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Sierra Daily

Aug 09, 2012

The Kardashians and Me

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Anyone familiar with my wardrobe will assure you that as far as Keeping Up With the Kardashians goes, I do not. Until now! A press release from TOTO Global Group--famous for their line of super low-flow toilets--informs us that

its stylish, technologically advanced plumbing fixtures are featured this season on The Kardashians trend-setting reality series. A storyline follows style maven Kourtney Kardashian as she selects TOTO products to make a sophisticated, contemporary design statement in her bath spaces.

Hey, me too! In fact, it would not be too much of a stretch to say that in this instance, Kourtney Kardashian is laboring to keep up with me, because I bought my TOTO toilet some years ago. It was not, I admit, in the interest of making a sophisticated, contemporary design statement so much as being a tightwad:

I recently replaced an old toilet with a new, low-flush model. Other things being equal, the payback time in my area is 12.5 years--long enough to convince many folks to suffice with a couple of bricks in the tank. To make the upgrade worth my while, my utility kicked in a $150 rebate, reducing the payback period to a very reasonable six years. After that I'm making money, not to mention cutting my water use by about 15 percent. The water savings, of course, start immediately, which is why my utility in drought-stricken California is willing to write me a check for a change.

Whether for cheapness or style, with three quarters of the United States now in a drought and the world using 3.5 times the available groundwater resources, we'd all better be keeping up with Kourtney soon.

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PAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdated Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress. Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber

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