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Tomentose toilet

Lavatorial ecosystem
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There are often plants in the bathroom, but these lack utility. There are at least three practical uses for them. Firstly, certain plants such as yuccas can absorb ammonia. Secondly, urine can be used to grow spirulina. Thirdly, and most importantly, plants with tomentose (fluffy) leaves can be used to wipe. Hence i propose a large planter for the bathroom containing tomentose plants such as mullein, lamb's ear and black horehound for wiping, nourished by faeces-derived compost and saving on toilet paper, yuccas, spider plants and ivy to absorb odours, and a tank of spirulina containing appropriately diluted urine for nutritional purposes. This would bring the toilet closer to self-sufficiency. The toilet itself has two compartments: a urine collector at the front and a faeces collector at the back. The composting process would be aided by the discarded leaves. Meanwhile, the urine is mixed with grey water and sea salt in the appropriate proportions before being added to the spirulina tank. The entire toilet is flushed using grey water, which enters the cistern from the rest of the plumbing.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2006

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       am gonna rename my cat, tomentose - great name.
po, Dec 09 2006
  

       The tank with the spirulina could be sealed and vent to the outside, and the composted faeces would be quite well-rotted by the time they were applied to the planter. Also, the plants would absorb some of the remaining smell, so i don't think it would be that bad. The stools could be two years old by the time they were deposited in the planter.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2006
  

       are you going to clean the toilet with a cactus?
po, Dec 09 2006
  

       <pictures walking into a weird jungle-like environment>Cah cah! Cah cah! <-(bird noise) Ooh! Ahh! Ahh! <-(monkey noise) Oweeblkeee! Oweeblkeee! <-( I've no idea)<pwiwje>   

       I don't think my bathroom is big enough to contain all of this, it certainly doesn't have enough light.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Dec 09 2006
  

       The bathroom could be made of glass to provide more light. There would be no problem with privacy due to the shrubbery.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2006
  

       One problem - this system seems closed, like the dead sea. Everything comes in, nothing (solid) goes out. Put it in the middle of a field, and grow your own jungle, cos it's gonna need pruning unless it has a lot of space... [+]
david_scothern, Dec 09 2006
  

       Things do come out. The spirulina is eaten and the tomentose leaves, though they are returned to the system, may be removed faster than they can be replaced, which will probably kill some of the plants, which is actually one thing i dislike about this idea. This is an argument for a bigger bathroom rather than against it working.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2006
  

       Or you could poop outside.
Chefboyrbored, Dec 09 2006
  

       What about the supporting animal life? Bugs, maggots, things that belong in crap. For being totally natural, I think I will bun. Stil, this is absurd. But if you're the kind of person who likes it all natural, it sounds good.
twitch, Dec 09 2006
  

       There's always the bidet option to cut down on leaf consumption. I've seen a prototype of a two-chamber toilet on a web-video somewhere... wasn't too popular, but i imagine that was 'cuz guys would have to either aim or sit down; a urinal would help. Of course now you need a much larger bathroom, what with all the tanks and trees and porcelain.   

       [+] for making my doctor ask me why my ass is green.
FlyingToaster, May 27 2008
  

       I think this would need to be a community project, where an area of 'waste' land is allocated to receive and process the effluent. You could collect a bunch of leaves each day/week on your way home.
marklar, Jun 01 2011
  

       Good idea, [marklar], maybe a number of dwellings surrounding a courtyard with a pond in the middle?
nineteenthly, Jun 01 2011
  

       //am gonna rename my cat, tomentose - great name.// Especially since it loosely translates as 'fluffy'. (That comma suggests that it's already called tomentose, though).   

       Urine, if diluted and applied at a low enough rate that the plants can use all the nitrogen, creates very little unpleasant smell (beyond the initial release, which occurs regardless). Stale, concentrated urine stinks partly because of breakdown products, including ammonia.   

       The extra glazing required would add heat to the bathroom - a good thing in itself, outside the very hottest parts of the planet. I can imagine this working best in a bathroom that is effectively a lean-to greenhouse on the equator side of a house.   

       I was considering installing a huge skylight (possibly covering the entire ceiling) in my bathroom, for heat and jungletude, but have so far wussed out.
spidermother, Jun 01 2011
  

       Tomentose, the freshmaker!
XSarenkaX, Jul 21 2011
  

       Fresh-ish. If it works, it won't be stinky but if it doesn't, it will.
nineteenthly, Jul 21 2011
  
      
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