This weeks Smörgåsbord was intended to be on clever waste-reducing solutions with a wink – curiously, they all seem to be related to bathroom visits. Whether this reflects a bias in my searching abilities or rather an unexplicable bathroom-love of the developers, I do not know.
Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta is the man behind the Park Spark Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts (I never knew there even was an American Cambridge!) in which dog poop is used to power an “eternal flame” monument. This shows how “going green” can be interpreted not only in terms of drastically changing the way we live or relying on scientists to develop better, renewable sources of energy, but also in terms of simply changing perspective and questioning the role and possibilities of technology, both old and new, in our lives. In a later stage, Mazzotta wants to involve the community to gather ideas as how to best use the flame – currently proposals range from a shadow-projection box or a popcorn stand to a teahouse. (image: Park Spark Project ; via Wired Science)
And while we’re at poop, do you also feel a sting of guilt when using more than 3 squares per sitting ever since Sheryl Crow proposed a ban on this anti-environmental behavior? Well, feel guilty no more, here is the White Goat from the Japanese company Oriental which converts used office paper to rolls of toilet paper! Every roll takes about 40 shredded A4 sheets and 30 minutes to make, saving an estimated 60 cedar trees annually. The machine went on sale last summer, but at $100 000 a piece I wonder how many they actually sold … . A video of the machine in action can be found here. (image and idea via Geekology)
Besides tons of toilet paper, bathroom visitors also use liters of water washing their hands afterwards. Now, we wouldn’t want to be responsible for a decline in hygiene by putting a ban on handwashing, but to encourage people to think about how much water they actually use Yan Li, a Chinese designer/engineer, has devised this Poor Little Fish basin. While using, the level of water in the bowl gradually falls, threatening the fish with untimely death; it will go back to the original level once the water stops running. Of course, the water doesn’t really come out of the fishbowl and the fish is never in any real danger – I fear otherwise some people would actually want to kill the little swimmer. (image and idea via Geekology)
Another clever solution for reduction of water consumption during toilet visits is this award-winning two-in-one sink and urinal designed by South Korean Yeongwoo Kim (anybody else feeling an Asian constant through these stories?). The Eco Urinal is designed to use the water that was used for washing hands to flush the urine. Thus 1) the water is used twice, reducing overall consumption, 2) less space is needed, and 3) people are encouraged to “keep their sanitation”. I actually wonder which of these will be the prime reason for success. (Image and idea via Geekology)
NOTE: If you are reading this on the day it was posted, shame on you! Today is Offlining day, which invites people to switch off and enjoy a day offline (more info at the link). In my defense all I can say is I thought it was tomorrow… I must have confused with Talk like a Pirate-day…