Aqus for the Rest of Us

Posted on July 19, 2007 Under Design

Confronted with evidence of global warming, undeniable environmental degradation, and calls to action, I think many of us are left are left wondering what we can do today to help reduce waste and negative impact in the environment. Particularly inside the home, I think it can be a bit difficult to make Earth-friendly changes, especially for us renters. Sure, there are a number of things we can do (think low-flow shower heads, moderate use of heat & AC, “green” cleaning supplies, long-life light bulbs, and so on) but some DIY projects are just too far out there (such as installing solar power) for all but the crunchiest of landlords. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to take advantage of my pad’s Southern exposure and rig up a vast array of solar panels on the roof, but I really doubt I could sell the nice folks who own my building to go for it. But today I stumbled across a solution that’s both DIY and well within the realm of possibility. The Aqus Toilet System reuses grey (i.e. used) water from the sink by routing it into the toilet tank, thus potentially saving thousands of gallons of water each year. The system seems to have a few drawbacks: for starters, it’s only truly compatible with vanity sinks and it may or may not produce enough water to flush the toilet each time (depending on your flushing habits). Then again, if you’re a borderline OCD hand-washer like myself, I think you’ll be fine. On the plus side, the system only costs about three hundred dollars and can be installed in a few hours. Almost the entire contraption resides under the sink hidden within the cabinet, and seems to me like something most landlords could swallow. Of course, then there’s the whole “saving the planet” thing. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, maybe we can spend a few minutes to come up with a term to replace “grey water.” How about water that has been “gently used?”