In part 1 of Critical Living Issues I discussed a solution to water consumption - specifically how to reduce our water use to 70 litres per week/person. In this part I would like to address how we can completely eliminate water consumption from the human waste equation.
Because we’ve been conditioned to believe that a composting toilet is unsafe and unhealthy people will raise an eyebrow when suggesting that we simply compost our waste rather than use the 10 to 40 litres of water per use each time we use the latrine.
The fact is, managing our s**t is not hardly as difficult as we collectively think. And as I mentioned to visitors at the TH competition, odors can be controlled with minor modifications such as a fan and some sawdust and like any other compost, human waste can completely break down in a short time. With the right setup most of the breakdown would occur outside your living space. And pee, when handled separately is easily dispersed into nearby trees or flower beds. Some would recommend ‘watering it down’ but that probably depends more on the ‘type’ of pee it is. I will spare you the details on that one. My favourite line on this is, “a million dogs can’t be wrong”. So while disconnecting completely from the water ‘grid’ has its challenges it is definitely not impossible.
There are other ‘grids’ from which we could disconnect since the tech is already in place.
The most common disconnect is from electricity. Solar power is not only easily available but once the upfront costs are taken care of it is much cheaper than the long term on-grid costs. I won’t address this since the info is out there and easily obtained. Ditto for the telecommunications grid.
The 3rd grid, the natural gas grid, deals mainly with heat, cooking and hot water. That’s discussion is worth an independent look.
Next blog: Alternate means of getting heat and hot water.
Gilles Leclair is the founder of GeoStudios. Somewhat eccentric, fairly environmentalist, politically aware, he believes the world should have more off-grid communities... many more.