log in register

My Mini Travel Tour of Compost Toilets

Alice Griffin |
Tuesday, 15th March 2011

Alice Griffin takes a tour of some 'plush and fragrant constructions' and a less sophisticated design – all hand made compost loos - she has had the pleasure of using on her travels!

Compost loo with mosaic in Portugal

Compost loo with mosaic in Portugal

Flushing our waste down the toilet with water seems, to most, a hygienic and easy way to wave goodbye to something nasty. Once it's gone, most people rarely give it another thought. But the amount of valuable water each family literally pours down the drain each year, not to mention the harmful effects of chemical treatments in sewage farms or the fact that our waste can make its way back into our waterways, is something I believe we should all be paying attention to. So why, when I tell people about plans to eventually have a dry toilet and turn my poo into compost to help grow veggies, do they mostly cringe in disgust?

Sure, the idea of a compost toilet in a house is quite something to get your head round and the ones I have visited are actually located outside, for which you must have adequate land. But considering the fact that it is possible for me to install a self-contained compost loo onto my narrowboat, I think it is time to start convincing the average Jo on the street that humanure should be a resource, not a waste.

During my travels I have perched my bum on a number of compost loos and far from being put off, these often plush and fragrant constructions have me undoubtedly converted.

Compost toilets in Portugal

Sophie and Andy Hill live on a smallholding nestled in the breathtaking mountains of Central Portugal. Their beautiful brick-built bathroom building, complete with solar shower and funky mosaic tiling, is more inviting than most conventional bathrooms I have visited in regular houses. Of course, the pièce de résistance is that this is most definitely a loo with a view! Volunteers are regularly invited to stay, help out with chores, learn about permaculture and hopefully leave feeling inspired and ready to spread the word, as well as the muck!

www.portugalsmallholding.org

Compost toilets in Norway

Last summer I spent a week high in the mountains above Sognefjord in Norway, hidden away in an old cabin. No electricity, one cold running tap and a toilet – literally – in the forest. A makeshift shed protected modesty, but essentially this toilet was an extremely basic design of a hole in a box and the contents underneath regularly removed and placed on a humanure pile. OK so this loo experience was not particularly glamorous, not to mention it was a lot colder than the mountains of Portugal, but it did highlight to me that there really isn't much to building a compost toilet if you have the time, inclination and space.

Compost toilets in Cornwall

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Cornwall are the family-run Mill Valley Yurts. Based upon the principles of minimal environmental impact, on site you will find two composting toilets. These 4ft x 4ft wooden sheds house chambers (recycled wheelie bins) below the seats and use a 'Kernowrat separett privy 500', which separates the number 1's from the number 2's. When the wheelie bins are full the contents are transferred to large metal containers (recycled LPG tanks) and after a year or so the compost is used around Mill Valley's new tree plantations. Owner, Lisa Mudie, likes to ask guests who crinkle their nose at the idea of a compost toilet, "Is it better for your waste to be composted and returned to the ground without leaving our site, or would you rather go down to the beach and swim in it?"

W: www.mill-valley.co.uk

Alice Griffin is a travel writer with a passion for sustainable living. When not travelling abroad you will find her floating about on her narrowboat, somewhere near London. www.alicegriffin.co.uk

For an informative and irreverent look at how we humans have 'eased' ourselves over the centuries, from earth closets and privies, to dry toilets, both manufactured and self-built. Sections on greywater recycling, composting 'humanure' and conventional treatment systems. Packed with diagrams so you can make your own compost loo see the 1970s classic, now released,  The Toilet Papers.

Help spread the permaculture word...

jennynolan |
Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 3:21pm

Very interesting.. Planning on having a compost loo in a mobile home (in Ireland) very soon..This article has made me less apprehensive; the one in Cornwall looks very welcoming.

jdaviescoates |
Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 7:58pm

I've got loads of great information about compost toilets here:

http://files.uniteddiversity.com/Composting_and_Recycling/Compost_Toilets/ :)

and some pictures here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uniteddiversity/tags/composttoilet/

