green living – The Compost Toilet – part one

 

It’s nearly two months now, that we used our school’s new compost toilets for the first time and I think it is the moment to give a first update: I am totally taken with it. They are just great!
 
A year ago some friends gave us the idea to build toilets that do not need canalization or water tubes; toilets of which one’s business will become compost earth to be used in the garden; Toilets that do nut flush away three liters of fresh and pure drinking water after every session; Toilets that do not need more than a seat, a bucket and some sawdust.
And because we always tend towards greener ways of living, we immediately wanted to give it a go and we searched the net on how to do it.
In the beginning it all sounded a bit strange to us and we feared that going to the loo and not flashing it all away with water would be something smelly and dirty. But the idea of re-using human manure for the garden, such as we also use animal manure, appealed very meaningful to us.  After having read several blogs and articles about this topic, we were totally into it. It all made so much sense and seemed so easy, practical and good. It matched the school’s low budget and our values at the same time and it gave us the chance to try something new in this valley which could become a longtime solution to ecological problems that begin to crop up here.

We built a little traditional clay house in the yard behind the school with two separate rooms for the boy’s and girl’s toilets. The carpenter made two wooden boxes with a top to open and a regular seat. Inside we put a metal bucket and beneath the box we put one basket with sawdust and one for the used cloth-pieces (instead of toilet paper).

Everything looks really nice and clean, and after having explained clearly to the pupils how to use the toilets, all works very well now. There is nothing disgusting or nauseating, nearly no smell (not more than in a normal toilet) and no dirt expect maybe some sawdust on the floor. When you open the seat you only see wooden snippets and after having done your business you simply throw a handful of sawdust into the bucket to cover everything.
When the bucket is full, I take it out and bring it to the wooden compost box behind the house – again nothing disgusting is to bee seen, and the box gets filled now with sawdust, human manure and vegetable leftovers from the kitchen.
I am really looking forward to see all of this slowly becoming rich, nurturing earth, inchallah.
But until then, I simply enjoy the easy maintenance of our new toilets and the feeling of practicing something really green and good. Alhamdulillah.

 

For more information look here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Composting-Toilet  

http://humanurehandbook.com/humanure_toilet.html 

http://theorganicsister.com/on-composting-toilets-and-humanure/

http://www.tcpermaculture.com/

http://sallygardens.typepad.com/sallygardens/2008/01/excrementation.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost_toilet

Or write me an email, if you need further instructions.

  
 

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