Holidays in Japan mean not only beautiful architecture and wonderful food. You can also see how the Japanese protect the environment, especially how they save water.
For sure, you can safely drink tap water there. I did it and I live. Such water is also served at the restaurants.
But the most interesting are technologies. The leading company as far as creating new solutions is TOTO. (click the photos to enlarge)
With the ecquipment of this company you can furnish the whole bathroom. Especially interesting are fully mechanized toilets, which wash, dry, heat your bottom, flush themselves, lift and drop the cover and welcome you. Hard to say what else. The cost of such a loo is an equivalent of a car.
Out of pure interest we visited Toto’s Showroom, where we saw astonishing bathrooms and a whole collection of toilets. What’s interesting, there are no limits for the Japanese. A proper Japanese bathroom with all necessary functions can be organised on even the smallest Tokyo space, and the flats in Tokyo or Kyoto can be really small.
A Japanese bathroom are actually two rooms. One includes cupboards, a washbasin, a washing mashine etc. The second is a proper bathing room, which is a one big shower. A bathtub also stands in there. After thoroughly washing yourself under the shower we soak in hot water in the bathtub. The second step is not obligatory of course, but the idea is that the bathtub is used for relaxing not for dissolving dirt.
Here is a classic bathroom from Toto showroom. Interestic objects are a stool on which you sit and soap and scrub (there’s a brush) yourself with most attention. There are also special slippers – only for the bathroom. You can easily see that you can splash water all around.
As far as saving water, Toto offers different solutions. They seem to be obvious, but I really appreciate that the company fully approaches this issue. According to the data from the Toto brochure as much as 28% of water used at home is the water flushed in the toilet. Many flushes which we have are old which means that hectolitres of water flow through them. Totally unnecessarily. It’s a waste of water and money. Does our little pee really need 9 litres of water?
In this picture you can see that a solution is a special tank, but of course you do not have to spend enormous amounts of money. If in the future you will replace your toilet it is worth or even necessary to take into consideration purchasing a modern and economic one, but what to do now? You can make the capacity of the tank smaller. Mine is filled with empty jars. It minimises filling. But there is also a very nice British solution. It’s cheap and I’m thinking about buying it for myself. It’s a Toilet Hippo.
Hippo is a container made of plastic in the shape of a box, which we put inside the tank. Filled with water, a small part of which is replaced regularly (so that the water doesn’t go foul) saves from 1 to 3 litres EACH TIME you flush. The package includes 10 Hippos, costs 23,88 pounds and you can give it to your nearest and dearest. Shopping with a card or Paypal can be done here:
Americans have also recently came up with a similar idea. But it’s unreasonably more expensive than the Hippo.
You can save water in another interesting way, especially if the toilet is in a different room.
Toilet in a Tokyo flat.
The water used for washing hands flows into the tank and is used to flush the toilet. Genius!
This toilet in a restaurant is slightly complicated. The water flows into a washbasin, but how to use it? The proper washbasin was nearby. Somebody messed something up. As far as the toilet itsself, we have here a modern version of a hole in the ground. This way is very comfortable. We use it facing the wall and no suprises await us, not a splash. Moreover, it is much more comfortable than using a traditional toilet the skier style.
Apart form toilet solutions, Toto offers products available everywhere such as water aerators and photocells in taps. There was also a special bathtub, which keeps water hot for a much longer time. Thanks to this solution, we don’t have to add water. It’s a great idea of the Japanese who love hot baths and for everyone who loves to seriously wrinkle in the bathtub.
I’m finishing wishing you great savings 🙂
P.S. Toto is available in Europe http://eu.toto.com
and US http://www.totousa.com