My favourite compost toilet designs:
http://milkwood.net/2010/11/23/the-most-lovable-loo-in-the-west/

http://files.uniteddiversity.com/Composting_and_Recycling/Compost_Toilets/Ecowaters_Net-Drum_Compost_Toilet_Plans.pdf

http://files.uniteddiversity.com/Composting_and_Recycling/Compost_Toilets/Building_the_EcoWaters_Twin-Bin_with_Net_Composting_Toilet_System.pdf

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uniteddiversity/3747333643/

< a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/uniteddiversity/3748123580/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/uniteddiversity/3748123580/

Enjoy! :)

Smiles,

Josef.

milkwood.kirsten |
Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:48pm

Lovely article, thankyou. We love our compost toilets, and so does ever single person that comes to our farm. So does out food forests and tree crops, who get the output of the toilets after the humanure has gone through it's process...

Photos and process of ours is here:
http://milkwood.net/2010/11/23/the-most-lovable-loo-in-the-west

Thanks for helping spread the word that compost loos are fabulous!

jcsubmit |
Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 10:13pm

Last year Living Water EcoSystems Ltd. undertook a major report for a Stirling LEADER project on the provision of toilets in remote rural areas. It is available here: http://www.fvl.org.uk/eco-loo-study for all interested.

Alice Griffin |
Friday, March 18, 2011 - 12:31pm

Thank you for posting so many wonderful links - so great to meet others keen on compost loos!

juditrott5 |
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 9:36am

There are many benefits like comfort, convenience, connectivity, privacy and productivity and hence more and more people have started using air charter service these days. Our premise is to get you from point A to point B in the quickest , most convenient and safest manner be it using a charter aircraft or a helicopter. Air Ambulance india We offer both spot charters as well as long term leases and block hours depending on individual need and requirement.

Paul Bullen |
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 9:50am

Thanks for all those super examples of compost toilets. I've designed a gypsy styled compost toilet for a farm in Hay-on-Wye and loved making it.

http://www.freerangedesigns.co.uk/gypsy-compost-toilet.html

lyjford |
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 6:39am

this is Denture Repair Lab the very first stage related to gum disease, an inflammatory reaction of the gum line caused by cavity enducing plaque buildup in the gumline. If every day brushing and flossing do not take aside the oral plaque buildup, it produces toxins (poisons) that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. You may notice some blood loss during cleaning as well as flossing. Only at that early stage in gums and teeth, harm could be reversed, since the bone as well as ligament which hold the teeth in place aren't however impacted.
Periodontitis: at this stage, the actual helping bone and fibers which maintain your tooth in place are usually irreversibly damaged. Your own gums can start to form a pocket book below the gumline, that traps foods and oral plaque buildup. Proper dental care and enhanced home treatment can usually aid the prevention of further harm.
Advanced Periodontitis: within this final phase of gum area and teeth, the materials as well as bone helping your own tooth tend to be destroyed, which could trigger your tooth in order to change or even release. This could impact your bite as well as, if intense treatment can't conserve them, tooth might need to end up being removed.
How do I Determine if I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common amongst grown ups. In the event that detected in its early stages, gums as well as teeth
intraoral camera could be reversed contact at your dental professional if you notice any of the following symptoms:

Gums which are red-colored, fluffy or inflamed, or even sensitive
Gum area which hemorrhage during brushing or flossing
Tooth that appear to be longer because your gums have receded
Gums which have divided, or even pulled aside, out of your teeth, developing a wallet
Alterations in the way your own tooth match each other whenever you bite
Pus originating from involving the gums and teeth
Continuous foul breath or perhaps a poor style of your mouth
How's Gum Disease Handled?

The early stages associated with gums and teeth can often be corrected with correct brushing and flossing. Great oral health will help keep oral plaque buildup from accumulating.
An expert cleansing by your dental professional or even hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and solidified into tartar. Your own dental professional or hygienist may clean or "scale" your teeth to get rid of the tartar above as well as underneath the gumline. In case your condition is much more severe, a underlying planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps you to smooth irregularities on the roots from the teeth which makes it harder with regard to oral plaque buildup to down payment presently there.
Through arranging regular examinations, early stage gums and teeth can be treated prior to it leads to a a lot more serious condition. If your condition is much more advanced, treatment within the dental Apex Root Locator office will be needed. AUTO

add comment
Login or register to post comments
or
Register using Facebook