What can you design in an hour to save water in the bathroom? Whatever it is, submit it to Core77's One Hour Design Challenge. It's a departure from the normal design contest format, where you take a "serious" project you've put days or weeks of thought and effort into, and you spend a good chunk of change just to submit your entry. Here the design brief is more casual--just spend an hour, and send it in free. The other big difference is that the submission process is basically posting your idea to a bulletin board they set up, so you can go see all the entries currently submitted. Some are ultra-high-tech (like the shower that visually senses your body to only spray where you are, and lets you command it via gestures rather than knobs; but they spent way more than an hour on theirs). Some are simple yet effective (a display on the shower head showing how many gallons you've used, or a decorative bucket that sits in the shower and catches overspray for watering your garden). Some are... well, it's only an hour, right?
Core77 has done this kind of thing before, for instance with their napkin sketch competition, but it would be nice to see more casual competitions like this run by companies that make products. There are a lot of good ideas floating around in the heads of non-designers which would never stand up in a normal competition, where the production value of the presentations can completely overwhelm the actual quality of ideas. Little enough design work has gone into green products that many non-designers have valuable untapped insight.
Their contest is only open for a couple more days, so go submit an idea now!