Environmentally-Friendly Toilets for Your Next Bathroom Remodel

Poop is a big feature in our lives, but most of us want to ignore poop and act like it doesn’t happen. The reality is that poop control is big thing. I’m old enough to have used outhouses back when they were legal and abundant. Along the way, the family upgraded to a cesspool for the bathroom (septic tanks are a legal and safe alternative today). The cesspool was a big step up in a one bedroom house with cabinets made from apple and orange crates. It was a special day for Mom and Dad when the water closet was plumbed to the cesspool. Not so special for us (the three kids), because we still had to use the outhouse. Later the city extended sewer lines and our family joined the modern age. No matter what system we use today the basic idea of poop control is to gather poop and process it in a way that is convenient, safe and environmentally sound. The local poop control center for most of us begins with a toilet and ends with a complete waste processing and disposal system. Here are a few toilet types or systems that you might use in your next environmentally friendly bathroom upgrade.

A little Johnny history

There are a lot of tales about toilets but nobody can really say who invented the “toilet.” We don’t even know for sure that the word “crap” comes from Thomas Crapper (a London plumber in the late 1800s), but the idea sounds good. We do know that that the term “Johnny” came from a flush water closet invention by Sir John Harrington in 1596. Alexander Cummings was issued the first patent for a flushing water closet in 1775. The first toilet in my home had a tank high on the wall and flushed by pull chain. Must have used at least five gallons-probably more. It was fun for a three or four year old to pull the chain and watch water flow. Kind of scary at the time.

Modern flush toilets

What can we say about modern toilets? They work and are available almost anywhere. Unless you replace a toilet you never need to think about it. Since 1994 toilets use about 1.5 gallons of water or less. The EPA provides flush toilet standards. Except for quality and looks choosing a toilet is a moot point for most of us.

Alternatives for adventurous home owners

The problem with alternative toilets and/or poop control systems is that they are less convenient than the flush type toilet systems. You don’t always get to poop, flush and walk away. Sometimes you need to deal with the results and prepare for the next time. Label anything with “green” or “environmentally friendly” and the price goes through the roof.

Examples are:

Composting toilets
Self contained or chemical toilets
Incinerator toilets
Low water flush toilets
Separator toilets
Sh*t Box

The Loowat system developed by Virginia Gardiner interests me. This is a self contained unit with biodegradable bags. The idea is to put a cup or so of sawdust in the reception chamber (bowl), which is lined with a continuous biodegradable plastic bag, poop and turn a handle. The bag closes above the poop and advances down into the sealing unit. The toilet is ready for the next user. When the sealing unit is full you roll it out to a compost or digester unit. Of course-alternative toilets are not suitable for everyone. Check it out. You may be that one in a thousand who revels in alternative poop control.

More from Gerald:

Eight Reasons to Prune Trees Around the Home

What You Need to Know to Install Drapes and Curtains

How to Dry Lay Retaining Walls for Terraces and Landscaping

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