The TOTO Toilet Motorcycle

TOTO Toilet Motorcycle

I call it the Toto-cycle, though it is officially known as the “Toilet Bike NEO“, according to the TOTO official site.  Despite what it looks like, let’s get one thing straight, it does not run on human waste, nor does the real toilet used in the bike work.  The toilet used in the motorcycle is a real toilet, made by the cycle’s developer, TOTO, Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer.  The toilet used in the motorcycle is a retrofitted version of its Neorest toilet, hence its official name.

The bike was made to promote TOTO’s environmental work and does run on biogas.  However, the biogas it uses is not made using human waste, but biogas fuel (fertilized, purified and compressed livestock waste and household wastewater) provided by Shika-oi Town in Hokkaido and Kobe city.  As CSR, though, the Toto-cycle is quite a phenomenon.  It was featured last year in a popular TV commercial:

Since then, the bike continues to be used in commercials showcasing the company’s ecological commitment, TOTO Green Challenge.  This commitment is to reduce 50% of CO2 emissions in Japan’s toilets by 2017 from emissions in 1990.

As a ecological commitment, the TOTO Green Challenge is ambitious and promising.  As a thought provoking concept, the Toto-cycle is fantastic design.  But what makes it so noteworthy is that the whole idea is fun and socially open.  The company has chosen to embrace open networks, using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote and to source ideas for new things to do.  The Twitter account may only have 1141 followers, including me, but it is following more than 1000 people.

You can feel the fun that is part of the bike’s development and promotions.  That, ultimately, to me, should be what makes people embrace ecological and socially responsible behaviors.

And fun, my friends, is what makes the best things cool!