Composting toilets are drafty

This weekend, I spent the majority of my time at a greenhouse management workshop in Craik, SK. This particular small town is very special because it took a turn that not many other small towns would consider, which included sustainability on a community level. They built an eco-friendly building with a restaurant and golf course all called the Craik Eco-Centre. Most of the materials for the building were re-used from other buildings and the design was made for it to be low-cost to run and highly efficient. I especially love that the people in Craik saved the wood from their fallen grain elevator and used it to build this building. It was a community effort to build and the work was mostly done by volunteers. There is an eco-village coming about as the next step and it is reviving this community.

The Craik Sustainable Living Project is putting on a few of these greenhouse workshops to inform others on growing food with the use of a greenhouse. I went in both a professional and a personal level and really did learn a lot about greenhouses and can’t wait for spring! However, the best part of the workshop was just being in that building, where everything is so purposeful to being sustainable and it was inspiring to me.

As someone who considers herself a well-hydrated person and is slightly antsy while sitting all day, I went to the washroom a lot. Maybe it was just because I loved going there so much because when I walked in, I was often surprised by the darkness and having to turn the light on. Then I used the very drafty composting toilets and read the sign about what not to throw down the compost toilet and thought about what must have happened in order for the sign to include “Do not let young children in here alone.” It was probably just for safety – a “just in case” situation.

The best part of the composting toilet was being done my business because usually in public washrooms I am faced with a dilemma after a #1 situation. Flush or no flush. At home, I have a strict “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” policy. However, in public toilets I waver. It irritates me to no end to have someone go in after me just to flush it before they sit down. I have also seen people look into the stall, see something in the bowl, and go to the next one; the worst part of this one is that I do the same thing! I mean, what if the toilet isn’t flushing right?! Then it could get all over the floor and I’d have to find someone to clean it up and they’d look at me all judgmental about using the toilet that already had toilet paper in it. With composting toilets, there is no worries at all! There is no “flush or no flush” debate and I was thankful for it. I felt a relief in more ways than one when I left the stall.

But as I turned off the light after washing my hands and wiping the residual water on my pants, I could still feel my cold butt from the draft that comes up from below and was kind of uncomfortable with it.

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