Initially I was thinking I’d make the tiny free house more like a ‘park model’ house with a flush toilet and RV hookups. But the more I learn about sawdust toilets and soil box gray water systems the more I think that these two solutions are really a better way of dealing with the waste water and sewage.
In addition to being free, these methods are far more sustainable, provide usable compost, and don’t require massive quantities of water. The sawdust toilet does require a special compost pile for the turds to cook. I’m also pretty sure few government agencies officially condone these little methods or handling human waste so before trying this yourself be sure to check your local laws.
To learn more about sawdust toilets and gray water soil boxes get the Humanure Handbook. You can also read The Humanure Handbook online free but this is one book you might want a hard copy of in your library. It makes great toilet reading too… (pun intended). Photo credit to Jenkins Publishing.
Initially when I conceived the original requirements for my tiny free house I was thinking I’d build it as a ‘park model’ house which simply means it would have a normal flush toilet, water and electric hookups. Then someone posted a comment on my tiny pallet house blog suggesting I look into humanure.
Don’t worry the correct initial response is “WHAT IS HUMANURE!!!”. But after a little investigation I believe you might be overcome by the the idea… no no not the smell. You see there is an ebook you can download right now (yes for free) that explains exactly how to build yourself a $25 sawdust toilet.
The book is by a very funny guy by the name of Joseph Jenkins. I actually have never spoken to him but I have to say his book, The Humanure Handbook is actually a pretty funny read filled with great cartoons so I have to assume the guy behind it has a good sense of humor. I mean… what guy that writes poo books wouldn’t be funny… but I digress.
I haven’t told my wife yet but I think I may want to consider this for the tiny free house. I bet I can even build one of these little jobs for free. I mean its just a 5 gallon bucket, a wood box, a toilet seat, sawdust, and some poo right? There’s always a free toilet on craigslist but the idea of having a free composting toilet that is also great for the environment just seems like a great win-win (and you get to keep the poo!)
Well at least it’s worth some serious investigation as long as I wash my hands with warm soapy water right? Photo credit to Joseph Jenkins and Tom Griffin.