Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yes, News!

I've just completed construction on my new sawdust toilet. It's out in the carport with the stain drying. I'll try to get up some pictures as soon as it's actually in operation but for some imaginary pics, just imagine a box about the size that a toilet without the tank might fit in. The box is made from oak plywood with a standard store bought oak toilet seat with brass hinges.

Though it has been in the planning stages for a few months since I read "The Humanure Handbook," I was forced to build the toilet after I found out I'd have to tear up the whole floor in my bathroom because of a water leak from the toilet supply line. That would leave me with no toilet for a few days or even weeks. So, I decided to build the sawdust toilet.

Construction was easy, though my toilet was a bit more complicated and expensive than "normal" ones are. In fact, if you can find some scrap lumber, old buckets, and a toilet seat, it would be essentially free. Mine cost $40 for the plywood, half of which is left over and $10 for the seat as well as some 2" screws, hinges and stain. My wife knows a woman whose husband is a carpenter, and they say we can have all the sawdust we want. I did have to buy buckets, but you can get those at any paint or big department store with a home improvement section.

Take a look around the internet for sawdust toilets and the theory behind their operation. It's basically a hot compost operation, allowing plenty of time to cook and cure. Then enjoy the richest compost you could imagine. After all the stuff I've read about composting toilets going wrong, I haven't found any complaints with the sawdust composting method, in fact, I've read a number of articles and stories about people who have been doing it for years.

The benefits are vast, especially from a sustainable living viewpoint. Think of all the water not wasted flushing the toilet, and all the energy and pollution saved from not treating that water both before and after the toilet. But the best part is that the nutrients go back into the garden or lawn or wherever you decide to put it. Returning the nutrients to the soil is something that rarely goes on in today's huge fertilizer fed farms.

I'll probably be using it for the first time some time tomorrow so I'll keep you up to date.

This poo's for you!!!

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