compost

How to Choose a Toilet For Your Tiny House

How to Choose a Toilet For Your Tiny House

The Toilet – One of the Most Important Tiny House Decisions You’ll Ever Make


Living a “normal” life in a “normal” home, you’ve probably never given much thought to your toilet.  It’s there when you need it, it does its job and it takes care of business with little muss or fuss.

But when you live in a tiny house, your toilet becomes a big deal.  Like, you’ll find yourself thinking about it, talking about and considering the various aspects of it A LOT.

(And consequently - people start ASKING you about your toilets - A LOT!).

It might sound a little ridiculous or even a little uncomfortable for some, but the fact is, when you make the transition to tiny living, you’re going to have to start thinking outside of the norm.  And partaking in toilet talk will just be part of that journey.

What’s the big deal about toilets?

Well, it’s simple… first of all, if you want to be off-grid, you’re going to have to use an alternative to the traditional flush toilet, that’s just a fact. 

You can always upgrade down the line to solar panels and water catchment systems for your other utilities, but if you don’t plan for an alternative toilet from the very beginning, then you will always need access to a sewage hook-up...

 

The COMET: Interior SketchUp Models

So today I spent all day inside The COMET (which was surprisingly warm despite the 30 degree weather outside and considering it has no heat, broken windows and 1950's insulation). I was measuring all of the interior space (cabinets, beds, appliances, etc) and simultaneously making a SketchUp 3D model so that I could begin to figure out how much I need of each material (flooring, countertop, paint). Here are some stills of the model I'm working on...and keep in mind, it's a rough draft! The green color is just to differentiate between walls and cabinets. Soon I'll use these stills to diagram the interior space in a more conceptual way. Also, this is just the interior measurements (no windows, no door) and the exterior still needs to be measured. Google SketchUp is a free 3D modeling tool, it's very easy to use and an awesome resource. If you don't already use it, download it and start fooling around!

Compost!

I don't know much about composting (I've always composted - having lived in collectives/communes most of my life so far - but don't know the science behind it per-se), but I'm about to learn. Because I know I will have a composting toilet in The COMET, I have been looking into more information about composting food waste and humanure.

I've been reading The Humanure Handbook (third edition) which you can find here for free download: http://humanurehandbook.com/

Now that I've decided to build my own composting toilet for The Comet camper and opted not to purchase a very expensive one, I really look forward to reading this book.

I'm hoping to make the most out of a composting toilet/other compost situation on the road by having a "bumper" garden...I'm working on a design for a little greenhouse that mounts onto the back of The COMET.

I've also been reading about worm farms and worm bin composting...there are some great DIY guides out there for making your own cheap worm bin.

This may not be ideal for the mobile lifestyle, but I plan on living in The COMET in some places for extended amounts of time at some point, and it's pretty interesting anyway. Maybe I can get my parents to get a worm bin!

Another composting situation that REALLY appeals to me (and is not perfect for mobile living either, but hey!) is a bunny rabbit compost set-up.

Apparently rabbit poop is really good for compost, and can even be used raw (without going through a composting process at all!).

I was reading about a set-up where there is a compost bin directly underneath the rabbit's coop/dwelling, and the poop just goes right into the compost! I'm not exactly sure how well this works in practice, but it seems like a great idea.

I'd be really excited about a bunny or two...of course they are adorable and I love little animals!