Everyone poops!

in #toilet8 months ago

Besides being a hugely internationally popular children's book, it's also a fact of life and a normal bodily function... so why all the shame and taboos?

During the first wave of lockdowns we moved out of the city and into a nearby village where our new garden is since 2015 and also our house is being built. I wrote more in my previous post.

I should sidestep here for a second to clarify that we do not own any other home nor properry, that's all we have. In the city we were basically renters (nor quite, but close enough) in a very small apartment. So after we left, it was not possible to move back. The bridges have been burned, so to say. No turning back.

One of the many inconveniences of that move was the fact the house still did not have working plumbing, it was unfinished, so no running water inside. Also no bathroom. Nor a toilet. Barring an outdoor compost toilet we did 2 years ago.

Outdoor compost toilet made almost entirely out of trash.

It was made as simple as possible with materials that are basically trash. Trash here is really trash, unlike more affluent nations that have trash that's actually brand new, working, great looking stuff.

So a few broken down pallets and a few beams from a building site and some rotting chipboard and a few paint buckets and we just had to buy the plastic covering so it would prevent the bucket from filling with water during rain events.

We lovingly called that toilet "our summer residence", because it's usable mostly in summer. There is no door, nor roof... and it's as far from the house as the plot allows, nearly 70 meters. Impossible to use during a snowstorm. Even a regular rainy day. Even a calm night for that matter.


Just as an aside here, I hope everyone knows what a compost toilet is and how it works? You pee and poop in a bucket with wood shavings in it and put more shavings on top afterwards . When bucket is full near the top, replace with new bucket. Empty old bucket in a designated humanure spot. Wait 3 years. Sift composted material. Use for top dressing around perennials.


So I had to make a replica for indoor use. Trouble was, all non-food stores were closed. Also we couldn't leave our village due to lockdown. Happily we found some more trash by a nearby building site and work commenced.

A simple structure to support your sitting weight at about as high as the bucket below.

Everything looks very bad because it's trash :) but that does not hinder the "performance" of the toilet. What's more, when working with such materials I worry less about doing something wrong, because my experience is very low. I can cut to length and screw bits together but that's about it.

IMG_20200411_191138.jpg

After it was ready, we just placed it in the "room" that was our future "bathroom" and hung a bed linen as a door. The whole process took me about half a day and it was rather rushed as when we moved we had a sudden cold snap in April and even snow! So there was this strange sense of urgency :D

We used the indoor compost toilet for about 6.5 months before we made the "real" one. Still, that one from the photos is in the house, we just moved it upstairs so when the kids need to go during the night, they don't have to go downstairs.

There is no urine separator, which is the norm for compost toilets, mainly because I couldn't figure out how to make one reliable enough with 0 bough materials and one that would work for 5 very different bodies.

Still there was no smell, except the pine smell of the shavings or on a rare occasion when kids forgot to put a good amount of carbon on top. But when any smell appears, you just change the bucket immediately and be done with it.

We used the 3 bucket system. One filling, one waiting and one airing. The last one was left in direct sun for a few days so the UV and air basically deal with any potential residual smell.

During those almost 7 months we also used the outdoor one and we managed to fill about 1 cubic meter of humanure, contained between 4 pallets. Well it's mostly wood shavings, but still! After that was full, we topped it up with 20 cm of straw and left it alone. In the following months it lost about 50% of its volume and mushrooms started growing in there. So it's on a right path... (cue Elton John voice)...in the circle of life!

The only real problem we've had with that system is convincing guests there's nothing wrong with using it, it's not shameful and there's nothing to worry about. In fact, if regulations did not dictate we should have a local waste treatment solution, we would probably stick with the indoor toilet.

Oh well.. at least we still have the outdoor one! :)

ps: This posts is a special thank-you to @riverflows who let me in on the fact there's a toilet community here - The LooLoo Community! Just thinking about it makes me giggle a bit :) Not sure how I can tag a community, but still, thanks!

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