Topics that deal with environmental issues have been rampant these past few years as people become more aware of their surroundings. Global warming, in particular, is a concern that is shared all over the world. As environmental awareness heightens, people are more conscious of conserving our resources such as water. As expected, Japan is at the forefront when it comes to inventions that deal with water conservation. In fact, the toilet-sink combo, one of the most widely used Japanese inventions, is starting to be adopted by other countries.
The Japanese toilet-sink combo has been around since 1956. At first, the invention was just marketed as a space-saving tool since houses and apartments in Japan tend to be smaller. Having a spacious bathroom with a separate toilet and sink was considered a luxury. The water used to flush down the toilet was just an added bonus, which is now considered a great way to conserve water.
The way it works is that when you wash your hands in the combo’s sink, the water you use is collected into a tank called the cistern, and that water, in turn, is used to flush the toilet.
Original designs of the toilet-sink combo were, of course, pretty simple. It was just a regular toilet equipped with a sink on top of its tank. However, recent models have the newer Japanese toilets with buttons on the side that perform certain tasks such as play music, warm the toilet seat, control the bidet, etc.
More recent models also have a dual-flush technology wherein the amount of water used to flush is regulated so you would not have to waste a lot of water for something minor. You just have to press down the right button depending on how much water you need to flush.
Another recent innovation is the urinal-sink combo – urinals with sinks on top. It does not only conserve water but also encourages hand washing. Since the sink is already in front of the user, there is no excuse not to wash their hands after doing their business in the restroom.
Frankly, I think the toilet-sink combination is a genius idea and I applaud Japan for thinking of it first. To recap, here are three reasons why I think every country should adopt this innovation:
- It saves space. This would not mean much if you have a large house but for urban dwellers, especially those who live in apartments, space could be an issue and anything dual-purpose is more than welcome.
- It conserves water. We all need water and I cannot emphasize enough that we need to save and conserve water because it is not an infinite resource. The toilet-sink combo is a great way to contribute to the environment while maintaining proper hygiene.
- Speaking of hygiene, this brings us to my third reason – it keeps your hands clean. It should be common practice to wash your hands every time you use the toilet but some people tend to forget or get lazy. With the toilet-sink and urinal-sink combos, you have no excuse for not washing your hands.
I am very much looking forward to the day when the toilet-sink does not only serve as a novelty but as a commonplace item all over the world. How about you? What do you think of this Japanese innovation?