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egg digesters for valentines day

Love stinks…and wastes for no one!

egg digesters for valentines dayValentine’s Day is just two short days away, so we here at Thirsty in Suburbia are sure that all your romantic plans and reservations have already been made and confirmed. What’s that? You forgot about Valentine’s Day?

Well have no fear you hopeless, albeit forgetful, romantics! The Department of Environmental Protection in New York City is here to save the day! Why not take that special someone on a tour of Newtown Creek Sewage Treatment Plant in Brooklyn!? Just when you thought thought Brooklyn couldn’t possibly get any cooler…

Who needs breakfast in bed!? Highlights of the tour include the giant egg shaped digesters where you and your true love can see the magic of toxic sludge transformation first hand. Don’t let being single stop you from attending. We bet that the smell will rival your bitter attitude towards love. Love stinks, am I right?!

Tours fill up quickly, so try and secure your spot by emailing events@dep.nyc.gov.

Halloween Costumes for Water and WASH Wonks: 2012 edition

Have we got a treat for you! With Halloween just two weeks off, you may be nearing a costume-ready state, but we believe your costume should reflect who you really are. If you’re an obsessed water, wastewater or sanitation wonk, consider these costume ideas that just SCREAM your love of all things water!

(Need more ideas? Check out the 2009 post Halloween Costumes for the Water Obsessed and 2010 Version: Halloween Costumes for the Water Obsessed)


Water Molecule Costume: Better than the sum of its particles! Plus, even the most atrocious dancers can wear this costume and defend their less-than-smooth moves by declaring, “Wooo Hooo, I am boiling now!” (Original source here)

water molecule halloween costume

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Promoting plain language in public toilets

dual flush public toiletWhen engineers and technical writers tackle instructions for public toilets, someone may have to step up and provide some plain-language, every-man translations!

Up for pee, down for poop. Simple! Spotted in a highway rest stop, kudos to the anonymous, water-aware doo-gooder that added the simplified Sharpie version to the dual flush toilet instructions provided.

Note to technical types: if your toilet how-to needs a schematic drawing, the instructions likely need editing!

Note to everyone else: An easy mnemonic for these devices: remember to PUSH for number 2! And the handle as well!

sign graffiti on dual flush public toilet

empty cans after recycling paint at Johnson county kansas environmental facility

How to Safely Dispose of Paint: Johnson County Kansas does it right

Solvents, and pigments and paint, oh my! Ten years worth of old paints, stains, pesticides and other unspeakables had been gathering rust and dust in my basement and the time had come to deal with them. In my particular suburbia of Johnson County, Kansas, the question of what to do with my personal hazmat generates an increasingly rare answer: “We can help you with that!”

With an appointment residents can drop off a long list of bad stuff at a facility located in the the county’s oldest wastewater treatment plant. (Businesses and other non-residents must apply for the program.) My appointment was this past weekend, so I loaded up an embarrassing amount of half-full containers of nasty what-not and headed out!

entrance gate Johnson County kansas environmental hazmat disposal facility

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Sustainable Curiosities and Novelties: Flushable Toilet Paper Tube

Aqua tube flushable toilet paper roll

Aqua Tube Toilet Paper Tube: photographed in grass because it's "green"

Consider the fate of the common Toilet Paper Tube: destined to be violently ripped and separated from its Toilet Paper child whom it has cradled and supported since the day of TP’s birth manufacture. While TP flushes merrily downstream headed for the rapture of sustainable biodegradation, the Mother Tube is forgotten, abandoned, tossed…then forced to travel alone, void of greenness, to a dark and desolate landfill populated by despised, low-life non-recyclables.

Well, no more. Because THIS Tube is flushable. THIS Tube shall not be left behind, but shall be safely flushed with its beloved TP, where they can biodegrade and return to our earth naturally. Together.

Many thanks to Constance Ward at Thought Leader Zone, who found this Sustainable Curiosity in her Marseille, France lodgings while attending World Water Forum 6. Somehow she knew we’d like it!

Note: This item has not been deemed flushable by Pat and Dan. Also, since we Don’t Flush the Baby Wipes, should we flush the tubes?

Sustainable Curiosities and Novelties: In which we present the oddball, assorted knick-knacks, inventions and ideas for more sustainable Earth occupation by humankind. Or something like that. Submissions welcome, contact the Thirsty in Suburbia “Curator” here.

An Eye-Pooping Infographic on Water and Sanitation Challenges

The poo poo problem continues unabated, and here’s a genuinely crappy infographic for all you visual learners out there! I’ll bet this was the assignment of a lifetime for some lucky graphic designer, and a review of the associated facts won’t hurt the rest of us either.

This fab graphic was submitted by Tony Shin and comes hardwired to some SEO scheme related to online nursing programs, but never mind, I still love it and consider it a fair trade to share such an awesome, informative graphic! Enjoy, but first let me highlight some personal favorite details:

microbes water and sanitation

We're wastewater BFFs! Despite their deadly nature and bad attitude, these fellows still look pretty cute!

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Water obsession support group forming now!

face in the water by bitterjug on flickrWater, water everywhere… consuming your thoughts and dreams, driving your actions and decisions. Dictating your choice of friends, how you spend your time, your money, your goodwill. You have water on the brain, and you may have gone off the deep end, figuratively speaking. You, yes YOU, may be obsessed with water!

Over at ValleyCresttakeson.com (the blog and news arm of Valley Crest Landscape Companies) writer Martha Golea serves up the amusing article, Are You Obsessed with Water Management? After reading Martha’s post I can safely say, “We’ll be right at home in this newly-proposed water-crazies group!” In fact, Martha, in this this high-stakes water obsession game we at ThirstyInSuburbia will call your obsession and raise you one! Read more

h2o mp3: O Christmas Grease

O Christmas Grease mp3 by Steve AndersonHappy Holidays! And to celebrate the season, a gift for you: an all-new h2o mp3 from Steve Anderson, the water world’s funniest singer-songwriter and an advocate for free-flowing pipes and sewers everywhere!

In his newest original wastewater hit O Christmas Grease we are reminded that the FOG is rolling in this holiday season, and that there’s a right and wrong method to dispose of the nasty by-products of high-fat Christmas cookery. Read more