‘Finishing Touches.’ The touch-free future of our Public Toilets & Restrooms.

‘We want to make an impact on human wellbeing, by changing the definition of a toilet break. ‘ OneHundredRestrooms

How easy is it to lose touch? As demand for touchless products increases, could bathrooms be entirely touchfree and perhaps, more importantly since coronavirus could we see more TouchFree Public Toilets, office buildings and common public areas. This week we’ll take a brief look at everything from the more familiar touchfree moments, such as ‘automatic doors, taps, soap dispensers and hand dryers’ to the less imaginable ‘totally touchfree toilets’ featuring lids that open and close automatically, automated washing and drying functions, self-flushing and cleaning.

Public Inconvenience. A public inconvenience has recently been experienced, spotlighted and amplified by the closures of numerous public toilets following the outbreak of coronavirus. We touched on this in our article, ‘Beauty Spots’ where to go when there’s nowhere to go? ‘ on June 4th. Press and media reports on the subject caused much debate as closures headlined around the world. To distinguish, when we talk about ‘Public Toilets‘ we refer to old and new stand-alone ‘wash+WCs’ in parks or on street corners, which are by far the most challenging to manage and improve. The others, which we’ll refer to as ‘Toilets for the Public,’ are the ‘restrooms‘ that sit within shopping malls, airports (public transport hubs) and similar private/public spaces, petrol stations, restaurants, bars, hotels and offices. The majority of which are ordinarily far better managed by nature of their locations, constant checking, attendants, higher quality fixtures and fittings, hygiene and cleanliness, and the all-important key to their overall success… funding, or clever funding models.

Why do Public Toilets Matter? There’s reams of government information about the provision and accessibility of public toilets and the importance to us all as a society. Issues they addresses include; public health, older and/or disabled people, women, families with young children and tourists, hygiene, cleanliness, safety, privacy and of course funding. There’s equally as much written about the failures of public toilets in addressing those issues and about the lack of accessibility or sufficient number. In our modern day society public toilets should be a well-respected service for the community, providing a clean and hygienic, safe and welcoming environment. If they are not treated as such by the public, nor supported, funded, maintained and well managed by politicians, local governments, architects and planners alike, then it impacts our society and society suffers, particularly women, children and the disabled. Perhaps rather altruistically, better public toilets could be a catalyst for change in public opinion and perception about their worth and necessity. To give some perspective, for 2 billion people (25% of the world population) public toilets, access to water and/or any basic sanitation doesn’t even exist.

‘Back to the Future.’ As ever, the more cutting-edge technology, innovation and design that’s introduced and succeeds, the greater the chance of its increased use and integration on a grander scale. We’ll get back to the wider subject of the outside ‘Public Toilets‘ in another post. This week we wanted to showcase a Dutch company that we’ve been keeping an eye on and their vision for the future, ‘OneHundredRestrooms‘. One strapline is, ‘We Create Moments for Better Wellbeing‘ and since they started back in 2017 ‘health & hygiene’ has been part of their DNA. As health and hygiene is increasingly more relevant to us all, their concept to disrupt with a difference is succeeding by contributing to improved hygiene, sustainability and innovation whilst creating publicity, awareness and acceptance of a change for good. These days, where everything can be connected and smart, toilets and bathrooms remain a very undervalued and untapped area. However, they potentially offer the perfect environment and place to take care of yourself. As more and more people look for ways to monitor their complete well-being, and do so continuously, in privacy and without having to change their daily routines. Not forgetting in light of the global pandemic there’s now a general health-driven purpose to getting insights into personal and public health conditions. As recent epidemiology and science studies of waste have highlighted by acting as an early warning sign for coronavirus outbreaks.

