Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley, two design students at the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England, thought outside the box (or rather, the bowl), when creating their final year design project: a folding toilet that reduces water use by 50 percent.
Toilet water accounts for more than 26 percent of the total household water use in the U.S. -- more than showers, faucets or even clothes washers -- according to the EPA. Humphreys and Whiteley have proven what many of us may have suspected -- sending 6 liters, or about 1.5 gallons down the drain per flush for standard toilets is totally unnecessary.
Dubbed the Iota, their product -- which is currently waiting to be patented -- uses just 2.5 liters, or about 0.6 gallons, per flush, according to the project page. Consumers save more than half the water as compared to the average toilet.
Iota's design allows the moveable bowl to fold upward, not only saving space in the bathroom, but also allowing the water to fall downward, helping it to go through the outlet pipe, according to Treehugger
"When folded upright, the toilet is a 1/3 smaller than a standard toilet," Humphreys wrote on the project page. "And with the current trend of new build houses getting smaller, saving space is a big concern."
Toilet water conservation isn't just an idea reserved for environmental entrepreneurs. In an effort to curb water waste, California recently became the first state to require that citizens install low-flow toilets during all bathroom renovations.