According to a recent press release, composting toilets are now catching on in the US market and show steady growth over the past 5-10 years.
That's great news! Feel free to check out the article at digital journal....
This week I wanted to give a shout out to some of the personalities in the tiny house movement who have been the most influential to me. When it comes to tiny homes, you will be hard pressed to find a list of more informative, honest, people detailing the ins and outs of tiny house living.
MiniMotives is written by Macy and follows her and her family as they build, live in, and face the very real challenges of living in a tiny house. I can't recommend reading Macy's blog enough. The posts are well written and informative and every single post has real value to the readers. Keep up the good work Macy!
TinyHouseTalk is written by Alex and covers a huge range of topics dealing with tiny homes. With tons of pictures of different unique builds and information on every aspect of simplifying your living style, I found this blog to be more fun to read than I could have imagined.
TinyHouseBlog has been a great resource for finding all kinds of unique inspiring build ideas for tiny houses. High quality photos and well written posts will keep you browsing for hours and the information available is endless.
I follow several sites in the tiny house industry, but the three sites above have been my go-to sites for some time. I would consider all three of these sites and authors to be true tiny house giants. Thanks guys/gals for your contribution to a growing community of tiny house enthusiasts!
Before you purchase a composting toilet, there are a few key things you should know to make sure you get the right toilet for your needs.
Once you have the answers to these 4 questions, you can take a look at our simple selection guide to choose the correct toilet for your situation.
As always, if you have any questions, or would like our recommendation on a toilet, please give us a call!
Maintaining a composting toilet is not as complicated as some would think. Following the information in this quick guide will ensure you have a happy, productive composting toilet for many years.
While there are a variety of modern composting toilet solutions that work in very different ways,
composting at its core is anything but modern and happens in nature every day. Composting is nothing more than the breakdown of organic material through decomposition. Several factors can speed up or slow down this breaking down process and we hope to shed some light on these to help your compost toilet be as efficient as possible.
So what is the ideal environment for compost to break down quickly and cleanly? A warm, moist (not wet) environment with good air circulation. Many composting toilets include a crank or drum that will also mix and aerate the compost, but in most cases, this is not necessary.
Cleaning your composting toilet
While using the composting toilet, there will be times just like any other toilet when the bowl must be cleaned. In the case of a composting toilet, the worst thing you can do is introduce toilet or household cleaners into the compost bin. These chemical cleaners will kill the bacteria in the compost pile essentially stopping the decomposition process in its tracks.
When you have to clean your composting toilet, we recommend using plain tap water or a mixture of tap water and baking soda.
If you would prefer a more commercial cleaner, you can always purchase a bottle of Compost Quick. It can be used as a cleaner but also has enzyme additives to accelerate the composting action in your toilet.
When it’s time to empty your composting toilet
Emptying your compost toilet is the part that gives most people the heebee geebees. But with a little planning, it can be clean, odorless, and easy to do. It is recommended that you wear gloves when handling human compost.
If you toilet system is the type that separates the new compost from the finished compost, emptying your bin is as simple as pulling out your finish tray, use a rake to inspect the finished compost and ensure it is fully composted, then empty it into your landscaping or flower bed.
If you have no landscaping or flower beds, sealing the compost into a compostable bag and disposing of it in the garden trash bin is acceptable in most municipalities.
For toilets without a separate bin for new and finished compost, wait at least 8 hours after the last use before emptying your bin. This ensures the solid waste has had time to settle and reduces any odors you may want to avoid. When you are ready to empty the bin, bag the waste in a compostable bag for disposal or add the compost to your compost pile in your yard.
That’s it, you now know what you need to keep your composting toilet healthy and functional for years and years. If you have thoughts on anything I missed, please comment below and let me know!
Off Grid And Green is proud to announce that we are now an authorized dealer for the Laveo by Dry Flush portable toilet system.
This is a unique, portable toilet system designed to go where you go. Weighing in at only 26lbs and sporting a self-contained battery for operation that lasts for months of use on each charge, this toilet is ready for the boat, cabin, camping, RV, or tiny home in a flash.
Each replaceable cartridge handles around 17 flushes before needing replaced, giving you plenty of use between changes. When it is time to change the cartridge, it all happens in under a minute and you can safely dispose of the waste cartridge in the garbage.
No smell, no worries about freezing, and only one moving part makes this toilet as versatile as a toilet can get.
We talk a lot about adding valuable nutrients back into the soil when using composting toilets, but then most people turn around and take those same nutrients away from their yard by raking up leaves every fall to make their yard look nicer.
I’m all for a nice looking yard. There’s nothing better than a green plush lawn to walk around on barefooted during a cool summer day. But there is a better way to handle your leaves so you can not only improve your lawn by keeping those nutrients on the lawn but also keep your lawn looking nice without the clutter of all the fallen leaves.
This fall, instead or raking your leaves up and tossing them away, try moving over them with a mulching lawn mower. This will break up the leaves so your lawn doesn’t get suffocated and will help the leaves break down much quicker.
Leaving the mulched leaves on your lawn will not harm the lawn in the least, and come next spring, your lawn will be fertilized and ready to refresh itself into a great looking green yard.
