- Team members
- Joanna Power Paramveer Bhachu
- United Kingdom
- water sustainability Student Washing machine shower reuse
A product which helps students wash their laundry using less water by filtering used shower water.
As students, we find on-campus launderettes to be not only expensive but also extremely inefficient. Therefore, we have taken the fundamental principle of 'reduce, reuse and recycle' literally and created a small portable electric washing machine that allows students to wash their clothes by strategically reusing shower water. Our product collects water through a detachable mat that can be stood on while showering. It can then be reattached to the main unit where it will act as a tank from which water is filtered and used in the washing process along with your own detergent. Once this process has been completed, the used water will need to be discarded and the detachable mat will need to be refilled once again. This product saves substantial amounts of water by strategically targeting activities that occupy 30% of the average daily water usage. If our product was used by every student in London alone, it could save up to 16 million litres of water a year.
- Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?
A recent study into the lives of people aged 18-24 found that those currently attending a university or college needlessly use an average of 180 litres of water a day. The most significant amount of wastage was found to be directly linked to one's shower habits - spending nearly an hour and a half in the shower, per week [Nationwide Drainage Specialist Lanes Group]. This issue is enhanced by student accommodation providing no incentive to save water, through one 'all-inclusive' bill. Behavioural research shows that a pro-environmental attitude is easier to adopt when faced with a life event change, such as leaving home. Thus giving students the potential to save vast amounts of currently wasted water.
- Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?
England is set to run short of water within 25 years. The projected need for more water and the decreasing amount of water reserves means we must examine the current use of water more strategically. Our product directly tackles this issue by collecting shower water, filtering it and reusing it to wash laundry. Thus increasing the efficiency at which we use said water. On average, a single person is estimated to use 149 litres per day [N. Sönnichsen, Statista]. Approximately 12% of this is used for showering and a further 13% used for laundry [AEMDA Water]. When looking at certain demographics this statistic dramatically increases. The most significant wastage came from students spending nearly an hour and a half in the shower, per week [Nationwide Drainage Specialist Lanes Group]. There are approximately 249,000 undergraduate students in London alone [London Higher, 2017], which means over 1.7 billion litres a year can be saved by the use of our product (equivalent to 700 Olympic sized swimming pools). The USP of our product is that it collects and filters shower water, that is then used to wash laundry. We have created a product with the unique capability to drastically reduce the UK's water usage by reusing and recycling the approximate 17.9 litres of shower water that goes straight into our drains every day, per person.
- Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?
Our product aims to improve the environment through innovative design solutions. The sphere drum within our product has the capability to wash laundry with higher efficiency, thus saving energy, water and time. The traditional washing machine has an average wash time of 40 minutes and can hold 8 kilograms of laundry while using 80 litres of water. Our product, however, has a wash time of 15 minutes and holds 2.5 kilograms of laundry, while using only 8 litres of water. Extrapolating this data, we can clearly see that our solution is not only better for the consumer but also better for the environment. Our design is one of the only products on the market capable of collecting shower water within the home. Our product also meets the aims of sustainability by reducing up to 12% of each student's water usage. The product will reduce carbon emissions by allowing students to do their laundry directly from their accommodations. Our product shows people how easily a positive impact can be made through the smallest of actions. Even without the purchase of the product, through our advertising, we are making the public aware of a looming issue concerning water usage.
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