Many tiny houses use composting toilets, which are especially great for off-grid dwellings. There are many different types: some of the commercial models do the composting inside the actual toilet (and are therefore very large). Other units separate the liquid waste from the solids, which cuts down on odor and makes it easier to empty. There are lots of options!
Our toilet is a bucket filled with sawdust that we get at a local lumber mill. It may seem primitive but this set-up is cheap and saves water. It’s crazy how much clean water gets wasted in conventional toilets! The composting method can eventually turn human “waste” into fertilizer for trees and flowers.
How does a sawdust toilet work?
Our toilet is the same size as a conventional one. Basically you pee into it like normal, but put toilet paper in the trash. Nate empties the bucket into a compost pile in the woods about twice a week. Then he rinses out the bucket and refills with shavings. Yes, this is Nate’s chore! But he’d take toilet duty over laundry and changing the sheets any day, so it’s a fair trade 🙂
So, what about poop? The short answer is that we do not poop in the tiny house because we want to go longer between having to clean and empty the toilet.
Because of our self-imposed no-poop rule, there is some timing involved to ensure that #2 happens when we’re out of the house. Sometimes we use the bathroom in the “big house” nearby. We occasionally use the “big house” for other things like the oven, laundry, and watching movies on the giant TV. We’re lucky to have our own little home and privacy, yet still enjoy the comforts of a “regular” house. We definitely could live totally isolated in the tiny house if we had to, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing some amenities with family and helping them with things in return. So it’s a win-win!
When we are more settled in our careers, we hope to find our own land for the tiny house. In the meantime it is in a good place!