Since the first toilets appeared around 5000 years ago, humans have built them out of stone, porcelain, and solid gold. The Block toilet from Woodio is purported to be the first flushable toilet made from wood chips, dezeen reports.
The speckled, earth-toned toilets wouldn’t feel out of place in most modern bathrooms. Instead of hard ceramic, they consist of 80 percent wood chips by volume. The other 20 percent is polyester and bioplastic resins that hold the wood together and keep it strong and waterproof—not to mention splinter-free.
Based in Finland, Woodio uses its composite material to make bathtubs, wash basins, and other bathroom ware not traditionally made from trees. By using wood, the design company claims to generate 99 percent fewer emissions compared to similar items made from porcelain. Ceramics are often fired at high temperatures over several hours, which produces significant CO2 emissions across the industry. Woodio’s materials don’t need to be heated, and they require less water and energy to manufacture.
When measuring its carbon footprint, the company doesn’t account for the impact of sourcing lumber. The Block toilet also can’t be recycled or composted. Because it contains plastic, it needs to be burned or sent to a landfill at the end of its life, contributing to its impact on the environment. Woodio plans to switch to 100 percent bio-based resins after moving its production to an industrial factory in the coming years.
If you’re interested in adding a wooden commode to your home, the Block toilet starts at $825. And if you don’t want your toilet to remind you of a tree stump, it comes in multiple colors.