At one time or another, we’ve all considered what we can do to help the planet. Sure there’s the usual waste less, recycle more, plant a tree, grow a few herbs, etc. If you’re considering doing something that will make a big impact on your life and the planet, consider installing a composting toilet.
With that in mind, here’s our top ten list of reasons why you should consider a composting toilet system.
1. Despite what you think they don’t smell
Many people are put off the idea of having a composting toilet as they’re afraid that it’s going to smell. Composting toilets use an aerated micro-environment to ensure the complete decomposition of waste which mean no smell and continuous composting process. Baffles and air channels in the tank control air flow and this accelerates the composting process so you won’t have to worry about ‘overfilling’ the system if used correctly.
2. Great for drought-prone areas or where water is scarce
If you live in a rural area or an area that’s prone to drought conditions, a composting toilet uses no water for the composting process. This is a real boon to dry landscapes and areas with low rainfall or no access to water as the bathroom accounts for around half of all water used inside the home. We’ve installed composting toilets in some pretty remote places like Cradle Mountain, Ben Lomond National Park in Tasmania, Green Mountains and Springbrook National Parks in Queensland, Pajingo Mines in Queensland and Neurum Creek Bush Retreat and Happy Apple camping grounds in Queensland.
Not only that, they’re installed in thousands of homes across Australia. Talk to us today about getting one in your home!
3. Yes, there’s maintenance, but there’s also benefit!
Many people can look at the maintenance needed on a composting toilet as a negative, but if you think about the benefits you get from this type of toilet system, there is a cost-benefit crossover. Yes you will need to maintain your composting toilet (usually adding humus material, turning handles if you have a mechanical version and making sure the compost isn’t too dry or too moist) but other than that, they’re pretty simple to keep and you use them just like any other toilet. So the next time you’re enjoying your lawn or in your garden, eating a meal or walking on a clean floor, just remember that maintenance is a part of our lives, just like mowing, watering, washing up or vacuuming.
4. They’re sustainable and environmentally friendly
With water becoming a more precious resource, it makes sense to save as much water as we can to help our families, our communities and the future of the earth. Composting toilets use little to no water which means that you save money as your water bills are greatly reduced and you’re not using more of our precious resources than you have to.
This also reduces the load on our community as you’re effectively treating waste on-site rather than building and maintaining a vast sewage system that uses vast amounts of water to send waste to a plant that uses fossil fuels to process waste products.
Every time you’re ‘doing your business’ you make the earth that little bit happier :-)
5. They’re NOT drop dunnies
Everyone remembers the ‘drop dunnies’ of old. It may have been a packed campground with more people than toilet capacity, or the outhouse on Uncle Roger’s property 300kms from the middle of nowhere (usually with a thunderbox, a newspaper to wipe with and a colony of spiders) that you needed to use a torch or oil lantern to get to in the middle of the night. Wherever you experienced one. we’ve all got a story about a bad experience with a drop toilet and we all remember that scene from the movie Kenny!
Fortunately, the technology of composting toilets has come a long way from the drop toilets of old.
6. No more septic tanks
I remember as a kid we had a septic tank out the side of our house. The concrete lid was pretty large, about 2m x 2m and it had a round manhole type thing at the top of it. We used it as the safe spot when we were playing Tiggy or Brandy. We also used to throw kangaroo mince on top of it for the magpies – I still remember the smell of the mince if the birds didn’t get it and it had been out in the sun for a few hours, BUT this was nothing on the smell of the septic tank when it overflowed or when the big truck came to pump out all the nasty stuff that was in it.
If you’ve lived in a house that’s had a septic tank, you know what I mean. Avoid all this and get yourself a composting toilet!
7. Low power consumption
Along with your heavily reduced water consumption, you can be happy in the knowledge that composting toilet systems use very little power. Even better if you’re living in a sustainable home with solar power or have set up your home to be ‘living off the grid’, then your environmental brownie points just went through the roof.
8. Enhance the growth of non-edible plants
The use of ‘humanure’ on your non-edible plants can greatly increase their growth potential. Humans have long realised the potential of composting and mulching plants to create better gardens and using the compost from a composting toilet is no exception. By using a composting toilet system and using the compost to bury it around tree roots, shrubs and garden beds (non-edible plants) it keeps organic material recycling in the environment.
When you think about it, human waste is the epitome example of a renewable resource. There are 6 billion people on the planet and much of the waste material that’s produced by us as a species is wasted. In fact, we even call it waste! I think the fact we’re not harnessing this resource to better our planet is a waste.
9. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years, why stop now?
Asian people have recycled humanure for thousands of years. The Chinese have used humanure agriculturally since the Shang Dynasty, 3,000-4,000 years ago. Why haven’t we westerners? The Asian cultures, namely Chinese, Korean, Japanese and others, 72 The Humanure Handbook — Chapter Four: Deep Shit evolved to understand human excrement as a natural resource rather than a waste material. Where we had human waste, they had night soil. We produced waste and pollution; they produced soil nutrients and food. It’s clear that Asians have been more advanced than the western world in this regard. And they should be, since they’ve been working on developing sustainable agriculture for four thousand years on the same land. For four thousand years these people have worked the same land with little or no chemical fertilizers and, in many cases, have produced greater crop yields than western farmers, who are quickly destroying the soils of their own countries through depletion and erosion.’
10. It can change your attitude and your whole perspective on life
From the moment we’re born we sustain and feed ourselves from the waters and food the earth provides. Like all the animals, plants and organisms on this planet, we’re intertwined into the very fabric of the elements of nature. The earth is our provider and enables us to grow and think and live.
With a materialistic approach that, as humans, we seem hell-bent on pursuing and promoting, it seems our equilibrium with nature and the planet is thrown more and more out of balance. When we remove our ego and stop creating a symbiotic relationship with the earth we will realise that we are part of the earth and the earth is part of us.
Even though you might think ‘it’s only a composting toilet, how’s that going to change my life?’ chances are it’s only going to have a minor impact on your life, but it will have a major impact on the way you think.
Our absolute dependence on the ecosystems of the earth is the key to the survival of our species and when we balance our lives to live again in harmony with the planet, we will realise the great potential of the world around us and the people that are in it. And it all starts with you.
Something to think about the next time you’re sitting on the toilet!