Monday, July 6, 2009

Geekily Eco Toilets

Here is a toilet recently featured on EcoGeek. {Once again, a stellar submission from Agent Double-L.} The idea here is that, after using the loo, you wash your hands in this little basin that sits on the back of your toilet. The water helps refill the tank for the next time you go to flush.

This is not, as many people will be quick to point out, an exactly new idea. Toilets like these have been common in Japan for many years now, because of the way they save space. I've never been to Japan, but we had a very small bathroom in an old house I grew up in in New England, where the sink was basically in your lap. An arrangement like this might have been useful. (More on Japanese toilets later.)

This site sells attachments that you can affix to your own toilet, without having to replace the entire apparatus.

But I still say that, even though I like the idea of saving water and reusing and all that, I feel awkward about a) straddling the toilet seat to wash my hands, and b) washing my hands in the same place where I just relieved myself. Even though I know that, technically, the water is clean, still my inner sense of hygiene calls for some, if nominal, degree of separation.

There could be other ways to use grey water for toilet flushes, however, such as collecting rain water, or shower water. Rainwater might have worked well for my friends in Boston, although, I could understand if they weren't feeling particularly like they wanted to save water right now, after being saturated for the entire month of June. Let's hope they see some summer weather in July.

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