Composting Toilets: A Steps Towards A Greener World!!
by Carla Lewis
Global warming is one of the biggest concerns we have been fighting for the last couple of decades. One of the biggest reasons for the increase in temperature is waste. Whether this is human waste of other waste, it is an important aspect that you need to consider if you are looking to live life to the fullest and protect the earth.
The composting toilet has been designed to help convert natural human waste into compost. This compost can be reused for your garden and to fertilize plants that are around your home. However, most people are a little hesitant when it comes to the composting toilet itself. In this article, we will explore this toilet and see if it is really worth it.
Why Choose The Composting Toilet Over A Regular Toilet:
One of the biggest debates still going on is why you should choose the composting toilet over your standard home toilet. To answer this, we have to explore what happens with the standard toilet and where the waste goes once it has been flushed. This will give you some insight into what happens each time you flush the toilet.
Standard Toilet Process:
The standard toilet is generally connected to a drain and this drain will be where all the waste will disappear. With sewerage systems generally installed around the world or city you live in, your waste will start traveling down these sewerage tunnels. In most developed countries, it will end up at a sewerage plant and be recycled.
With the use of multiple purification methods, scientists can actually help to clean the water and finally, reverse osmosis will be used to ensure the water is clean and it can be transformed into drinking water once again. The waste itself is generally disposed of a recycled into compost that can be used for fertilization.
In less developed countries, the waste can end up in rivers and dams. These will eventually run into the ocean, but the build-up of too much waste in natural water sources can actually damage the drinking water supply. It is also not healthy for the animals using it as a habitat and can potentially wipe out entire species if left unchecked for too long.
The main goal of the composting toilet is to reduce the potential of pollution that can actually damage the habitat. Most human waste is also compiled of many methane gasses and these methane gasses can be poisonous when you are exposed to it in large quantities, leading to water streams and river being completely dead in terms of animal life.
The Design Concept Of The Composting Toilet:
While most people don’t really understand the composting toilet, we have done some digging to find out a little more about the design concept. One of the main questions we find from most people is what the composting toilet does to get rid of the waste. Here is a small guide that will show you the entire design concept of the composting toilet:
The Composting Toilet Design:
Much like any other toilet, the composting toilet works by giving you a base and a seat that will give you comfort when you need to do your thing. However, the composting toilet is not connected to a drain that will wash away all of the excrement and it will be kept in a box-like container for the decomposition process to start.
A liquid diversion system is generally implemented and this will ensure that your urine does not get involved with the compost. Your urine can actually be recycled and the process can be reverted to change the water back into drinking water. This is what happens n most space shuttles to help save the transportation costs of fresh water.
The design is pretty basic and it looks much like your standard toilet with an edge. The edge being the fact that no drain is connected to help wash away the excrement and get rid of it out of your home. You might need to clean out the box frequently to ensure that it does work and the smell does not get a little overbearing.
How Does A Composting Toilet Work?
By now, you should have a general idea of the composting toilet and some of the elements that are used for the process to be completed. However, we have designed a guide that will show you step by step what the real process is for the composting toilet to work effectively and what it actually has done to the excrement. Here is a small step by step guide:
Doing your thing:
Obviously, the first step will be you actually doing your thing. Whether you are urinating or taking a massive number 2, the toilet will be able to handle all of this and ensure that everything works smoothly to help get rid of the odor and the toilet paper in virtually no time at all.
The Composting Process Starts
The main goal of the drum is to get rid of the toilet paper, excrement, and the odor in the fastest possible time. The drum is designed with an inlet pipe and this will add a natural substance like sawdust to help break down the excrement and it will constantly rotate every few minutes to help get rid of the smell.
An evaporation chamber is generally included to help get rid of the methane gasses that are building up. However, it also serves as the perfect entry point for oxygen. By combining oxygen with your excrement and the other biomaterials added to help with the breakdown process, you should be able to have safe compost once it has been completed.
