Many appliances are getting an environmentally-friendly makeover and the toilet is no exception. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder recently developed a solar-powered toilet. The toilet is equipped with parabolic mirrors, a quartz-glass rod, and fiber-optic cables that heat to over 315 degrees Celsius and turns human waste into biochar (a multi-purpose charcoal). This toilet is more than a cool idea; it prevents children from dying of exposure to pathogens from human waste.
Pregnant women can buy maternity clothes so why not a maternity toilet? Chinese designers created the Corolla toilet as a comfortable solution for pregnant women. It’s higher off the ground and tilted forward, so pregnant women don’t have to deal with awkward bending movements. It’s also cushioned with a foot-massaging stool. It won a prestigious design award, but it will be interesting to see if and when this toilet design goes mainstream.
In the modern world, anything can be art and toilets are no exception. Would you use a toilet with fish swimming inside the tank? How about a toilet shaped like a guitar or a toilet in the form of an open mouth daring you to use it? These toilet designs and more are available throughout the world.
If you’ve traveled to Asia, you may have come across a technologically-savvy toilet. By pushing a button on the side of the bowl, you can access a jet of water to wash your behind. Some toilet seats will even massage and dry you!
Some boats are not equipped with a working toilet. If you’re out on the water, it can be difficult to come to shore and find a restroom. Fortunately, portable toilets set up at Halong Bay, Vietnam, allow you to park your boat in front and do your business.
Privacy is important when you wish to use the restroom, but what if the appearance of privacy is missing? In 2003, designers exhibited an artistic see-through toilet in front of the Tate Britain Museum in London. The trick of the toilet was two-way mirrors, so the person inside could see out, but no one could see in. Would you use this toilet?
Cool Portable Toilets
Portable toilets have a bad reputation, but they don’t have to be terrible. Many people decorate their portable toilets or give them a fancy look for wedding parties. One design company presented portable toilets with countdown timers on the outside of the door, counting how long you were inside!
Traveling to countries in Asia and elsewhere will expose you to the infamous squat toilet. Some believe that squat toilets present a healthier option, because they allow for a more natural position for waste evacuation. Squat toilet supporters also tout this toilet as a way to prevent certain health problems, particularly hemorrhoids. However, others defend the more comfortable position of the sitting toilet and say that it rarely causes problems.
A modern marvel, dual-flush toilets conserve water by giving you the choice of how much water to flush. You can choose between a light flush for liquids and a complete flush for solid waste.
Floating Island Toilets
In Canada, it’s easy to find a working toilet. However, you might struggle to locate a restroom if you live on a remote island. On the floating Uros Islands near Peru, the people use Lake Titicaca as a bathroom and a water source, which is dangerous to the people’s health. So, armed with buckets and wood, American engineers volunteered to design bio-filter toilet systems for the island residents.
Calling a toilet a “porcelain throne” makes it sound fancier than perhaps it deserves, but can you imagine going to the bathroom on a 24-carat solid gold toilet? This toilet is on display at the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group in Hong Kong. The company plans on selling its other gold bathroom fixtures, but vows to keep the toilet intact.
Arguably the most expensive toilet you can buy for your home is the Neorest 600, a tankless, one-piece fixture. It lifts its lid as you approach, cleanses and air-dries your bottom, and even deodorizes the air. Sounds like a toilet of the future!
Next time you go to the bathroom, be grateful for the toilet you’ve got! It may not be a smart toilet or a golden throne, but it can serve you well for years if you take good care of it.