What is a Compost Toilet ?

dinosaur poo

About 400 million years ago, the first land animals came out of the sea. There were no toilets. Animals just had to drop their poo right there on the ground, and they've been doing it ever since. 400 million years is quite a long time and a few elementary calculations show that by now the entire land surface of the Earth should be several kilometres deep in prehistoric poo.

But it isn't. Why not? Where's it all gone? The answer of course is composting. Billions of little organisms feed on the poo, break it down and turn it back into the raw materials that plants need to grow. Plants grow, animals feed on them and produce more poo, the microbes break down the poo and so on. It's a never-ending cycle that keeps everything going, and there's not a toilet in sight.

It's a brilliant system. But although it was good enough for dinosaurs and cave people, it's too messy and smelly for us modern civilised folk. That's why we have toilets. 

The trouble about most conventional toilet systems is that :

 * They use a lot of clean water and make it dirty so we have to clean it again.

 * The plant foods don't get back to the plants so we have to use artificial fertilisers instead.

 * The poo sometimes ends up in places where we don't want it - like beaches.


Compost toilets provide the best of both worlds :

 * They are clean and hygienic to use.

 * They get the plant foods back to the soil.

 * They are simple to use and environmentally friendly.


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