Save 200 billion gallons with a waterless urinal!

A Wired News article describes new waterless urinal technology. No, it doesn’t stink! Really! Even Wal-Mart is using it now, in their evironmentally friendly green test store in McKinney, Texas.

And you can save 200 billion gallons of water! That’s right, 200 billion gallons!

Okay, so maybe you can’t save the 200 billion gallons of water all by yourself. But still.

If the thought evokes images — or aromas — of an outhouse, think again. Waterless urinals are so sleek and efficient that two models won the 2006 Award for Design Excellence platinum award. And in a nod to the 40,000 gallons of water they save annually, the U.S. Green Building Council advocates their use in new construction.

That support has been a boon to the industry, says Randy Goble, director of marketing communications at Falcon WaterFree Technologies of Grand Rapids, Michigan. And he estimates 50 million more flush urinals are ripe for replacement.

“If we could convert just 10 percent of those to waterless, over 200 billion gallons of water would be saved each year,” Goble said.

Maybe if we all peed in the backyard twice a day instead of using the toilet, that would save a few billion gallons too. Pardon me while I step outside to save the world.

A New Kind of Coffee Cup


MicroGreen Polymers is a new company that comes from the heart of coffee-landia, Seattle, Washington. Also known as Starbuck-landia. They are working on a coffee cup that uses recycled plastic instead of Styrofoam. The cups seem to hold in the heat and may help reduce contamination from Styrofoam. Read more here.

Rock Stars, Global Warming and the Uncertainty Principle

Global warming? HUH! What is it good for, absolutely nothing! Say it again! Global warming, Qu’est que c’est? Fafafafa, fafafa….run run run away!!! Uncertain about global warming? Certainly! Well, it’s only natural. A natural kind of…woman…That’s some pretty rough political justice. Ok, you’re probably confused. That’s the idea. Uncertainty. The uncertainty of climate and climate science. It’s a tricky bizness. That’s why you should check out this link about the certainty of uncertainty. Certainly!

Alternative Fuel Sources Discussed: An Interview with Professor John Katers


EarthToys emagazine recently published an interview with professor John Katers about alternative fuels. Katers has a doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Marquette University, a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Business Administration both from University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB). In this interview, Dr. Katers discusses wood and switch grass as alternative fuel sources, in addition to his work teaching about alternative energy at UWGB.

US Postal Service uses two new alternative energy power plants, but what is the payback time?

The USPS is using two “hybrid alternative power plants” in California that, implemented with some efficiency increases, will reduce power and heating purchases by about 50 percent at two of the largest postal facilities in California.

Conspicuously absent from the press release (link is to a PDF file) is how much money they spent to build the power plants, and how long the payback time will be to pay for their construction costs. Will it take 1 year, 5 years, 20 years, 50 years to pay for the cost of the plant with the energy savings? Who knows!

It does say that it will save millions of dollars over the life of the project though, so I guess that means that it does pay for itself.

Interestingly, I also didn’t realize that the US Postal Service is “one of the largest owners of solar electric technologies in the country.”