If personal habit or home owners association rules require you to remove the leaves, at the very least you should add them to a compost pile or bin so you can reuse the compost in the spring on your garden or landscaping.
Another alternative use for the leaves is to mulch them with your mulching lawn mower but run it with the bagger on. If you mulch and bag your leaves in the fall, you have a great new compost additive to use instead of sawdust or peat moss in your composting toilets. We find mulched leaves break down even faster and keep your compost toilets in great working shape.
Every time you send a bag of leaves to the dump, you are giving away a valuable resource!
How do you handle the fall clean up in your yard? We would love to hear some of your stories.
In most composting toilets, liquids and solids are separated and the liquid is drained away into a leach field or simply evaporated away leaving you only the solid waste to deal with. If you are using a toilet that stores the liquid waste, you have a few options available for liquid disposal.
For solid waste disposal, the longer you wait to empty the bin, the more pleasant the job will be. Fully composted solid waste can be used as a natural fertilizer in your landscaping and flower beds. If your compost is not fully broken down, you can bag up your solid waste in a compostable bag and add it to any compost pile or compost bin you have available.
Human waste is perfectly safe and a great natural fertilizer when fully composted and broken down. In general, toilet paper takes a bit longer to break down than human waste, so if the paper waste is gone, it’s a pretty safe bet that your compost is ready for the flower garden!
Though popular belief and opinion is that human waste should never be used on a food garden, there are a lot of places using this waste for vegetable garden fertilizer. Once fully broken down, this composted waste is no more harmful than any other compost made from food scraps or garden/yard waste. That being said, all compost toilet manufacturers recommend you DO NOT use human waste compost in your food plots.
How do you use your composting waste? We would love to hear from you!
Composting toilets turn human waste into safe, usable byproduct. They are completely waterless, 100% non-polluting, and easy to maintain.
Here's just a few reasons composting toilets are better than standard flush toilets...
So what do YOU get out of this?
There's a composting toilet to fit every situation. From occasional or seasonal use to every day family use, there's a composting toilet made to fit your lifestyle.
Get your composting toilet today! Shop Now
I was going to take the time this week to write up a fairly extensive blog post about how composting toilets work in the real world and how they compare to standard flush toilets.
After doing a quick search on the internet, I found a few posts that cover the topics much better than I could so I decided to share them with you here.
Macy, at minimotives.com has documented her journey into tiny house living in great detail and two of her blog posts I have found extremely helpful.
The toilet Macy uses and writes about in her posts is the Sun-Mar Centrex 2000 unit. While she did not purchase from our store, I find the information she shared was too valuable not to pass on!
Peat moss has long been the recommended bulking material for compost toilet users. Over the last few years, we have discovered that peat moss on its own does not make a good bulking material. Peat moss packagers have been pulverizing it for gardening applications for the past few years, making it very fine, and coarse peat moss is very hard to find.
Since it is now fine and powdery, it does not allow the compost to be as aerobic as we would like. Fine peat moss will compact and leave very little in the way of porosity in the compost, which slows composting dramatically.
However, peat moss is still required in self-contained units to cover fresh urine odors and absorb moisture, so we cannot dismiss it entirely. We have experimented with a number of different materials to mix with the peat moss, and have finally decided on two as excellent additives.
The best material we have found so far to mix with the peat moss is dried hemp stalk, chopped into 1" pieces. This is available and pre-mixed from Sun-Mar and is called Compost Sure.
The Compost Sure mixture consists of coarse peat moss and dried hemp stalk.
The hemp stalk pieces are sharp, and cut into any lumps that may form in the compost, breaking them up for faster composting. In addition, the hemp stalk is the only bulking material that we have found that actively breaks down in the compost while still adding carbon to the compost.
Since there is less material in the composter, the compost residency time is longer, which contributes to a better quality of finished compost. Because of this advantage, we recommend that all compost toilet owners use this when possible or pre-mix their own.
Where it is not possible to use Compost Sure bulking material, the ideal homemade bulking material for all composters should incorporate wood shavings.
"Wood Shavings" is a broad term, so we shall define it further here. Any wood may be used except cedar, and the ideal shaving is a light and curly shaving such as the kind that you would get from planing a board.
These are generally available through your local sawmill, or a friend's workshop. The shavings should be over 1" square in size as smaller shavings tend to pack and slow the composting process.
If you are making your own bulking material, the ideal ratio of mixture for a self-contained unit or central air flow composting system is 60% wood shavings and 40% peat moss.
The ideal ratio of mixture for a central flushing system is 75% - 100% wood shavings and 25% - 0% peat moss. The reason that you can get away with 0% peat moss in these systems is that the urine is diluted by the flushing liquid, so it is not as necessary to cover urine odors in these models. There is also an abundance of liquid, making the moisture retention qualities of the peat moss unnecessary.
If you are still using peat moss on its own, switch now! You will notice a vast improvement in your composting action in a very short period of time.
If you have been using peat moss alone for quite some time, use 100% wood shavings as your bulking material for a couple of weeks or until the mixture in your drum looks like it is about 60% wood shavings and 40% peat moss - then switch to the homemade mixture mentioned above or Sun-Mar Compost Sure.