Envirolet Buzz | Composting Toilet Reviews, Photos, News, Tips and more

April 2006 Archives

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Buzz Word

Envirolet Europe Domain Name Change

Posted by Scott

Envirolet® Europe is slowly switching to the new .eu top-level domain. So, Envirolet® Europe will be envirolet.eu (from envirolet-europe.com).

A full switch is anticipated to take a couple of months.

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Buzz Word

Crick Boat Show, May 27-29

Posted by Scott

crick_boat_show_logo_1.gif Check out The Crick Boat Show May 27-29, 2006 at Crick Marina and visit Envirolet® Composting Toilets at the show.

About the show:

“Nestled within the picturesque countryside of Northamptonshire, ‘the rose of the shires’, and built around scenic Crick Marina, Crick Boat Show is recognised as being the UK’s premier inland waterways event. Organised by British Waterways, it is a firm favourite in the national events calendar and brings you all things connected with Britain’s beautiful and unique canal network, and so much more…”

[Via The Crick Boat Show.]

How to get there.

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Buzz Word

Yard Sale for the Cure

Posted by Scott

Yard Sale for the Cure We are proud to announce that we are going to be helping a local real esate agent, Tara D’Oliveira, with the Yard Sale for the Cure for breast cancer research this May.

The concept is simple. You have a yard sale on May 27th and donate all or some of the proceeds to the Yard Sale for the Cure.

More about the Yard Sale for the Cure from the official web site:

“Yard Sale for the Cure is an organization that raises money for Breast Cancer research and treatment by holding a massive series of Yard Sales in selected neighbourhoods across Canada. In 2005, the inaugural event was held in the Toronto Beaches. It was a huge success, raised $45 000 and brought people together with a great sense of community and purpose. Now a growing number of people from across Canada are taking on this idea and Yard Sale for the Cure will be launched in 28 new communities including Edmonton, Oakville, Lorne Park, Bloor West Village / High Park, Leaside / Victoria Village, Thornhill, The Beaches and Peterborough. We imagine that this will create even greater interest for explosive growth in 2007.”

We’re going to participate by auctioning off an Envirolet® System as part of Tara’s Yard Sale with the proceeds going to the Yard Sale for the Cure. The system is going to be a pretty unique one too… We’ll have some photos when it’s ready. Tara is with Re/Max Spirit Inc., in the Brooklin office.

If you’re in one of the areas (most of Ontario and Edmonton) why not sign-up! More info.

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Buzz Word

Be Green & Make Some Green by Referring Envirolet to your Friends!

Posted by Scott

If you are an Envirolet® owner you can make some money by referring your friends to us as part of our Refer-A-Friend program!

It’s really simple. If you tell your friend about Envirolet® they buy a system from us you will both get $50! We know that a trusted recommendation is very helpful so we want to reward you for it. So go ahead and tell all your friends! Hey, go tell your whole lake!

And, while you’re at it, send us photos and comments and get a free Starter Kit or jar of Compost Accelerator!

Learn more on the Refer-A-Friend program page.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"It was one of the selling features that we put a lot of weight on."

Posted by Scott

Richard in Madison, Wisonsin sent us some photos and comment sabout his his Envirolet® Waterless Self-Contained installation.

Richard is another (see this previous post) who purchased a property with an Envirolet&regl already installed.


My wife and I purchased some property in somewhat of a remote area. Originally it did not have water or electricity, just a shed. The owner before us installed a waterless composting toilet. It was one of the selling features that we put a lot of weight on. Since purchasing the property (about 6 months ago) we have gained more appreciation for the system and learned most of our information on use and care from your web sight. So far it is working out great. Here is a few photos of our system.”


Richard K.
Madison, WI

Wisonsin Envirolet

Send us your comments and photos today!

Read the rest of this entry (see link below) to see some more photos.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"The Envirolet has been easy, effortless, odourless, very low maintenance and best of all has saved $10,000."

Posted by Scott

Dan in Quebec sent us some photos of his cottage and some awesome comments today about his Envirolet® Low Water Remote System.


Two years ago I bought a cottage that had an Envirolet composting toilet. As much as I love the great outdoors I do enjoy the comforts of home. Even before the deal closed I was planning on having a conventional septic system installed.

A reputable contractor estimated the job at $10,000, however it took a month or so after moving in to get the estimate. In that time I was using the Envirolet, a low water flow system with tank below the guest cabin shown in the picture. Quite simply I was amazed how the months slipped by without another thought to scheduling the contractor.

Day to day the Envirolet is identical to my city toilet. I had anticipated all sorts of worst case scenarios and none of them transpired. The Envirolet has been easy, effortless, odourless, very low maintenance and best of all has saved $10,000. I also enjoy the bragging rights that come along with doing what is best for the environment.”

Dan W.




An Envirolet® allowed Dan to have the comforts of home while helping the environment! Also, $10,000 for a septic system is actually a pretty good price. It can often be much much more than that!

You will note that Dan bought a cottage with an Envirolet® already in it. This is fairly common. If you buy a property with an Envirolet® already installed, it’s a good idea to contact us for some basic operating tips and to answer any questions you might have about your pre-loved toilet system.

Send us your comments and photos and get a free Starter Kit or jar of Compost Accelerator!

Monday, April 24, 2006

"The King" Narrowboat & Envirolet, Part 2

Posted by Scott

The King's Crown As promised, here is more about the Envirolet® installation on “The King,” the 100 year old narrowboat. We wrote about it a few days ago on Buzz here.

