5 Wacko Ways to Save Water In (and Out of) the Loo

Green gadgets and gizmos continue to march into our bathrooms and into our business. Some are high-concept, while some are low-tech, like the “family cloth” that replaces toilet paper.

We don’t know if turning old T-shirts into TP is a good idea, but it’s good for a laugh.

If you want a few more chuckles (and maybe a touch of inspiration), take a loo–k at these five funny, innovative, Earth-friendly products.

#1: Moss bath mat

Who doesn’t like the feel of cool moss under their feet? The Moss Carpet, a bath mat made of living, breathing, green goodness, is sure to make your toes wiggle with joy.

Since moss thrives on humidity, water, and shade, what better home for it than your bathroom? Made of a decay-free foam tray that holds three kinds and colors of moss–island, ball, and forest—this mat will definitely make a statement in your bathroom.

Pro: The edges are shaped like a wave so you can fit several mats together, kind of like a puzzle, to creep all over the floor.

Con: At $115 per mat, going large could get pricey.

#2: SinkPositive

Check out this toilet-sink mutation, the SinkPositive, that lets you flush and wash your hands at the same time.

Each time you flush, fresh water from the tank is directed to the sink faucet for hand-washing, then flows back into the bowl for … well, you know what it’s for.

Not only does SinkPositive save you time walking from throne to sink (hey, seconds add up), it saves space in cramped quarters, and it saves two gallons of hand-washing water per person, per day, says manufacturer Environmental Designworks, based in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Pro: Kids remember to wash their hands when water automatically flows from the faucet.

Con: Kids won’t leave the bathroom because they’re playing in toilet-sink water that automatically flows from the faucet.

#3: Swash Bidet Toilet Seat

While your mind is in the toilet, take a look at the Swash Bidet Toilet Seat, which gives you that springtime fresh feeling every time you use the bathroom.

Although Europeans swear by bidets, Americans have been slow to embrace the WC fixture. The Swash 100 ($179), by Brondell, tries to change that mindset with its E.T.-like wand that extends from the rim to spray-clean your unmentionables.

The deluxe model ($600) throws in a heated seat, air dryer, automatic deodorizer and massage feature.

Pro: Turns your WC into a mini-spa.

Con: Cancel date night–you’re otherwise engaged.

#4: Low-tech TP

Family cloth wipes replace toilet paper with leftover or worn out fabric.

Family cloth devotees say old T-shirts are best — soft and inexpensive. When you’re finished wiping, toss the cloth into a diaper pail or box. Launder with other hot-water objects, like towels.

Family cloth pros:

  • Saves up to $120/year on toilet paper
  • No telltale toilet paper bits left behind
  • Softer than eco-friendly TP
  • Saves trees

Family cloth cons:

  • Smelly
  • Time-consuming

#5: Water ButtButt

Okay, so technically this isn’t in the bathroom, but we couldn’t resist since we’re talking about butts and water, after all.

It is the brainchild of British designer Wayne Hemingway, who created a rain barrel worthy of a Playboy mention. Called the Water ButtButt (the British call rain barrels “water butts,” BTW), it was produced in three skin tones and held 215 litres of roof or rain water.

Alas, the Water ButtBut was a limited edition, which has sold out. Here’s hoping Hemingway will produce a second series–perhaps the Water BoobBoob?

Pro: It tickles your funny bone.

Con: Your neighbors may not appreciate your humor.

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