composting toilet

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Toilet Talk: Meeting One of the World’s Grand Challenges

Forty percent of the world’s population lacks access to decent sanitation facilities

Posted on Dec 9 2015 by Karl Linden

How is it possible that 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation facilities in 2015?

While many westerners use their bathroom time as “me time,“ 40% of the world’s population may be pooping outdoors, in an unsanitary latrine, or in a plastic bag and launching flying toilets to dispose of their waste.

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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Karl Linden
  2. Image #2: SuSanA Secretariat / Flickr

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Collection and Use of Urine

Human urine collection and use provide a better way to recycle nutrients than the use of composting toilets

Posted on Apr 3 2014 by Alex Wilson

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy this blog over your morning cup of coffee, here’s an article on… urine?


Let me explain.

Urine is a largely sterile, nutrient-rich resource that can be used in fertilizing plants. In fact, according to the Rich Earth Institute, the urine from one adult in a year can produce over 300 pounds of wheat — enough for nearly a loaf of bread per day.

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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson
  2. Abe Noe-Hays
  3. Rich Earth Institute

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Builders Complete ‘Canada’s Greenest Home’

A sustainable building school in Ontario wraps up construction of this zero-energy spec house

Posted on Jun 4 2013 by Scott Gibson

A sustainable building school in Ontario has completed work on a 2,400-sq. ft. net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. house it's calling “Canada's Greenest Home.”

Now on the market for $649,000, the house incorporates a variety of features that enhance indoor air quality and energy and water efficiency, including a composting toilet, a rainwater collection system, a 5-kW photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. system, and nontoxic interior finishes. ( last reported on this house in a February 2012 news story, “Teaching Deep Green by Building It.”)

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Image Credits:

  1. Endeavour Centre

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America’s Greenest Office Building

The Bullitt Center is a six-story, 52,000-square-foot building aiming to meet the net-zero-energy, net-zero-water Living Building Challenge

Posted on May 23 2013 by Alex Wilson

I’m just back from a week in Seattle, where I attended the Living Future Conference, which this year had a theme of resilience and regeneration — a major focus of mine with the Resilient Design Institute. While there I visited what is almost certainly the greenest office building in America, if not the world.

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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Does a Composting Toilet Stink Up Your House?

After three years of living with one, I can tell you the answer

Posted on May 22 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Ten years ago I was building a green home. It had passive solar features, was built out of structural insulated panels, sent all the greywater out to the back yard to water fruit trees, and was going to be super energy efficient. One feature above all others, though, captured people’s attention when I described the house to them — the composting toilet.

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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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