I recently attended a meeting at the Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in Vancouver, B.C. This centre showcases environmentally friendly building materials that builders and home owners can opt to invest in.
(Open to the public 10am – 6pm every day, the Centre says on its website that "during the 2010 Olympic Games, Light House is especially looking forward to welcoming international businesses and members of the media.)
We were given a tour of the facility, and I was spellbound by the unique offerings, such as flooring made from recycled tires, a "green" concept kitchen, and a library with information on sustainable products and services, including various samples.
However, for me, the highlight, the piece-de-resistance of this tour was arriving at a dual-flush, greywater "smart" toilet, with sink attached at the back. It lets a homeowner save 75% in water consumption over a regular toilet and sink!
The toilet shown here is from Australia's Caroma, and features one button for liquid waste, and a second button for solid waste (or as my children would say, for #1 and #2).
The tap and sink over the toilet tank starts to run and fills up the toilet tank, ready for the next flush. However, you can also wash your hands thoroughly from this little sink, while the tank is filling.
If your home has no bathroom on the main floor, it could it be relatively easy to convert a small, unused area - such as a closet - to a one-piece washroom. There is no need for a separate sink, saving valuable space.
Or perhaps you would like to increase the value of your home for sale, and want to add another toilet as a selling feature... this "smart toilet" could be the answer.