The Modern Bathroom Stinks

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Having the sink, toilet, and shower all in one room is unhygienic and unsustainable. Lloyd Alter, managing editor of TreeHugger, argues there's a better way to re-think the bathroom.


Lloyd Alter

Comments [19]


I think the real problem about USA toilets/bathrooms is not having a Bidet in them. That's the real unhygienic situation.
Countries in Europe that have bidet in their toilets (e.g. Italy) have a much lower rate of colitis in women.
For the water loss and wastefulness i think being better citizens and take care of our brothers and sisters (every human being) also means not wasting natural resources.
Anyway, something like this could be useful ;-)

Jul. 29 2014 05:36 AM
MC from Sugar Hill

Tiny New York City bathrooms would be so much more comfortable if showers were designed with a simple floor drain, European style. Easier to keep clean, and space-saving, I have often wondered why they don't do that here.

Jul. 28 2014 05:58 AM
Green Mountain from My client's bathroom

European from USA is pretty much on point, but he does not appreciate the technical issues, why our fixtures leak so often and so damagingly.

I should not have said on air this is because we are often "too cheap" to install waterproof membranes when we tile, but consumers need to know what the issues are.

This segment could have dealt with wasteful design and construction methods, but instead it was about our personal waste.

I have been calling in to this show for years now. 12,000 people on included a photo of a bathroom I built in their "idea books." I think listeners would be more interested in why we continue installing obsolete lead pans; why we don't need to live with mold, rot, leaks; good design, quality products, and effective installation.

Jul. 25 2014 08:23 AM
Jessica from Tennessee, USA

I have visited a few places in Tennessee (near where I live)- where they use outhouses and composting toilets. At first it was uncomfortable but after I actually got in there to use it (we were camping there for a week so it was inevitable) it was actually quite nice! The place for #2 (you don't go 1 and 2 in the same place like this) was raised up so you climbed a short staircase to get to the actual toilet, therefore you caught a nice breeze, had a beautiful view of the trees and hillside ( curtains separated you from your neighbor), and there were butterflies flitting about! Compare that to a hot, sweaty McDonald's bathroom you ran into because you were having an emergency.

Jul. 24 2014 02:40 PM
Jerry from New York

In my early 20s I had frequent hemorrhoid problems. While on a weeklong
camping trip where Mother Nature was my bathroom, squatting completely
cleared the condition. We are designed to squat. I still often squat to aid

Ubiquitous high seat handicapped toilets are a disaster in the making, especially
if they're no lower based toilets available.

Jul. 24 2014 01:46 PM
sher from lower Manhattan

A few years ago, in response to the BBC series on the 100 most important objects in human civilization, WNYC asked us to nominate the 10 most important objects in New York City history. I thought hot and cold running water and inside toilets were among the most significant in transforming our city.

Jul. 24 2014 11:59 AM
john from office

Squat toilets are hard to use and you need good aim. Also, if you have any leg issue you cannot use them well.

No one from India should ever call and give advise on toilets!

Jul. 24 2014 11:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Didn't think I was going to comment on this one, but on squatting being better/more natural: I put my feet up on the wastebasket in my bathroom to get a position closer to squatting.

Jul. 24 2014 11:57 AM
Larry from Brooklyn

I thought this was going to be about bathroom design... not toilet types.

Jul. 24 2014 11:56 AM
Maryann from Morristown, NJ

The new half-flush toilets have two buttons on top: I and II. There is no mistaking how those should be used.

Jul. 24 2014 11:56 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

thirty seconds to one minute on the turlit?? takes me that long to inspect the seat and sit down. then i'm good for well, five to ten minutes.

Jul. 24 2014 11:55 AM
yo b

lots do:

Jul. 24 2014 11:52 AM


What did Leonard Lopate do to you that you felt compelled to air this segment to lead in to his show?

Please leave the comedy to professionals and don't give up your day job.

Jul. 24 2014 11:51 AM
Maggie from Nj

It seems it would be so easy to use gray water to flush toilets. I always wondered why this was not done. I have seen a toilet that is designed with the sink above the tank so you wash your hands in the sink the water goes into the tank and you use that water to flush the toilet. But I would imagine water from dishes washing machines showers all could be used flush toilets. Why not?

Jul. 24 2014 11:51 AM

I am baffled that america still doesn't use bidet toilet seats. Why we still use paper is beyond me. In Turkey for example every toilet has at minimum a pipe with an adjustable water flow right beneath the back of the toilet seat.

Easy cheap effective.

Jul. 24 2014 11:48 AM
Anthony in Manhattan from midtown manhattan

the Eventi hotel 851 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10001 on its floor with the restaurant has a too cool for you bathroom in all black tile walls and floor and very dim lights with no way to see anything that might be dirty before touching it. you would need a flashlight to use it.

Jul. 24 2014 11:44 AM

get a floor drain then. stupid is as stupid does.

Jul. 24 2014 11:30 AM
European from USA

Only in America, as far as I know, where there are no separate toilets, and no drains in bathroom floors. I get ceiling leaks from overflowing bathtubs from the apartment above me. If it had a floor drain this would not happen. How stupid and insular are we?

Jul. 24 2014 09:29 AM

well god invented japanese bathrooms

Jul. 24 2014 08:34 AM

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