Maintaining The Moisture And Temperature:
Bacterial growth is one of the biggest issues that many people have and while you don’t want to have too much moisture, you do need a little bit. However, the composting toilets from the top brands will generally allow the excess moisture to drain away while keeping just enough to combine with the excrement before it is converted into compost.
The temperature is another important aspect that needs to be considered and the excrement might have a tough time decomposing if not kept under the right temperature. If you have an electrical unit, this process can be completely automated. However, the natural units don’t have the heating feature and it can be harder to change the temperature.
Removing And Using The Compost:
As we have mentioned, using the compost at the wrong time can actually be harmful to you and the environment. It is important to wait for it to completely decompose before you start using it as compost. The time it takes will depend on the unit you are using and the number of additives that are generally added.
However, once it has been composed, you have the luxury of removing the bin and now you can start using the compost on your garden or anywhere else that you feel the need. The compost can be integrated into your gardening routine and this will make it work much like a fertilizer to help spur on the growth of the plants around you.
How Much Water Can I Save With A Composting Toilet?
There is absolutely no doubt that composting toilets to help you save a lot of water and since fresh water is starting to become rarer, the composting toilet is one of the most efficient ways to ensure that you contribute to keeping the water clean and ensuring that more people have fresh drinking water around you.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.6 million people die yearly from diarrheal diseases and this can be largely the result of not having clean drinking water to go with their lifestyle. The problem might not be prominent everywhere in the world, but once you start visiting countries that are less developed, the problem does become more apparent.
A normal home toiled can use up to 6-liters of water with every flush. If you start calculating the number of numbers, you might be shocked to see how much water you are actually wasting to get rid of your own waste. The problem is that this water cannot be completely cleaned and eventually, it might lead to sickness and other issues that many people are dealing with in less developed countries.
According to studies, the estimates have suggested that users of composting toilets can actually save up to 8000-liters of water each year. This is actually quite a lot of water when you start looking at the scarcity of water in the modern age. In the US alone, you can do the number to find out what could happen when a composting toilet has been installed in every home.
How Much Time Does It Take For Waste To Get Decomposed And Ways To Accelerate The Process?
The composting toilet is one with many questions and people all want to understand what the time is that it will take for the composting toilet to actually start working and how long you will have to wait before the compost is ready for use. Here are a few estimates of how long it should take for the composting toilet to work and some of the potential ways you can accelerate the process:
The Standard Composting Time:
When we are looking at the composting toilet, it can actually be a daunting task to estimate how long it will take for the solid waste to decompose. There is a couple of variables that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you can speed up the composting process. However, the general time should be anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.
Element Control: Heat, moisture, oxygen, and aerobic bacteria all have a massive influence on the composting time and the better you can control these elements, the faster the process should actually be.
How often it is used: if the toilet is used often, the process can take a little longer with new excrement being dumped every time. It is better to have a couple of storage places to help rotate the drums.
Electric or non-electric: The electric toilets are a little better to use when it comes to speeding up the composting process. It can be a little more expensive, but you won’t need to wait as long or add the extra additives manually anymore.
Volume: Finally, you will need to look at the volume of the waste that is used and compiled into your toilet. The more waste that is in the bin, the longer it will take for the process to be completed. You will also need to add more things like sawdust to speed it up.
In conclusion, it is really hard to give a specific time for the amount of waste that can be processed at any specific point. You will need to keep all of these variables in mind when you are to determine how long the process will actually take to be completed.
Speeding Up The Composting Process:
Speeding up the composting process is definitely a good way to actually get the job done. If you are in a hurry, or you simply don’t like the smell that is coming from the toilet, you can try to speed up the process. This does not always work, but we have found a few tips that you can try to integrate if you want to speed up the process:
Heat it up: One of the first things you can start doing is to heat it up. The higher the temperature, the more the decomposition process will start taking place. However, this can be a little expensive if you don’t have an electrical unit.
