Answered! (Sustainability Edition!)


Say wha?

“Shift Happens!”

-The name of the Feb. 1 social sustainability colloquium set to be held at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in SMSU 328, proving that sustainability doesn’t always have to be boring.

In case you were wondering…

Portland State sure knows how to flush. The university seems to buy a new type of toilet almost as often as it creates a new sustainability program.

PSU’s various makes and models of toilets include: rainwater toilets, waterless toilets, automatic-flush toilets, old-fashioned, germ-filled, handle-flush toilets, half-flush toilets and the Ondine, which smells like a toilet.

Stephen Epler Hall purifies and recycles water from its roof-using ultraviolet light and sand–and uses the water to fill the cans on the building’s first floor restrooms. Some buildings on campus, including the Ondine and the Engineering Building, have a few waterless toilets and urinals, which substitute water with products such as vegetable oil, or use no water at all. However, the pros of these bathrooms (saving the environment for one) are pretty much negated by their cons (stinky!)

Then, there are the more common types of toilet: the automatic flush and the handle flush toilets. Those are everywhere.

But only the Broadway Housing Building has the half-flush toilet, where you can choose whether you want to flush your toilet at half power for your liquids (pee-pee) or full power for your solids (poo-poo). There’s just one question: What happens if you have to flush both doo-doo and pee-pee at the same time? The world may never know.

What the hell is that?

No, those spherical piles of grass sitting on the roof of the Broadway Housing Building are not alien eggs that will one day hatch like in the Alien movies (but you might want to bring an exosuit just in case you happen to find an alien on the roof).

The grassy balls are part of the Broadway’s ecoroof, a type of roof constructed using a synthetic waterproof membrane covered with soil and a layer of vegetation. Ecoroofs often lower energy usage by creating natural insulation for buildings.

Portland State has five ecoroofs, and whenever the Vanguard writes about any of them, we prefer to use the picture of the Broadway one. Not because we think the Broadway’s roof is the best, but because it reminds us of Aliens, and how grateful we are to have an exosuit on hand in the office, just in case.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here