Ode to the Outmoded Commode

Dear Flush Toilet,  How we don’t need thee.


You waste 2 gallons of water per flush.  The average person flushes you 4 times per day.  So daily, per person 8 gallons of water, usually drinking quality, go down the toilet.  Literally.  What a lovely thing to do to perfectly good water, eh?  Mix it with poop and send it away to be treated by sewage plants.

Oh, Flush Toilet.  How we don’t miss thee.

In the last two years, we’ve hosted approximately 400 people for a total of 6,807 people-days.  In those days, Flush Toilet, you would have been flushed around 27,228 times.

That is 54,456 gallons (206,138 liters) of water that has not gone down you, Flush Toilet.

54,456 gallons of water that can be used instead to water important plants, cook healthy meals, and bathe in.

And, Flush Toilet, just look at your replacement!

composting toilet

Comfortable, well-built composting toilets are clean, close to living spaces, and turn human waste into humanure: perfectly good dirt that we can use in our gardens.  We can even use it in veggie gardens (though we don’t, because despite studies that show properly composted human waste is fine to use in food gardens, it tends to gross our visitors out).

What’s that you say, Flush Toilet?  You think these new composting toilets stink??

You’re wrong!  By throwing in a handful of sawdust or tree leaves after use, the compost toilet doesn’t smell.  When we anticipate heavy use we throw in a few gallons of sawdust before and after to keep them smell-free.

What’s that you say, Flush Toilet?  You think you’ll never be replaced by city-folk, only by some weirdos living in the woods in Mexico??

You’re wrong!  Composting toilets are gaining popularity.  Indoor compost toilets are increasingly becoming an option for facilities that want to conserve water and have a proper way to deal with waste.  In fact, Flush Toilet, toilets like you didn’t gain popularity until the late 1800’s.  You’re a new invention, and if I may be frank, a stupid one.

So, Flush Toilet, here is our ode to you, the outmoded commode:

Ode to the Outmoded Commode

Flush Toilet, you were our dear good friend,

but really, this silly relationship must end.

Problems you solved, but problems you created,

just so our need for convenience could be sated.

In your lovely chamber water, poop and pee became mixed.

And sometimes we had to call the plumber to have you fixed.

With the ongoing need to plunge, flush and clean,

just so our poop can go off to a land unseen,

we must, Flush Toilet, give composting a try.

And thus, with no sadness, we bid you good-bye.

For more information on composting toilets, see:

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