I've really enjoyed lurking on this site for a few months and have found great information on grey water and humanure concepts. I'm getting a handle on the physics and chemistry, have done calculations for the "waste" we are currently sending to our municipal system, but I have one question: How do I get my wife over the eww factor? Thank you for any and all help! Erik
My wife has been having issues with the whole greywater/compost toilet/no fridge setup I'm working on as well. I have been moderately successful in convincing her and getting her over the eww factor by showing her videos of systems in use where people are handling the waste and it isn't so bad. I guess you could call it "wearing her down" because I'm constantly pushing the idea and finding articles and videos about it that contradict the "eww" reaction. Good luck to you!
When I first started, I had my own sawdust-bucket in the back shed, leaving the boys to use the 'proper' flush toilet. After they got used to seeing me handle the buckets and could see that the compost heap did not smell or attract flies, and that they didn't have to handle the buckets themselves, I moved the bucket into the bathroom. Eventually, the toilet started to leak so they boys make me a loveable loo to hold the bucket and replaced the flush toilet with it.
I guess most people would have a similar problem. I have recently purchased a piece of land that has a septic tank already built (no house though), but I would rather not use it or invest any money to connect it to a future building, however any mention I have made of composting toilets to my spouse has been met with complete rejection. I wish there was a system that might work temporarily and that can be easily-cheaply dismantled and turned back to nature once the skeptics can be convinced to use the composting toilet.
I really loved a video I saw at permaculturenews of a worm system for sewage in Australia, but it also looked quite expensive to install.
I like Burra Maluca's approach of Softly, Softly… In our house, I'm the only one to use the outdoor dry loo - unless the rest of the family are out in the garden anyway. I'm not too fussed about everyone using it, but it was nice to have the dry toilet as a backup for a big freeze a couple of years back when there was no mains water. Then they were quick enough to join me.
Ha ha! When I met my current partner, she came to visit for an impromptu farm tour. I was dumping humanure buckets into the compost, among other chores. She was so fascinated with it all that she helped me! What's more, she came back the next weekend and we went on from there! I guess I separated the woman from the girls right from the start!
Thank you for the ideas. Softly, softly I think it shall be. She's the one who started me on "if it's yellow..." so I was kind of surprised at her reaction to humanure. I think if I take care of the plumbing for grey water in the house so it is not a hassle she will come on board. I've got a basic system design laid out but the grounds a little to frozen to dig yet. Thanks again for your advice!
We, 8 of us (mostly female adults), will be building 3 or 4 small dwellings this summer totally off grid on 40 acres. We were at the property a lot this past summer doing prep work. The only building there when we bought was an outhouse, bucket style. It got used during the day and each tent had it's own bucket n sawdust for the gals (guys just peed at the nearest tree).
First up this spring will be bathhouse/toilet areas, 2 of those as there is some distance between the 2 main building sites. Also outdoor kitchens which will transition later into summer cook areas. We have built a 7 x 7 shed around the well head for the generator and for tool storage.
Anyone visiting while we were there didn't have a lot of bathroom choice. We did make a composting bin to dump buckets in and will continue that.
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit