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Thursday, March 17, 2005
Composting Toilets


The NEWTs are the Northumberland Eco Wild Team.

“The NEWTs, a teenage Wildlife Watch Group, are creating an environmental farm holiday to share their ideas for ‘going green’.


You’ll be able to stay at their eco-friendly farm cottage in rural North Northumberland and discover more about protecting the environment through the NEWTs’ work and research.”

The NEWTs are in the UK. Newt cottage is on Hunting Hall, a working farm 2 miles from the small village of Lowick in North Northumberland. The farm is surrounded by agricultural land and there are many public footpaths to help you explore the countryside. They want to Go Green make the cottage environment-friendly!

NEWT Cottage

Each NEWT chose an area of the cottage renovation to research. They looked at the environmental impact of conventional methods and searched for a greener alternative.

We spoke to Sarah, who contacted us via Composting Toilet World, about a composting toilet (of course!) for the cottage and provided some Envirolet® pictures and info for their site.

Envirolet® MS10

There is lots of great information about compost toilets on their site! And they plan to add a composting toilet to the cottage. Here is some of what they say about composting toilets:

Why use one? Ordinary flush toilets use a huge amount of water - the average family uses at least 100,000 litres of it a year through flushing. In a world where water is becoming increasingly precious, this obviously isn’t very environmentally friendly - water wasted on flushing may be taken from reservoirs and lakes that are home to animals and birds, or prevent such creatures, and humans, from having sufficient drinking, washing and cooking water (not that the animals will be doing much cooking!) Flush toilets also require sewage treatment plants, which destroy habitats as well as being extremely unsightly and smelly. Sewage is also a pollutant, severely affecting yet more water when it is pumped into the sea.

Compost toilets take us back to our roots - originally all human waste would decompose like this because flush toilets simply didn’t exist! They are especially useful in countries where water is scarce, as explained above, but they have many advantages over ordinary toilets in developed countries with water on hand. They don’t produce bad smells or harmful, polluting sewage, (which also avoids the need for sewage treatment plants); they turn a waste product into a valuable fertilising resource, and save money on plumbing!

Why do we want one in the NEWT cottage? A major purpose of the NEWT cottage is to educate the guests in the implementation of environmentally friendly objects and processes in their everyday lives. A compost toilet is a prime example of this. If just one guest goes home thinking it is worthwhile to make their own house a bit ‘greener’, then we will have done something valuable, and we are hoping to convince many more! The compost toilet will also hopefully be a fun novelty for the cottage, particularly with children, to show that helping the environment can be fun and interesting.”

We agree!

Others areas of concern for the NEWTs in order to “go green” include energy, paint, timber, floor coverings, and more.

They plan on having guests to the cottage. They say that “by inviting people to stay on a self-catering holiday in our finished cottage we hope to share the results of our green research and prove that you can enjoy a comfortable holiday without leaving behind a large environmental footprint.”

We wish them luck and are going to help out with anything more that we can! And hopefully we can make it there one day to see all the hard work they have done!