I’m intrigued by the whole idea of cradle-to-cradle technology. From what I’ve read, it wasn’t that long ago when some cultures requested you to give a return on their food/hospitality investment before you left (ie you leave your waste product for use as fertilizer for their crops). I’ve always thought it odd to put waste into our fresh drinking water, and then use chemicals and processing to take it back out again. However, in our culture, composting is thought to be inconvenient, smelly, and beneath our sensibilities.
Well, with new technology, modern composting toilets are easily available online – and I even saw a composting toilet in a local plumbing showroom! Some composting toilets use small amounts of electricity to run a drying fan, creating compost quicker and keeping the smell at bay, others have a vent outside and are electricity-free (but those you need to be more vigilant about so they don’t stink). There are self-contained composting toilets for use on boats and/or in basements or cabins. There are also composting systems where the bowl is indoors and the composting storage tank is outdoors. So many choices, all allowing you to save energy, water, and create your own fertilizer (instead of carting off your poo, and then going to the hardware store to purchase fertilizer for your garden.)
On another note, we live in a one-bathroom home. I’d consider the practicality and frugality of a composting toilet in the future as a second bathroom for family and brave friends to use. (No need to scare traditionally minded guests – they can use the traditional bathroom.) For those of us who feel comfortable with the idea, I think a composting toilet would be a fun experiment.