How Can You Be A Good Steward Of The Environment?
As campers, it’s no secret that we enjoy spending time outdoors. We appreciate nature and strive to protect it as best we can. In other words, most campers are also environmentally conscious individuals who want to care for and maintain our natural resources. So if you’re a camper who enjoys the convenience of your RV or travel trailer, how do you balance the desire for comfort and convenience with being a good steward of the environment? Here’s one unique option: outfit your RV with a portable composting toilet system.
How Does It Work?
The idea behind a composting toilet is relatively simple. It’s a toilet that converts waste into compost, a substance that is essentially the same as ordinary garden soil. This process is accomplished by means of a compost drum inside the toilet that keeps the contents well aerated and moist, while converting to compost. A fan ensures that the toilet doesn’t produce any odor, both inside and outside the RV.
What Are Your Benefits?
For an RV owner, the primary benefit is that you no longer have to worry about pumping out the holding tank. In fact, you really don’t even need a holding tank—there will be no septic contents for it to hold! You will, of course, still need a gray water holding tank (that is, a tank to hold water coming from the sink and shower). A composting toilet system is also advantageous because it doesn’t use any fresh water itself, which means you’ll refill your water supply less often.
What Can You Do With The Compost?
So what does one do with the compost that comes from the toilet? Most people are actually surprised by how little compost the toilet makes. Over the course of a year, you’ll probably get one small bucketful of compost. Compost is an excellent fertilizer, so it can be sprinkled on a lawn, applied around trees or bushes, or tilled into a flower garden. When the finished compost is removed from the toilet, it will be completely dry, odorless, and free of harmful bacteria. In other words, no one would ever be able to distinguish it as compost that came from a composting toilet as opposed to compost that came from a backyard (garden) compost bin. The end product is the same.
How Can It Help The Environment?
The environmental benefits of a composting toilet are very significant. The amount of fresh water and energy that is used for transporting and processing sewage in this country is staggering. Composting toilets provide a clean, self sufficient way of dealing with waste without placing strain on other natural resources. A composting toilet is essentially the final link in closing the nutrient cycle. Plants grow from the earth, plants are consumed, food becomes waste, waste then becomes compost and is recycled directly back to the earth where it originated.
Given that RVs and travel trailers already place undue strain on natural resources simply because of the excessive fuel they consume, the addition of a composting toilet is one small way that an RV owner can give something positive back to the environment. And since they eliminate the need to deal with messy holding tanks and pump outs, it’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved.
About the author:
Ellen Bell is a part-owner of the Composting Toilet Store, an online retailer of the Sun Mar portable composting toilet. Please visit us for more information and a free catalog on eco-friendly Sun Mar compost toilets.