Live Green Indoors

Your Bathroom

As residents of the capital region, the actions we take every day can impact the environment - fromunflushable the water supply source to our wastewater quality entering septic systems and sanitary sewer systems. We each play an important role in conserving water indoors, knowing what not to flush, and preventing pollution. There are many ways to Live Green in your home.

Together we can Live Green and build a vibrant, livable, and sustainable region.

Consider the following actions to take around your home:

1. Water Conservation

The bathroom accounts for 65% of your household water use, with showers using the second highest amount of water out of any item in your home. You can save water by reducing you shower time; try to strive for five-minute showers to reduce up to 10,000 litres of water per year!

There are other steps you can take to conserve water in the bathroom and help protect our water supply source. Turning the faucet off while you are lathering soap, brushing your teeth or shaving are part of living green.

Checking for water leaks regularly is also an important step for changing your water saving habits. Water leaks can account for 14% of indoor water use due to leaky toilets, faucets, and showerheads. Simple and inexpensive repairs can prevent our drinking water from being wasted. Repair any leaky fixtures and check your toilet at least once a year for undetected leaks.

Choose high-efficiency fixtures for your bathroom! Increasing the efficiency of your home will save water, energy and money. Replace outdated, inefficient water fixtures in your bathroom with a high-efficiency model.

For additional resources, visit:

2. Know what not to flush

Living green indoors helps protect the health of the environment, including waterbodies and aquatic life. Practicing source control by knowing what not to flush is crucial to preventing sanitary sewer system blockages, since unflushable waste causes costly blockages. Unflushable waste is any kind of waste that is flushed down the toilet but shouldn’t be.

It's a toilet, not a trash can!

Keep baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, and other similar products that are often labeled as "flushable" out of the toilet. These wipes accumulate in your household sewer pipes and form blockages, which cause sewer backups. Dispose of wipes in the garbage and remember the flushable Three Ps: Pee, Poo and toilet Paper.

Unflushable waste also includes medication. Did you know that if you flush medication, it can end up in the ocean? Think Live Green and return your medication to a local pharmacy to protect the environment from contamination.

Additional source control resources can be found here:

3. Protect your septic system

Septic systems are common in the capital region and they function as an important wastewater treatment option for homeowners. If your system is working properly, it is an environmentally friendly and economically sound treatment option. If it's not working properly, it can cause environmental issues and health issues in our community.

Live Green Indoors by protecting your septic system in the bathroom!

Your septic system is designed to handle human waste and toilet paper only. All other household products, detergents, chemicals and personal care products can negatively impact the system.

Pay attention to what goes down the drain with these tips:

  • Every drop counts! Practicing water conservation helps prevent your septic system from overloading, helping solids settle in the tank.
  • Clean green. Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products to protect the beneficial bacteria in your septic system.
  • Remember the unflushables! Do not flush diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, dental floss, and other clogging items.

For more information on residential septic systems, review the following video resources:

4. Reduce bathroom waste by recycling

When we recycle the products we use in the bathroom, we are taking a responsible approach and supporting a system where these materials can be used over and over again. Each item you recycle helps divert waste from the landfill, helping to extend the lifespan of Hartland Landfill Facility for use by future generations.

As a resident of the capital region, find out if your items are accepted in the Blue Box program, visit a Recycle BC depot, or bring your recyclables to the Hartland Depot.


Live Green in Your Yard & Garden

Your Yard & Garden


Last year our region saw record rainfall events and climate projections indicate this trend will continue. During the autumn and winter rainy season, there are things you can do around your property to capture, slow and store rainwater to minimize the peak flows and reduce flooding in our neighbourhoods.

Historically, stormdrain systems were designed to move water off the land as quickly as possible. But this can be like turning a fire hose on our local creeks and streams, devastating fish habitat. 

Now we know that it's important to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground to help protect aquatic habitat, filter pollutants and capture and store rainwater. Municipalities have been installing Green Stormwater Infrastructure around the region to help solve this issue but there are things the property owner can do as well.

This fall and winter, take action to manage your rainwater.

Consider the following solutions to capture, slow and store rainwater with these top four tips:

1. Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is simply the collection and storage of rainwater. Collecting rain from your downspouts to use on your lawn and garden helps to slow stormwater runoff, a rising issue in our region as we face climate change and increased rainfall.

Rainwater harvesting can also reduce your water consumption if planned accordingly and enough water is stored to water your garden during the dry summer months. 


2. Build a Rain Garden

Rain Gardens are landscape features designed to capture stormwater runoff from hard surface areas such as roofs, roads and parking lots. They consist of sunken garden spaces where runoff can pond and infiltrate into deep constructed soils and then into the native soils below. They need to be designed and installed carefully, however they are an effective option to manage our rain water.


3. Plant Native Trees and Shrubs

Native species of plants have thrived in our region for millennia and have evolved with native insects, birds and mammals to support each other. They are also water-wise and require little watering once established in the right spot. Native trees and shrubs can help us to manage our rain water by absorbing and storing rain where it falls in our yards. Creating an absorbent landscape around your property is one of the best things you can do to reduce and prevent flooding as we face a changing climate, with increased rainfall.  

4. Go Pervious! Reduce paved areas

As we build our communities, native vegetation is removed to create roads, driveways, and buildings. These hard surfaces are impervious and rain can not absorb. This creates stormwater runoff and can cause flooding, erosion, pollution and habitat degradation in our creeks, streams and shorelines.

Take action by choosing pervious paving options such as brick, grass or gravel to allow the rain to naturally absorb where it falls and reduce hardscaped areas, where possible.

Live Green Indoors Resources:

Are you curious about how much water you use? Interesting in learning about how you can conserve water? The quick and easy water calculator shows you which water uses in your home are efficient and which are not!

Visit the Water Calculator here:
Information Sheets: