Everyone’s heard the line about having a ‘shower in a can’, (referring to spraying on deodorant as a substitute for a shower, commonly used in the event of not being able
to have a proper shower). But a new invention by a local Sunshine Coast inventor gives the idea of a ‘shower in a bottle’ – new meaning.
Local Coolum inventor, and member of the Maleny Men’s Group, Stuart Mason, has created a mobile tap which can be used anywhere, simply by attaching it to a regular plastic bottle. The Mason family immigrated to Australia from England 2 years ago, and
one day Stuart noticed that the water in a plastic water bottle in the back of his car was the perfect temperature for a shower. This got him thinking… “I realised that this is free energy; so I thought about it, and slept on it, and then decided that I was going to work out something that was going to harness and dispense this free hot water.” He came up with the Spa Tap, which is a handy machine that converts any plastic bottle into a shower.
Stuart is a man with a passion to help people, and find eco-friendly ways of doing so. While working with major charities such as Oxfam, Save the Children, and other NGO’s in the UK, he had an opportunity to see where the funds are being spent. This gave him an idea about what was really needed, especially in third world countries. “I used to get
an inside track on what was happening, and the facts and figures. Once I moved out of
the NGO sector, I founded an eco-friendly festival, OOTO (Out of the Ordinary), and
used to run different events.” One of these was an ecoarena at Glastonbury, which
was totally powered by solar panels and wind generators. “We used to power the whole
thing with a zero carbon footprint, and I successfully ran that until we left to come to Australia,” recalls Stuart. The Spa Tap is hailed as a ‘quirky new invention that is
eco-friendly, handy and has life-saving potential’, with multiple applications for
its use. Stuart believes it is different from anything else on the market. He believes
that it could have the potential to solve sanitation issues in Africa and other third world
countries, and says it teaches people that plastic bottles can be reused rather than
just thrown away, or sent to landfill. He invented the Spa Tap with a maximum number
of hand washes for a 2 litre bottle, so it conserves water; upcycles, heats and you can
drink out of it. It can be used by gardeners, surfers, campers, hikers, parents, at festivals, and pretty much anywhere else that you need portable water on tap.
It differs from the many other camping showers on the market because of its versatility, and unlike the regular camping shower, it can be easily used by children, which is a great
way to get them to wash their hands. “Because it’s just a plastic bottle full of water, the kids can take ownership of it,” says Stuart. “They can pick it up, and they can hang it up; so when you tell the kids to wash their hands they love it, and are fighting to be the first one to use it!”
The Spa Tap project has teamed up with the Surfrider Foundation, an International NGO focussed on protecting the oceans, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the capital to get the word out about the product. Stuart has been approached by some big
companies to buy it off him, but he says he doesn’t want them to take his product and own it. “I don’t care how much money they have behind them, I don’t want the big companies to take it; I want the regular people to get behind it, and you can get one for 20 bucks.” By joining the Kickstarter campaign you get to support this innovative product at entry level and Stuart Mason uses the Spatap after a surf.
Kids use the Spatap to wash their hands before lunch. Shower in a Bottle Stuart just wants everyone to try one for themselves and enjoy the benefits of having one. “Back us, support us, buy one, and use it,” says Stuart.
By Natalie Brown