Bathroom designs with an eco-friendly slant aren’t new, as this stand at the 2012 IDEO BAIN exhibition in Paris shows. The items exhibited showed ways of saving and recycling water as well as natural water filtration. The green plants added an obvious ‘green’ touch to the stand emphasising their ‘green waters’ theme.
Part of the design was a composting toilet. You’ll have come across composting toilets on caravan sites and at parks or where residences have no access to sewage systems. They use little or no water and waste is helped to decompose quickly using an aerobic composter such as sawdust. Although developments in composting toilets have improved, you may not feel this is the ‘green’ way forward for you.
You may be more enthusiastic to look at a grey water recycling toilet. There have been several developments in this area in recent years where the toilet is flushed using recycled water from the sink or shower.
No need to be that drastic
Designers and manufacturers are aware of the trends and also the need to save water. Most modern toilets offer a full or half flush option to aid water saving which definitely goes some way to help.
The full flush uses about 6-7 litres while the half flush uses around 3 litres. Old fashion cisterns which many homes still have use an amazing 13 litres on average per flush. With most toilets being flushed as many as 5,000 times a year this means a lot of water is simply flushed down the drain.
Water – a precious commodity
Why is saving water so important you might ask? I know it doesn’t seem possible but the planet doesn’t have limitless supplies of water. We know how hard it is to grasp this fact with the flooding earlier in the year and flooding in many other parts of the world.
We know we’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating just in case you missed it! Apparently the amount of natural water available to use (3%) has not increased since time began. It is a finite amount which most of us use without thought. The remainder of the water on earth is either frozen or salt water; the latter accounts for an amazing 97%.
Without safe, clean water we risk disease and death. In fact in the western world we are very lucky as many parts of the world don’t have this luxury still. Right now we are using water faster than it can be replaced naturally. The less water we use, the more there will be for future generations — and the less energy will be needed to process it.
How can you help?
Well if you are feeling very ‘green’, think about a composting ‘grey water toilet. These are the ones which use the water from a basin to flush the toilet –
We told you last week about the combination basin/WCs that are intended to save water by flushing the toilet using ‘grey water’ from the basin. There are many of these concepts around now, but there is yet to be one that has made a real impact on the market.
But if you don’t want to go that far, why not replace your old toilet with a modern one with a dual flush. Alternatively use a ‘save-a-flush’ or a Cistern Displacement Device in your cistern which saves somewhere between 1 and 3 litres every flush.