NPR : News

The 'Sink-Urinal' Saves Water, Encourages Men To Wash Hands

In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. (Have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)

A Latvian designer named Kaspars Jursons is trying to help solve European water shortages by redesigning the men's restroom. His new urinal design includes a tap and sink right over it.

"It's not just a fancy piece of art," he says. "The idea is about function and consumption. You are washing your hands in the sink on top of the urinal, and the same water that's running is also used to flush. You don't have to use water twice, like when you use the urinal and wash your hands in separate sink."

The design, called Stand, sells for about $590 per unit. They're getting manufactured on a small production line and have already sold to buyers in Norway, Germany, Russia, Poland and Jursons' home country, Latvia.

Several sink-urinals are currently installed in a concert venue in Riga, Latvia, where Jursons reports they have worked smoothly and saved thousands of liters of water.

The tap is hands-free and sensor-activated, and Jursons says having the sink right over the urinal gives it another feature: an in-your-face reminder to wash your hands.

When asked whether folks might find the sink and the urinal a little too close for comfort, Jursons says, "It is more suitable for hygiene than just a urinal and then guys who don't wash [their] hands."

Ladies, if you think your restrooms deserve new design concepts too, stay tuned. Jursons says his next concept is a sink-toilet combo that not only saves water, but saves a lot of bathroom space.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
NPR

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
NPR

Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'

President Dilma Rouseff signed the bill into law to kick off an international conference about the governance of the Internet.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.