Negawatts From the Men's Room


See the bee? Aim the pee. Photo Sfegette via flickr.
Chasing negawatts, the energy that you don't use, is a popular pursuit these days for cash-strapped states, and California is turning out to be excellent at it. Negawatts (a term Amory Lovins came up with) can offer a lot more bang for the buck, so to speak, then building new power. And asSteve Fleischli at HuffingtonPost reports, when faced with choosing a $550 million salination plant that would require lots of water and lots of power but produce fresh water, or a Coastal Restoration $187 million project to swap out 455,000 existing urinals for waterless alternatives and save water and generate negawatts, California's choice would seem to be, well, clear.

Waterless urinals win

Waterless urinals are nothing new, but they are starting to get more attention in the mainstream as a way to save lots of water (20 to 45,000 gallons per year) and in California's case, perhaps indirectly save energy, too. In Los Angeles, waterless urinals have just been approved for all buildings. Naval Base San Diego saved 14 million gallons of water, in part by installing waterless urinals.

Innovation in the waterless urinal space

Waterless urinals have evolved beyond early complaints that they were smelly. They won't win over some men who seem to be fond both of aiming their pee stream into water and hearing the satisfying flush at the end. Waterless Inc., one of the biggest waterless urinal companies, now includes a fly decal above the drain holes, perhaps giving the guys something to aim at -- and thus helping to avoid errant drips and drops. The flies (or bees) can purportedly help keep public restrooms a lot cleaner.

Wateless has also debuted the soybean waterless urinal, which uses 30% of a soybean resin -- "a renewable resource" according to the company -- instead of fossil-fuel based oils for the plastic of the urinal.

Read more about waterless urinals at TreeHugger:

Pee Green: Waterless Urinals Saving 22,000 Tons of Water a Year at Nankai Electric Railway
Eco-friendly Urinals at Expo Zaragoza Use No Water, No Chemicals, No Energy
Five Green Nightclubs Where You Can Party the Night Away

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