The Motivational Mirror

OneHundredRestrooms. The OneHundredRestrooms concept can transform your trip to the bathroom into a visit to a wellbeing hub that offers and introduces new intelligent toilet technologies. These can provide insights into our personal health during a moment when we pause and refresh. It’s not all high-tech as the touchless products with sensors can partner those adaptations that can be operated by avoiding the need to touch surfaces with our hands i.e. foot-switches, or using our elbows or wrists. OneHundredRestrooms provides an environment in which you can take care of yourself and grab a little ‘me time.’ The experience includes; Roca In-Wash® Inspira Smart Toilets. There’s a self-check area offers solutions to monitor health indicators like weight, blood pressure, length and body mass index, or perform a skin analysis. The restrooms are kept super clean by their ‘comfort crew’ and are spacious, relaxing, soundproofed and ‘non-touch.’ You can buy all of your ‘on the go’ essentials such as baby diapers, tissues, tampons, plasters or first aid kit from their vending wall. There’s a disabled room, family and nursery rooms and even a shower room. Before you leave you can stop at the ‘motivational mirror’ while washing your hands, then give feedback at the rating pad and suggest improvements or ideas. These wellbeing hubs provide a ‘5-minute wellbeing boost,’ a far cry from our usual perceptions of public restrooms. In the near future OneHundredRestrooms plan to have; medical toilets, skin analyses, drowsiness detection, alcohol checks and a whole lot more.  To quote OneHundredRestrooms COO Andy Donaghy, “Feeling safe about the hygiene of public spaces is more important than ever. After all, hygiene and health go hand in hand.”

Technology. Experience. Environment. Good technology creates a desirable experience and should encompass environmental impact as high priority. Toilet and bathroom technology need to be part of a good experience, and with the knowledge you’re helping the environment. Appreciably, for domestic bathrooms, not everyone can afford a high tech smart toilet. For example, if you look at an early game-changer like the Neorest® NX2 from Toto Japan, (approx. $17,000) it clearly illustrates the technological possibilities with, wait for it… a self-cleaning retractable pinpoint accurate ‘wand’ (washlet) to wash and dry your rear (bits and butts) and you are in control of the pressure and temperature. It actively fights bacteria, waste and limescale by spraying a ‘pre-mist’ into the toilet bowl using electrolysed water to prevent waste from accumulating. The toilet bowl itself is coated with a special zirconium coating, the hydrophilic properties of which ensures that waste and bacteria are effectively eliminated. To add to the self-cleaning process and the pre-mist, there’s and an integrated UV light that combines with the zirconium coating to trigger the decomposition process, making a toilet brush unnecessary. It also has a number of additional convenient features, such as a sensor-based toilet lid that opens and closes automatically, a heated seat and a deodoriser to absorb unpleasant smells. Plus, (in case you were wondering) a remote control – ‘with no place to hide it!’

Is the New Night Out a Night In? However, that’s not all that ‘Smart Toilets‘ can do for you. The Grohe Sensia Arena has a ventilator system in the toilet that shields and extracts odours, before processing them through a carbon filter. There’s a lot of innovation and ideas out there right now and Kohler’s Numi 2 adds to the previous list of accessories; high-quality built-in speakers and lighting features that can be paired with the speakers to create different ‘spa-like’ environments within a bathroom space. An Amazon Alexa is built into the product and provides voice control of Numi’s features as well as access to tens of thousands of skills. But, regarding add-ons that keep you glued to your seat? I thought you were meant to be on and off the toilet PDQ as it’s the healthiest option for your undercarriage. Unless, in view of future social distancing, those speakers and multi coloured lights are the closest you’re going to get to a wild night out in Berlin? The focus has to be on the real benefits to ourselves and our families. That includes being touch-free, aiding health, our wellbeing and use of environmentally friendly services to save water, recycle or offer sustainability. Touchless products with sensor technology are ideal for this scenario. They avoid us touching surfaces and can also reduce water consumption, bringing us back to the perfect marriage of technology, experience and environment.

Our Daily Routine, parts 1, 2 and 3. I guess we’ve all had that experience when we’ve found a restroom that had something, or some ‘gadget’ that we went on to tell our friends or family about (my Dutch wife loves the serenity of the restroom at Schiphol Airport where you hear the sound of the sea, I like the picture of a fly, strategically positioned in the urinals.) The main point here is that amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life OneHundredRestrooms‘ concept is a personal ‘experience’ and it’s got lots of genuinely useful ‘gadgets.’ It is incredibly convenient and provides a really easy way to get a health check, whilst going about your normal business (no.’s 1 and 2.) For just €1 you can get an entry ticket with multiple benefits, visitors get all of the aforementioned services and even free drinking water. As the retail ads say, ‘it’s value for money.’ If you can add all that together as a no.3 during your toilet break, and do so in an oasis of calm and relaxation, then… ‘what’s not to like?’ It’s definitely my next ‘go to’… when it’s time to go!

