So far, when I tell people that I have a composting toilet I have gotten one of two reactions. ‘That’s cool’ or ‘That’s gross!’ It seems that even folks in the environmentally friendly group are grossed out by the idea of a composting toilet. In order to fight the stigma I have compiled a list of my 9 top reasons why flush toilets are far more nasty than my beautiful, environmentally friendly, composting toilet.
1. Splash Back Effect
You know that beautiful feeling when you take a glorious poo poo with a great sense of relief. . . [SPLASH] You just got a slosh of nasty, cold toilet water all over your bum. This is what I call the Splash Back Effect. It is gross and can almost ruin your whole day. But when you have a composting toilet your poo is gently nestled into a bed of cedar shavings, completely eliminating any splash back. This also works with urine. We all know that real men stand up when they pee. The pressure of that stream can cause splash back onto the toilet making the toilet a less than appealing landing zone for your lady’s bum.
2. What’s a Plunger?
Who actually wants to have a plunger in their bathroom. It is a hideous germ ridden tool that tends to effuse disgusting water onto the floor, if you have failed to place a paper towel underneath it. But come on, the crusty paper towel is not really an improvement. This is a very undesirable bathroom decoration. But what’s the alternative? If someone doesn’t have a plunger when you forgot to do a courtesy flush. . . That is almost social suicide; how embarrassing. Really, your conventional toilet is to my composting toilet what Pinocchio as a puppet is to Pinocchio as a real boy. I have not pipes to hold me down. No worries at our house, you cannot plug our toilet if you tried. Poop away.
3. Septic System Woes got you down?
Have you ever woken up on a nice, sunny spring morning, eager to get on with the day? You hear the birds singing gaily and take a look out the window. . . your septic system has backed up into your lawn. You have acquired a new pond, but it is full of feces. Bummer. This is what happens when one forgets to get one’s septic system pumped. Come on, everything about a septic system is expensive, gross, and inconvenient. I will never have to worry about this with my composting toilet. I will never have to climb down into another septic tank again. I will never have to worry about spending the 20,000 dollars to get my drain field rebuilt because it can no longer handle the water. Also, I can plant a tree anywhere I damn well please. No need to worry about if its roots are going to ruin my drain field or puncture my tank.
4. Your Spouse leaves the bathroom smelling like World War III
My wife insists that I preface this to say that she does not have smelly poops. As a matter of fact she doesn’t poop at all. But we have all unwittingly walked into the bathroom after someone else who has left us a fragrant gift that we did not want. The problem with a flush toilet is the violent splash of the poo hitting the water making everything more fragrant. This is almost a sub heading to the Splash Back Effect. Well no more! Cedar chips to the rescue! Not only are the ‘lumps o’ coal’ landing more gently, but one also covers one’s own excrement with a scoop of cedar chips. This smothers the smelliness, and gives off the pleasant aroma of cedar. Now the bathroom smells of beauty and happiness, and you have achieved world peace.
5. If It’s Yellow Let it Become a Mustard Gas Booby -Trap
One of my lease favorite things is the phrase if it’s yellow let it mellow. I hate it, it’s gross. When two different pees mix, especially if one pee has sat in the toilet for awhile, the stench is enough to make you want to pass out. I want to save water and the environment, but if it’s a choice between saving a few gallons here in rainy Oregon or projectile vomiting I’ll take the wasted water. I have spent many hours inventing ways to prevent the catastrophe that is mellow yellow. Thankfully my composting toilet requires no flush, no waste, no nasty. Just a few cedar chips and there is no more yellow water.
6. Poop Particle Flavored Tooth Paste
Almost everyone knows that when you flush the toilet poop particles are sent swirling through the bathroom. That is why you are supposed to close the lid before you flush. But it’s not an air tight seal, you still have holes for poop to swirl out of. And what happens to those particles? They land, on all the surfaces in the bathroom. That means anything that is on the counter or a shelf gets a nice coating of. . . well you get the idea. Then you use such objects in your daily routine, and. . . I think you follow. Well if given a chance composting toilets stand to end the reign of the poop particles. No more flushing, or swirling.
7. No More Scrubbing Those Hard Water Stains
Toilet bowls with hard water stains look gross, and dirty. They are a pain to deal with and require a bunch of harsh chemicals and/or elbow grease to remove. This doesn’t seem to happen as much (or at all) to plastic buckets, and if it did, $3.00 gets me a brand new bucket from Home Depot. (I use Home Depot buckets because they are bright orange, and that way I can’t get them confused with other non-poop buckets) Also keeping a toilet scrubber in the bathroom is about as good a decoration as the plunger. I prefer to leave mine outside by the humanure bin.
8. The Willamette River Effect.
Everyone in the Northwest is familiar with the Willamette River, and we all know that it is full of nasty chemicals and sewage. We have created a river that no one wants to swim in. Water is one of our most precious natural resources; we need it for every vital function of life. We drink it. We grow food via it. We clean ourselves in it. Why would we want to use it as the transportation device for our feces? Why are we flushing so many gallons of potable water down river? Water that was clean, the envy of the world, is now full of our fecal matter. This is not a wise use of our resources.
9. Power Outage Induced Constipation
This one just occurred to us as I was writing this post. You see, it has been a windy, rainy couple of days and not surprisingly we lost power. At least on this property, when we loose power, we loose water. We are on a well so we need electricity to pump up our water. This means that with no power you cannot flush your toilet. That either creates a build up of poop, a nasty chemical camp toilet, or you have to hold it. And hold it. Our semi remote location means that we are not high on the priority list for getting power back, so not having to worry about needing water to take a poopoo is great. Lord help you if you happen to have stomach issues on a day without plumbing.