! But, what we should do in every space we inhabit. We have to minimize the impact we are having on the resources around us NOT only because it makes perfect economic sense, but ALSO because it defines us as people and our relation to the environment we inhabit.

End result

Try to follow this tutorial into introducing this and other similar systems at your home. Educate your family and friends and see what changes you register in the meter by the end of the year. Its with small changes that we can change the quality of life we are living. Think small and incremental and take it as a learning experience.


Tank location for the coming days


  1. awesome initiative! keep it up!

  2. Great idea guys, we love it. Reposting on facebook! :)

  3. Thanks everyone :)

    Glad you like it!

  4. Well done! JEF Malta has collected 31 bottles until now and we will definitely make them available for your initiative!