[Thank you to Marielle Romejin, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer OneHundredRestrooms for use of the photos and her kind help with providing us with information for the above article.] We’ll be back next week.

This ‘PoosFlash’ is about the ‘Goose Poop Machine’ that cleans up, err Goose Poop!

Here at ‘The Daily Poo!‘ we usually focus on news about toilets and no 2s for humanity, but once in a while some article pops up that simply has to be shared… here it is (and there’s a video o the link too!)

You may be astonished to hear, unless you’re a Canadian of course, that ‘just one goose can consume up to four pounds of grass per day and deposit about three pounds of faecal matter daily.’ So whilst the ‘fly past’ is a sight to behold, it’s a big problem if they take a break and land in your park, school playing field, or golf course for example. Tim Collins of Victoria News walks us through the poop and how the ‘Goose Poop Machine‘ is out in the fields tackling the problem.

The Latest News & Views on Loos & no. 2s from ‘The Daily Poo!’ + Valentines Day Gifts.

The TUSHY Ottoman | photo copyright TUSHY LLC

Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Daily Poo!‘ where we look at what’s going on in the world of loos & no. 2s, health issues, Valentine Gifts, challenges around the world, inventions, fascinating facts and quite a lot of silliness too. Let’s start with the perfect Valentine gift, as Feb 14th is fast approaching. There’s a company called ‘TUSHY‘ who have managed, amongst other things, to make a posh version of the ‘squattypottyTM’ and, although we have patents pending out there for an alternative – the TUSHY Ottoman may just be the most beautiful option for straightening your colons, or that of the one(s) you love… Added to which, their core product is, as their name suggests, an attachable bidet to wash your tush. Plus they have more eco-friendly and beautifully designed products in their range too, take a look at the website and discover them all! Another great gift idea is that amazing Poo-Pourri tried and tested by us here at ‘The Daily Poo!‘ for the home, small enough to carry around and it really works. Another of our favourites is the ‘Who Gives a Crap‘ toilet paper range, and ‘Aesop Post-Poo Drops.’ If you love someone then surely you must give a crap and all of the above could just show your true affections.

Meanwhile back to the news and views:

  1. Whilst we’re on the subject of ablutions – which we are every week 🙂 Men’sHealth explain why taking a poo is good for your mental health!
  2. Can’t do what you need to do in a public toilet? You’re not alone… Today looks at shy bowel and shy bladder.
  3. Where does all our poop go?… take NYC for example as Live Science explains…
  4. Let’s almost seamlessly transition from poop to coffee. Curious? Well this new coffee shop puts the crap into crappuccino. Fancy some Jacu Poo Brew?
  5. Ever wondered why husbands take so long to poop? Ashley Jones of Romper has ‘Experts Explain What They *Might* Be Doing.’

A few other fascinating articles, stay on track with our guide to the history of the toilet, how they work and more abstract news such as why talking about cow poop has become an art form… here they are:

  1. A great article on, ‘What the Earliest Toilets Say About How Human Civilisation Has Evolved.’ Latrines have been around for thousands of years. Though they haven’t exactly always been sanitary. Discover by Bridget Alex.
  2. At a certain time in the not too distant past, in Australia they had ‘dunnycarts‘ to take away poop, and in places like Norfolk in the UK, it was ‘honeycarts‘ as Keith Skipper explains for the Eastern Daily Press, ‘It was like the Deliveroo of its day, only in reverse. The takeway convenience of the honeycart.’
  3. From 2019 Chris Woodford runs through a few toilets on ExplainThatStuff, and illustrates how they work. Flush, Macerating, Vacuum & Composting.
  4. As the Science Museum continues its successful ‘It takes Guts‘ a gross, squirm-inducing show about the workings of the human digestive system, Farmers Weekly points out the effect that talking about cow poo has on unruly children. Teachers, catch the full YouTube of ‘It Takes Guts’ here.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back with more of ‘The Daily Poo!‘ next week…

Recycling, ‘The Daily Poo!’ Which? Report on how to recycle bathroom stuff…

Just a few of the many products used in a bathroom…

How can we tackle our bathroom plastics recycling problem?

