Form follows function to whole new level in Virginia Gardiner’s energy generating toilet – which is literally made from poop! Designed for use in developing countries, the Loowatt is a waterless toilet system that transforms human waste into a highly valued commodity – energy. The low-cost mechanical eco commode encourages people to trade in their waste for biofuel, creating an urban infrastructure that encourages proper waste disposal, cuts down on the spread of water-born illnesses, and provides a reliable source of energy (so long as you’re regular). Check out Dwell’s fantastic video (below) for an interview with designer Virginia Gardiner, and read on for more on the poop toilet!
In designing the Loowatt system, Virginia sought to provide a solution for the 40% of the world’s population that lives without toilets. In many developing countries the installation of sewage systems is impossible, and improper waste disposal spreads devastating waterborne illnesses that afflict millions.
The Loowatt aims to solve this global sanitation crisis by creating an entirely new waste disposal infrastructure. The composting toilet is molded from 90% horse dung, and features a biodegradable lining that stores excrement in a sealed, odor-free container. Once the toilet is full, the user takes the poo package to an outdoor biodigestor, which in exchange provides a free source of biofuel for cooking.
The Loowatt has been exhibited around the world, was awarded an honorable mention from the AIGA Aspen Design Challenge, and was a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. If you’d like to help push the project along, a donation of £17 will net you your very own “poo gem” – a dodecahedron molded from horse manure (makes a swell paperweight, gift or toy!), and £100 or more will net you a lovely deer-head candle holder – just the thing to brighten
dungy dingy interior spaces.