"Smells Like Sawdust"



Came across and interesting article called Down and Dirty: 5 Ways To Go Seriously Green, and behold! The very first idea is a composting toilet.

In Austin, Tex., a group called the Rhizome Collective has built a commode that uses no water. Instead, when you're finished, you pour sawdust down the toilet.

"This is a great system for environmentally conscious individuals and families," said Jennifer Melia, a member of the collective. She and her cohorts try to live a sustainable, off-the-electric-grid lifestyle -- though the powers that be took four years to give their approval for the system.

"It was just a new thing," said Jill Mayfield of the Austin Water Utility, which finally gave Rhizome the go-ahead. "It takes a while to make sure it's something that would be safe."

The members of the collective say they may not have a solution that pleases everyone, but they're doing their part for the environment. A flush from a conventional toilet, they said, takes 3-5 gallons of water -- clean water that could be used for drinking or cooking, and is in short supply in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, people who checked out the sawdust-powered outhouse said it smelled mostly of sawdust, and not much else. There are commercially made indoor versions as well.

"They save immense amounts of water, they create healthy soil, and they save energy," said Melia. "These are far beyond the latrines of olden times."


The article did list a few other ideas, but this seemed to be the only one that could be used on a household level...which is fine, since businesses and cities need to get in on the act in a big way...but another option or two for the individual would have been nice.

Regardless, this is exactly what Nicole was talking about adding up at the Farm, since there is currently only one toilet. Maybe a smoke signal to that collective in Austin on how they built their own on the cheap??