Christopher Merklinger, a 56 year old recovering drug addict, build his first tiny house with the help an Amish community near Owen Sound, Canada. Today he runs his own tiny house company, Litl Hausen, and the daily effort of constructing these homes has become an integral part of his healing journey, and life in general. Chris is also sure that it is the low cost and small size of tiny houses, which can give people struggling with addictions, homelessness and trauma a safe place to call their own. With his company he hopes to pay it forward, by offering affordable and well-built tiny homes, which can also be taken completely off-the-grid.
Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, recently developed a new and highly efficient composting toilet called Blue Diversion. Human waste has significant value, since it can provide fertilizer and phosphorus and the Blue Diversion toilet is able to successfully harvest both. These byproducts can also be sold at a profit, so this toilet does more than just provide water efficiency or off-the-grid-living.
Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House. It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.” The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil. Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.
Last April, I mentioned the introduction of 1G by Toto USA and now have more detail. Toto just launched Drake II 1G throughout North America at the MSRP of $580. To be clear, this isn’t like the dual-flush Maris or others you may have seen elsewhere. The two-piece, ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant toilet uses a mere 1.0 gallons with each flush using two jets and a Double Cyclone system to clear waste. There is no pressure assist in the Drake II 1G; it’s a gravity-fed flushing system with a “quiet flush every time.”
Toto USA has released two new models of dual-flush, high-efficiency toilets in the Maris suite. They have wall-hung (starting at $450, not including the in-wall tank) and two-piece (starting at $850) models featuring a current style that pays tribute to mid-century modern design. Push for a light flush of 0.9 GPF or pull for a full flush of 1.28 GPF on these ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant commodes. Toto says homeowners won’t have to worry about cleaning every solid stop either — a common complaint with some dual-flush toilets — because the SanaGloss-coated, cyclone-inspired flush system “spins away debris, matter, and bacteria, which reduces the time needed to clean the unit.”
Delta Faucet just announced their In2ition two-in-one shower now features H20kinetic technology. Already a super-clever concept (Is it a shower head? Is it a handheld? Yes!), the In2ition now gives users tons of flexibility, a great showering experience and off-the-charts water savings. Read on to learn more about this breakthrough technology and how you just might get your own In2ition for free!