We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Sink Positive, Toilet Tank Lid Wash Basin

Water conservation takes an interesting turn! My friend Chuck Eglinton shared this with me today. I thought you might like to see it too.

With this gadget you can turn your toilet tank into a hand-washing basin. Flush and wash your hands at the same time. What a great water saving device!

Green Options has a great array of environmental options for the person committed to living a greener life, for walking more gently on the planet.

I think water is our greatest environmental issue, the one that's going to harm u, even kill us, the fastest. Don't get me wrong, I think climate change is important, but it will have a slower impact on us than a water shortage will.

One way to conserve water is to use it several times, and this device lets you do that. Sink Positive provides a list of several vendors for the product.

Comments

It's good to see options like this turn up. Remember, tho, it's cold water.

One fairly inexpensive thing I'm using ($35-40)is a Dual Flush valve in the toilets. Pull the handle oneway (up) and it does a 1/2 flush (or however much you set it for) and the other way does a full flush.

http://one2flush.com/ is the mfr. I got our 3 from a little oneline store whose owner is very active in graywater circles in Calif, at http://www.beingwater.com/.

Riley

Riley at May 17, 2010 6:29 PM

We saw one of these at a hotel in Japan back in '98. My wife and I both thought it was neat, but agreed that the average American would have mental blocks to it, just because it was part of the toilet.

Also, with my high efficiency dual flush toilet, the water only runs for about 10 seconds. Not really enough time to soap up and rinse. Add to that the inevitable soap and water spattering when some people wash, and you have another barrier to widespread adoption.
Overall, a great idea though.

Jeremy at May 18, 2010 12:22 PM

Riley, in some areas it's cold water, part of the year, and other times it's COLD water. :~>

Thanks for sharing the URL of the device you use. That's much more environmentally friendly than buying a new toilet.

-Kit

Kit Cassingham at May 18, 2010 2:09 PM

The discussion on Chuck's FaceBook page about it showed the kinds of mental blocks people face with that device. Their fears are based partially out of ignorance and fearing the worst, fears like the used toilet water will come up to wash your hands. No way, but logic doesn't work in that kind of situation.

This device won't work on our toilets because the flushing mechanism is on the top of the tank, but even newer water efficient toilets probably have too short a water flow to get the hands washed thoroughly.

I have wondered about the soap scum that will build up in the toilet tank and bowl, much like you see in the bathroom sink and tub. But, it's still a very interesting idea.

-Kit

Kit Cassingham at May 18, 2010 2:13 PM

Just an fyi on soap scum--it can build up in the bowl, but unless this is a different design than the ones I've seen discussed, it does not drain into the tank. A couple reasons are that, by definition, wash water is graywater and the components in toilet bowls aren't designed for, and do not meet any code requirements for graywater contact. Corrosion is one of the main concerns there, and valves plugging.

So the graywater from the sink is what's used to refill the bowl.

Another issue is the temperature with regard to hand sanitation. Hot water normally being recommended. It was pointed out hot water is helpful since it loosens oil and dirt, therefore washing away microbes. It does not kill germs at bearable temps.

Riley at May 27, 2010 1:55 PM

Riley,

Thanks for the lesson on the workings of the hand-sink-toilet-lid. What you say makes perfect sense, I just hadn't thought it through carefully.

You're right about the hot water issue. It's the soap and the movement of scrubbing your hands together that kills and removes germs. The Environmental Knuckle Dragger taught me that if you sing "Happy Birthday" while washing your hands you'll have scrubbed them long enough to kill the germs you are after. I relearned that during EMT classes. Water temperatures required to kill germs are higher than we can handle, and higher than is typically available at homes. There's also a time element required for hot water to work at germ management.

-Kit

Kit Cassingham at May 27, 2010 3:19 PM
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