Other Simple Ecological Toilet Options

Put bulky objects into the ordinary toilet tank

You can experiment with your ordinary toilet by putting objects of various sizes into it to see how little water you can get away with before you have to use the plunger. The idea is that because the toilet tank stops taking in water when the ball reaches a certain level, if you put an object into the tank, it means less water is in the tank. Less water is therefore used in the flush. Avoid using bricks; they are not good for your plumbing. A closed container of liquid would be better eg: a full plastic bottle of Pepsi…or Coke.

Pepsi bottle or coke bottle

Lower-tech than a weight in the tank? Yes, flush less often!

This is the obvious low-tech, low-cost solution to water wastage in the bathroom. The common saying is: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down”. If you pee twice per flush, you have effectively created the same water-use profile as a low-flush toilet. Pee three times and you are at the technological cutting edge….

Separate Yourself from the Pack…perhaps in ‘the bad way’: The Humanure Option

A more specialized approach. This is an option if you live near a sawmill. Build a toilet out of a 5 gallon (20 litre) container and a toilet seat. Use rotted sawdust (but not sawdust from ordinary lumber which has probably been treated with chemicals) scooped directly on top of the excreta. It will not smell and will breakdown the excreta into compost! See the detailed, free online book on the subject: http://weblife.org/humanure/default.html

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Waste Water instead of Trees Option

More worried about wasting trees than wasting water? Many Middle-Eastern and Central Asian countries use a pitcher of water instead of toilet paper. The bidet is a European variant of this idea and is used to clean up after the event. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet

A Tampon Alternative for the 21st Century?

Since we are already talking toilets and wastewater, municipal processing of toilet wastewater can be helped by the reduction of tampons. Something worth investigating is the Diva cup – a small silicone cup that you can insert instead of a tampon. See: http://www.divacup.com/ for info and advice on usage. Many women find it liberating, financially, environmentally, and physically. It’s about $35 and voilà – no more need to buy feminine paper products.

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