When we were little ones growing up in drought prone California there was a hippy saying when hitting the loo, "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." We still adhere to that motto, because really all of planet earth is drought prone -- water is one of our most valuable resources that we take for granted. Many toilet, sink, and shower head companies have worked hard to create modern plumbing that cleans but doesn't waste. During a recent trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium we were inspired by the water conservation efforts in their public restrooms and wondered if this idea would eventually make it into homes.
The women's restrooms featured toilets whose flushing lever did different things depending on which way you flushed. Pull up on the green lever and a fraction of water and water power was used to discard of urine, push the lever down and the appropriate, and larger, amount was used to get rid of the solid stuff. It's such a simple, yet important design element to an appliance that really hasn't had much innovation since it's invention.