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Toilets

topic posted Fri, July 1, 2005 - 4:14 PM by  ∞∞
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This is probably the most difficult part of any unplugged lifestyle. Composting toilets can be difficult if you live in an apartment, as well as getting the approval to put the tank in the downstairs neighbour's apartment and the things I've read about them don't make me want to use one.

Incinerating toilets are nice but expensive, and getting one second hand probably has no appeal to most. The Incinolet www.incinolet.com/ is an electric toilet that burns up the poo and turns it into sterile ash that can be disposed of without worry of toxic waste.

A Canadian company makes the Storburn incinerating toilet, which uses propane to burn the poo. www3.sympatico.ca/storburn/

Another alternative, although I don't know the extent of how environmentally friendly it is, is renting the portable toilets like on construction sites. These can blend in in an urban setting, and can be used while saving up for your incenerating toilet.

I looked at the portable toilets like on RVs and boats as a cheaper alternative, but those would have to be cleaned out (poo in tact). Disposing of it and finding a volunteer for that could be difficult. A portable toilet can be found bere: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect

The lowest cost "solution" is to get a bag of Depends undergarments . A user of Depends would be able to prolong the time needed between trips to the bathroom but there are certain comfort and social downsides that may steer many away from these.

Being close by a 24 hour store with a bathroom might work as a solution. The trips could be timed with necessary shopping trips, or those trips could be spread out by buying for example only one soda at a time instead of buying the whole six pack, so you would actually be a paying customer on each trip.

Possibly the most logical solution would be to have a way to generate electricity from the burning poo to recharge the batteries in the powerbox.
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  • Re: Toilets

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 12:43 PM
    cassette toilets for campers seem good. I'll post more for home use if find.
  • Re: Toilets

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 4:51 PM
    "for sale. 1 used toilet. burn your poo on-site."

    you're right matthew...that is not an appealing ad...

    one thing is for sure tho...if we figured out a way to make electricity out of poo, we'd be able to afford that fancy toilet. lol!

    if you live - say - in a small or not densely populated community...can you safely do as the bears do? or is this an environmental problem...(i hardly eat any cfc's...)

    just wondering why the kai-bo didn't show up on your list...

    cheers!
    jeff
  • Re: Toilets

    Thu, August 31, 2006 - 10:50 AM
    I live in NYC, and am a dog walker. Some of my clients have a set up that just isn't *user friendly* - that is, I get the impression they prefer we "go elsewhere," if you know what I mean, and I know that you do.....

    So, I have had to have "go to" spots in most areas I work.

    The Big Box stores are an excellent resource for toilet facilities. They usually have several stalls, several wash basins and generally are not very busy, which offers some measure of privacy. Barnes & Noble is the exception - small b/rooms, lots of waiting.

    Starbucks is hit and miss. The bathrooms are usually busy, and with all that coffee going through the sytem the waits aren't just for quick pees...... So, one has to wait. And know that there is going to be someone waiting while they are in there too. Maybe even a person with a child who is holding it best they can..... Also, the transient pop. is well aware of S/Bucks in NYC and uses them as clean-up places. Nobody can blame them for that! My point is - S/Bucks is already "taken."

    Fats food restaurants usually have locks on the doors...oh! I just noticed my typo - I wrpte "fats" food..... I'll just leave that....

    BUT - If you're off the grid, it might feel sort of icky, going on the grid....just to go.

    Rock climbers who do Big Walls(not mountaineering, where one might wander off trail a bit to go - this is being on a solid wall of rock for several days - up to 5) have to deal with the poop/pee issue.

    Pee is easy. You have a wide-mouth plastic bottle which you go into. Easier for guys, but ladies have better balance; maybe out of necessity....

    Pooh presents an entirely diferent dilemma. Because a lot of Big Walls are in protected areas, climbers no longer do what they did back in the early daze, which was to crap in a bag and "bombs away" - over the shoulder she goes, and where she stops, nobody know...except if you happen to be a climber on the wall below.

    So, somebody invented the Poop Tube." Here is a URL that shows how to make one. They can also be purchase in outdoors stores. You can go on just about any rock climbing website and enter "poop tube" into the search, and get loads of information. Probably more than you need.....

    www.fastq.com/~jrschroeder/poop.htm
    • Re: Toilets

      Sun, September 3, 2006 - 1:25 PM
      wow! that's awesome! i'm going to try this on my next wilderness trip...no more stirring-up poo with dirt for me :)

      i work with a plumbing company and can get the pvc tube easily...maybe even 4" for longer trips. now...can i convince my friends to use it...?? lol

      cheers
      • Re: Toilets

        Sat, October 21, 2006 - 9:53 AM
        [[[one thing is for sure tho...if we figured out a way to make electricity out of poo, we'd be able to afford that fancy toilet. ]]]

        Biogas?
        Just a quick sample from google
        www.re-energy.ca/t-i_bioma...ld-1.shtml

        maybe I'm saying stuff that's already been said like an obnoxious 4 yr old in a room of adults..so forgive me if that's true

        My first intrpduction to the word biogas was in a log home building book and I wondered what the heck biogas were..but the word is bio-gas.....lol
        • Re: Toilets

          Sat, October 21, 2006 - 10:35 AM
          By some estimates, properly exploiting the potential of biogas could produce as much as 1/3 of the energy used in the United States, just by using organic waste products.
  • Re: Toilets

    Sun, February 11, 2007 - 10:33 PM
    You shouldn't discount composting toilets so quickly. True, it might pose more of a problem for an apartment dweller. Interested folks should read Joe Jenkins Humanure Handbook. You can d/l the whole book for free here:
    www.jenkinspublishing.com/human...s.html

    True, you have to haul a bucket of semi-solidified, odorless poo out to a compost pile every few days, but it's not really all that much trouble when you consider that you can build this toilet for a few bucks. We used one for over a year and it works great. If done correctly there is virtually no odor. Certainly not more than from a regular toilet anyway. Not from the toilet, bucket, or outdoor compost bin. I'd have never believed it if I hadn't tried it myself. The sawdust is like magic. Even sold the wife on it.

    Even if you decide it's not for you, the book is a very interesting read. "255 pages of crap" the author says.

    John
    • Re: Toilets

      Thu, February 15, 2007 - 6:47 PM
      totally y'all...biogas!!

      get it groovin if uUu have the energetix channelin that direxion eh?!
      and let us know about any large scale applications...
      eye would love to see city~wide workilinZ...
      (and dont forget that the slurry (the liquidy byproduct of producing biogas)
      has been shown to be equally and more effectively fertilizing
      in the garden as compost!!

      damn therez reasonz to check into this modality for waste transmutation eh??!

      (and eye'm into humanure too, just thinkin it depends on the setting and community sitch)

      *~psst~*
      the other day eye peed
      in two public parks in washington dc...
      in the bushes...
      that was fun...
      :)

      love us all free,
      blessa bee
      • Re: Toilets

        Fri, February 16, 2007 - 11:00 AM
        Large scale application of biogas and related technologies is exactly what my new company, Applied Ecotechical Innovations, is working on.

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