Australian drought conditions drive innovations in our daily lives

Many call the 2019 drought in New South Wales and southern Queensland the worst in history. Some haven’t seen rain since March 2017.

Text: Trude B-J Margel
Photos: Cinderella Eco Group, Getty Images

In many towns and communities in Australia, water reserves are rapidly facing “day zero” where rationing will only provide safe drinking water for a limited time. Innovative Cinderella Incineration Toilets from Norway ensure water-free waste handling and daily comfort, a truly viable option when conserving water that can become the new normal in our daily lives.

Rainfall deficiencies at an all time low. Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Conserving water, acquiring new habits such as shorter showers fewer times a week, and turning the water faucet off while brushing teeth and washing hands between rinsing, are some of what children are taught in schools and families practice at home. Flushing only when necessary is another, “if it’s yellow, mellow”, leaving the flushing only to when they go number 2.

But flush toilets are a serious waste of water in the first place. Where a typical family of four flushes four times a day, consuming four litres of clean water or more for every use, the accumulated waste of clean water reaches a staggering 448 valuable litres a week.

Meeting this waste of water head on, many have installed flush toilets that flush less water, but this still results in wasting valuable resources where every drop counts, and many have tested composting toilets only to find that this attracts unwanted insects and pests. Communities are investing in pipe lines or carting water in diesel-powered trucks which spend hours on the road, both of which drastically disturb the environment and involve enormous costs to financially challenged communities where crops can’t grow and farm animals cannot be sustained. 

Considering the world-wide water shortage, many say that had we known what we know today, we would never have invented the flush toilet in the first place. We at Cinderella Eco Group have designed and delivered water-free toilets for over 20 years. We began as a solution to Norwegian nature-lovers who build their cottages and vacation homes in the wilderness with no access to water and / or electricity, to replace the outhouse and long drop constructions that were the only options back in the day. Today, Cinderella Incineration Toilets are the market leading option, safely burning all waste and leaving behind only a cupful of ash a week for a family of four, free of all harmful bacteria and pathogens. Not only is the Cinderella water-free, but it can be easily installed and blend into a bathroom environment, looking just like a flush toilet would.

The Cinderella Incineration Toilet blends into the bathroom environment.

How does it work? The child-safe design and incineration process, approved by the largest consumer product testing laboratory in Europe, Swedish Testfakta, is light weight and easy to install and use. For each visit, a bowl liner, much like an overgrown coffee filter is placed in the bowl. After use, the lid is closed, and the button is pushed for incineration to begin. The bowl liner and its contents drop into the incineration chamber at the foot of the commode and the process begins. Upon opening the lid for the next visit to the toilet, the process is halted and continues when the lid is closed again, after pushing the button anew. Depending on use, but generally once a week, the hatch at the base of the commode is opened to remove the steel container where the pathogen-free ash remains are collected to be thrown away. The total experience is hygienic and odour-free. Cleaning is easy, using a cloth with mild soap or a brush, just as one cleans a flush toilet.

Having recently launched on the Australian market, the Cinderella Incineration Toilet has already earned the 2019 Australian Good Design Awards for Best Engineering Design and Best Product Design, Home and Building. Want to learn more? Find out how you can drive innovation in your daily life and conserve water for drinking and life-giving purposes only. Together we can make a difference.

What is an incineration toilet?
Cinderella: Test winner both times the consumer testing has been conducted by Swedish Testfakta 
Award-winning design acknowledged by Good Design Awards Australia 2019