Don’t Close the Seat on Composting Toilets

Composting Toilet
Excel AC Composting Toilet $1549 from The Natural Home.com

Greater attention is increasingly being given to drought and water shortages around the world. As global warming worsens this is predicted to become a much more serious problem for millions of people around the world. Here in the US the Southwest already has serious problems with a lack of water.

As water shortages worsen, people’s attitudes on water use will hopefully change. One attitude needing change is the reluctance to consider green alternatives to the typical flush toilet in specific and about our relation to human waste in general. The low-flow toilets were initially met with skepticism by many but now has become commonplace. In time people may grow to accept the composting toilets as well.

Composting toilets use little or no water and processes toilet waste for reuse as valuable compost. They work with the same natural composting principles as when bears poop in the woods…

Aerobic composting toilets come in many different designs and various ways of enhancing the decomposing. Some inject air or have air baffles to distribute the air in the pile, have venting for odors, heating units to keep the compost at the best temperature, mixing elements to ensure full decomposition, the addition of micro-organisms or worms to help with the decomposition and others. Some allow you to add garden trimmings and vegetable peelings to the compost. This Sun-Mar composting toilet site provides an overview on the various types of compositing toilets they sell. Another site, composting toilet world, has a vast amount of information on the subject – put together by envirolet, another compositing toilet maker. Here is another site that makes solar composting toilets.

Toilets often make up a significant percentage of water usage in a typical home if composting toilets became widespread we could see a significant reduction in water usage. Reduced sewage would reduce nutrient flows into river and oceans and subsequent rejuvenation of the many “dead areas” in some coastal waters from excessive nutrient pollution.

As the world’s climate “shifts hits the fan” maybe we can then begin to open our minds on seeing human waste as a vast untapped resource of natural fertilizers.

The naturalhome.com has some good information on the composting toilets and has an online shopping cart for various composting toilet models. Finally, here is a great blog article at TheSietchBlog with engaging information, videos and discussion on composting toilets.

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6 Responses to “Don’t Close the Seat on Composting Toilets”

  1. Scott Smith
    April 17th, 2007 10:50

    Thank you for covering this topic!

    There is so much written about global warming and not enough about water shortages! We need water to drink, not to flush with!

    Composting toilets can save A LOT of water if they were used in more places.

  2. Edina
    April 22nd, 2007 12:32

    Some people, like me, use toilets several time a day. If you drink a great amount you go even more. So much water is used for each flush. There are six people that live in my house alone. Add up my neighborhood alone and we have a big waste. 😛

    This could definitely work. We’d just have to convince people. I like the low-flow toilets. Maybe when the price goes down and we become more aware and open-minded about it they will be in many homes.

  3. skoff
    April 22nd, 2007 12:55

    I began saving (ie not draining away) my bath water some time ago to flush the toilet. It certainly saves water though there is the problem of condensation. These toilets, some of which have been around a long time, also provide a valuable product for the garden and lessen the need for sewage treatment;let’s hope they catch on soon.

  4. Larry at GreatGreenGadgets
    April 22nd, 2007 21:51

    I agree compositing toilets should catch on. Reusing gray water is an interesting idea, it would be great if someone devised away for the typical person to rig up the plumbing so this would happen automatically – at least until cities and communities made it available on a larger scale.

  5. Uncle B
    January 7th, 2009 11:28

    During the (GRD) one of the adjustments we will make is to import less food from China and Asia in general, because they will no longer value our money highly. We will have to rely on growing our own, and come quickly to the realization that we valued pavement over topsoil for almost a Century now, and can hardly grow enough food to feed half our population! We will soon come to see that a bag of grain, fed to fish in aquaculture produces the mot protein per pound, and compost will become more valuable than gold! Humanure is distasteful to current-day Americans, I know, but the GRD will assure you of the sound science behind it, and your grumbling stomach will convince you, veggies grown this way are nutritious and life-supporting! The mind bending paradigm shifts of the near future will be force hard upon us by the GRD, and we will be become a nation convinced of the value of sustainability ever after! Good luck on this very interesting journey America, and may you come out on top!

  6. Uncle B
    December 27th, 2009 07:36

    The arrogant, entitled American has sat on 18th century British designed porcelain thrones for over two hundred years and polluted his lakes rivers, seashores with his valuable resource flow and will continue to use up to 16 gallons of drinking grade water to do so, until his own country is a dessimated “Third World” entity! His corporate life deems this so! To see the latest monulent to attest this fact, SEE:http://uprooted.jessicareeder.com/2009/09/detroit-and-the-100-dollar-house/comment-page-1/#comment-3003
    don’t take my word for it! America in her Fourth Turning and bad omens for her future abound. GM(America0 is dead, and “As goes GM(America) so goes the nation” – GM(China) with America’s absconded capital turns a 30% profit this year! How cum? Teh Capitalists raped Americans that’s how cum.