I recently submitted a post to an environmental discussion forum, asking members to review for me any composting toilet systems they might have in their home. Interestingly enough, the first response to this question was from a member who asked, “Can they be used in homes? I thought composting toilets had to be used outdoors in an outhouse.”
Now, I am guessing that many readers of this blog know well that most (if not all) currently manufactured composting toilets are meant for indoor applications (except for specific portable composting toilet setups). However, it brought up an important question that I thought would be useful to address in this article: Where else can composting toilets be used?
I thought I would develop a list of some potential uses of composting toilets outside the standard home. Given the benefits of composting toilets for society, thinking “outside the home” seems like an essential contribution to promoting the switch from wasteful flush toilet systems to productive and environmentally sane toilet composting systems.
Here are some locations where composting toilets can be helpful:
1) National and state park campgrounds. Oh wait, there are composting toilets already at some of these locations (see an example here). We need a lot more of them! Composting toilets are much more pleasant than the standard outhouse found at many national and state parks, and they make an excellent demonstration of sustainable technology.
2) Boats and Marinas. Many boaters already know this, but there are some excellent marine toilet composting systems available. For more information about these composting toilets, read the article “Outdoor Portable Composting Systems.”
3) Buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. Composting toilets would be a much less smelly and much more environmentally friendly alternative to the flush toilets currently found on many public transport systems. Of course, it would involve considerable time and effort to educate the “public” about their proper use and advantages. Still, I can think of no better way to create massive public awareness about toilet composting systems.
4) Remote yurts, cottages, and cabins. Non-electric models of composting toilets are ideal for off-grid locations and have little access to sewage or septic systems.
5) Recreational Vehicles. Now, let’s face it, RVs are not generally known for being environmentally friendly. But if you are going to drive an RV, why not make them as environmentally friendly as you can and switch from the chemically laden portable potty to a greener toilet composting system instead? Most of the marine composting models are well suited for RV’s as well.
6) Treehouses. This one is just for fun. Or maybe not. If you have a treehouse with a toilet, it should undoubtedly be a composting toilet!
Now that I’ve gotten started, tons of more ideas are coming to my mind. How about composting toilets on oil rigs and platforms? In factories and warehouses? In guard towers or sky cranes? Well, as you see, once you get started thinking green, it’s hard to stop.