Consumers can help reduce plastic waste, but companies must also do more. Article by Anna Studman

Our daily bathing routines contribute tonnes of packaging materials to landfill each year – from shampoo bottles to toothpaste tubes. So how can we recycle more of our toiletries, or even cut out plastic entirely? click here to read the whole article.

See also: How to recycle in the UK by Vicki Crowe

copyright: Which? Magazine 2020

‘The Daily Poo!’ History of the Loo part 2 + ‘Water is Life’

copyright URIMAT | Water is Life

Before heading into, ‘The Potted History of the Toilet‘ part 2, let’s just catch up on a few of the news posts and articles from the last week or two so we keep on top of what’s going on, and going down. Firstly, when we talk about toilets, WCs we also had to discuss water – the flush, then the sewer, then the treatment. The problem in many places is there’s no access to water, and/or clean water and that’s where companies like Urimat are innovating. Similar solutions and innovative ideas are emerging all the time, and thats what we’ll look at in more detail in next weeks, ‘The Daily Poo!’ but for now, those articles!…

  1. More news on the Poo Panecea and the strange, but surprising world of faecal transplants.
  2. As discussions at Davos bring up the subject of planting more trees, how about saving the ones we have, let’s start with toilet paper!! According to National Geographic worldwide we destroy over 9 million trees per year and that figure is increasing
  3. If you’ve even heard of, and then thought the ToiletRoll Bot wasn’t the most pointless gimmick (and waste of money) ever… then check out these other inventions!
  4. For those who may have wondered, here’s the scoop on a floating poop!

‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 2. Last week, we took a super fast look at the history of the toilet and, in conclusion, can clearly see that after the initial introduction of seating and sewers thousands of years ago, relatively nothing much happened after that up until around 200 years ago. Necessity and invention created a change, and although that still doesn’t address basic sanitation issues for over 25% of the world population to this day, at least the dot on the radar is growing more rapidly than ever before. Actioning the issues it highlights is taking somewhat longer. To finalise this short history, let’s look at a couple the inventors and driving forces behind the changes in the last 200 years. For more detail see this recent article: What the Earliest Toilets Say About How Human Civilization Has Evolved.

We touched on a few highlights last week but let’s expand. The video below touches on the main influencers, their inventions and impact and date stamps the ‘progress’, then discusses the more global situation we have today. ‘The Great Stink’ in London 1858, was the catalyst to a huge shift in the understanding and reaction to the terrible diseases associated with bad sanitation and the impact on human life, about the same time the matter began to be addressed in many other countries too. Whilst we’ve looked briefly at the evolution of the toilet, of even greater importance is that of the sewer and waste management. The man credited with the first super sewer, was Sir Joseph Bazalgette in London, UK. To read his story click here. It was completed in 1875 less than 150 years ago… and now, in the ‘throw it down the loo’ society of the 21st century, further challenges are arising rather than more being resolved – so in fact when people talk of progress it’s relatively little, and needs addressing not just in ‘civilised’ societies but on a global scale.

One of the keen advocates of improving sanitation and new invention is the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation [and the World Toilet Organisation!] here’s a short video, ‘How The Toilet Changed History‘ (from 2017) on that very subject.

‘How The Toilet Changed History’ + The Global Challenge Today

On a final note, there was an ad a while back that highlighted how many ‘cleaning’ sprays may clean your bathroom etc., but leave behind a chemical residue… it was removed after some complainants. However, the message is strong – and humour often helps more than instruction. Going back to the start of this blog i.e. helping protect people and their health, the company, ‘Method‘ is a standout example of environmental awareness and ethical products – so here it is anyway, and it does make you rethink your product choices…

peopleaghainstdirty.com | Method & Household Product Labelling Acts from 2009

Next week’s blog will include how the various types of toilers/wcs work and the usual updates on loos & no. 2s in ‘The Daily Poo!‘.