Add more dry materials: The nitrogen and carbon levels can quickly go through the roof when you don’t add dry materials and heat it up. You can actually start adding your won dry materials like sawdust and straw to speed it up.
Control the process: The more you control the process, the easier it will be to monitor the compost. It is best to get your hands dirty and to control the process from the start.
We should mention that the electric composting toilets actually control the process for you and this will make it much easier to actually get the job done. However, you will not really be saving much on your electric bill.
How Composting toilets Contribute to the environment:
The composting toilet actually serves a massive purpose when it comes to the contribution to the earth. We have done some research and found three of the main ways that the composting toilet can actually contribute to the environment and make sure that the planet can actually be more sustainable:
You might have picked up already that the composting toilet is responsible for saving a lot of water. As we have already mentioned, it can save up to 8,000-liters of water in a single home.
While this one is still up for debate, it is something that can actually work well if you are using a composting toilet. If the compost has been carefully looked after and all the gasses that could be harmful to the human body has been removed, the compost can actually be used for fertilization of plants and crops.
With methane and nitrogen being two of the biggest culprits that contribute to global warming, you composting toilet can actually help to reduce the release of these gasses and ensure that everything runs smoothly. This could reduce the potential effects of global warming.
Is The Composite Toilet Safe For Children ?
Not many studies have been done on this topic. However, we don’t see any real issue of why the composting toilet will not work for children with disabilities. It can help them to understand the importance of keeping the environment safe and if they can use a normal toilet, the composting toilet will not be that much difference.
Since they do have disabilities, you might need to adjust or even modify the toilet a little to make it easier for the children to use it. It is also best to ensure they do not come into contact with the compost or the decomposing materials at a young age.
How To Teach Children To Use A Decomposing Toilet:
From personal experience, I can say that children might be a little hesitant to try the decomposing toilet. It might be gross or they simply might not like the process. However, here are a few things or steps that you can try to help teach your child the importance of the decomposing toilet and also get them to use the toilet much like an adult:
Start With The Environment:
Children might not know the importance of keeping the environment safe at a young age. However, you can start to teach them the importance of keeping the environment safe by talking about things they like. Since many children love dinosaurs, it is a great starting point to manipulate the history of their extinction in a way the implicates global warming.
Teach Them How To Use It:
Much like you will teach your child to use any toilet, you will need to show them how the composite toilet actually works. Using less toilet paper is one of the fundamental steps that any person should bear in mind when using one of these toilets.
Show Them The Decomposition Process:
By showing them the decomposition process from a young age, you can help them grow into using these types of toilets and they should know how to use it and to keep it clean. You can show them the entire process of the decomposition of excrement and how it can be used as a fertilizer for the garden and spur on the growth of trees and plants
Installing Composting Toilet In Public Restrooms Or Hotels: A Good or Bad Idea
Can you actually use the composting toilet in restrooms and hotels? This question is one of the main questions that many people have on their mind and the simple answer would be no. Yes, it is a great way to help with the environment, but when you start adding composting toilets with foul smells to hotels, you run the risk of losing clients.
One of the ways that can be used to add composting toilets to your hotel is to start marketing the hotel as a green hotel or an environmentally friendly hotel. This will tell people beforehand how to use the toilet and why it has been implemented.
For public restrooms and toilets, it can be a little easier to add these toilets. Since they will be free and people don’t need to pay for them, you can add them. However, the initial costs might be expensive and then you will need to have someone to take care of them and to do the maintenance. This is even worse in areas with a lot of traffic.
To put it all into perspective, the composting toilet is not a great idea for the public and for the hotels around the world as of yet. The minority of people are only using composting toilets and until we can get everyone on board with the idea, it will not be a great thing to do. More marketing and research needs to be done to convince people.
Now that you have all the information on the composting toilet, you can start adding one to your own home. It might not look like you are making a difference, but if more people start doing this, the world could be a better place and in 20-years time, we can still have the luxury of fresh and clean drinking water. Share this article with your friends and family and spread the word of the composting toilet.