Here is what Graham wrote recently about his Envirolet® on Granny Buttons, a great narrowboat blog:

“Sue & I own the FMC ex Steamer “The King” - 72’ rivetted iron hull built launched in April 1905. She is from the same fleet as “The President”, but 4 years older.

When we purchased the boat in November 2004 it needed to have a complete interior/exterior refurbishment and upgrading etc., which involved 6 months in dry & wet dock. As part of the internal work we had an Envirolet Composting Toilet fitted, which was supplied by Wilton Marina chandlery. At the time, as far as the chandlers knew, there was only one - possibly two - other boats on the canals with such a system.


Previously we had always had “pump out” systems, but had become concerned about (i) the ever rising costs of a pump out and (ii) the effect on the environment.

Because the internal refit work involved moving bulkheads around we were able to provide enough space for the toilet to have a room “across the boat” of its own. It is quite large and takes up quite a bit of space, therefore it would not be suitable for craft where the existing bathroom space is limited. Also there is a “breather” pipe that goes from the back of the toilet and up through the roof of the boat.

Initially we were a bit worried about if or how it would “work”. After 2 years, I can honestly say that it’s a piece of cake (pardon the pun) and it works extremely well, with no problems at all!!! There is absolutely NO smell after you have “used” the toilet - nor is there a smell in the boat when no one has been on board for several weeks, i.e. over the winter.

As our boat has full 240v electrics, we have the “mains” version - there is a 12v alternative. There is a small fan, inside the toilet, that we run when on board and the 240v version also has a heater that helps to speed up the composting process. The fan evaporates the “liquid” up through the breather pipe - no matter what human waste you put into the toilet, most of it is water. There is NO smell outside the boat from this pipe.

The “solids” break down over time, just like in your garden compost - but slower. Every week you sprinkle a little composting “activator” inside the bowl (we use Garotter from a Garden Centre), mixed with 2 or 3 pints of warm water. You need to keep everything “moist” and “warm” for the natural process to be effective.

Once a year (or when the toilet looks full) you pull a bar at the base in and out several times - to give everythng a rake - and the “compost” falls into a tray. Put it in a plastic bag, take it home and put it on the garden. If the composting process has taken place correctly there is ABSOLUTELY NO SMELL AT ALL.

If you have the space on your boat - and are either concerned about costs or the environment - I would fully recommend you considering this alternative.

I have some photos of the Toilet in situ - in “The King’s Throne Room”. Send me an e-mail and I would be happy to forward them - or answer any other questions etc.”

Graham R.



“The King” has a long, rich history. Graham gives us the story:

The History of “The King”
In closing a bit about our boat “The King”. She was launched in April 1905 (now 101 years old), her hull is made of riveted iron and when built she was propelled by a steam engine. She was part of a fleet of 25 Steamers - only 5 or 6 remain to this day. “The President” is the only one now with a steam engine and this boat is owned by a Waterways Charity - but is five years younger than ours. I have attached a publicity picture of “The King” that was taken in 1910 ( see - “The King In 1910”). You can see the steam funnel, with the “captain” on the rear in his uniform of white corduroy trousers, black jacket and bowler hat. In front of him are the two engine room crew - the driver and stoker - who are in “blue overalls”. They were all very smart.

The steam engines were all removed by
1924 and Bolinder semi-diesels were put in. By removing the steam boilers, engines and coal bunkers, the boats could then carry 20 ton instead of the previous 10 tons - making the transportation far more economical. Up to 1948 the boat was owned by its original builders “Fellows, Morton & Clayton”, who were commercial waterways carriers. In 1948 the UK Government nationalised most of the canal carrying companies, but “The King” was sold into the ownership of a private business. She was used by various private carriers until the middle 1960s when the “carrying trade” ended and she was abandoned and ended up being sunk.

A few years later a private person “raised” her and covered her hold with a wooden cabin to make her into a residential leisure boat. The conversion was never entirely completed and the boat passed through a number of private owners in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2002 we were looking to buy a boat with a history and purchased “The King” in November 2003. Because of her neglected condition she was in dry and wet dock for 6 months, during which time she was repainted into her current traditional colours, with her original owners name - Fellows Morton & Clayton - being reinstated on the outside. Internally she was totally reconstructed to make very comfortable accommodation for two people plus the traditional 8’ “Boatman’s cabin” at the rear - where the boating family lived and cooked etc. when the boat carried goods. The fittings and furniture are what you would expect to have at home, Hot/cold running water, Lounge furniture, Flat screen TV, Hi Fi, Multi Fuel Stove, Central Heating, Household kitchen equipment, 6’6” wide fully sprung double bed, Power shower and an electrical system that is 12v, 24v and mains 240v (UK standard). This latter is created via a computer from the bank of 12v batteries and allows us to use mains household equipment like kettles etc.

Graham has also kindly sent us a very comprehensive history of the narrowboat. Quite interesting. Read on…

History of Narrowboats
Narrowboats in England have a long history - starting with the building of the Canal System in the 1700s. They were used for the carrying of goods as there were no suitable roads or the means to use them - only horses and carts which caused damage when used for carriage of fragile goods etc. They carried raw materials such as coal, china clay, wool, cotton, flour to the factories in the cities - and immediately made the finished articles much, much cheaper. Coal sent by canal just six miles to the factories in Manchester - halved the cost of the cotton goods that they made!!

Over a period of 150 years the Canal system was dug by hand and eventually linked all the four corners of England and the main river systems. There are two widths of navigation - the “Broad” system, where the bridge holes and locks allow the passage of a boat up to 14’ wide and the “Narrow” system where the boats can only be 7’ wide. This latter width is by far the most common and from that comes the word “Narrowboat”. Compared to your Canadian and American canal system the dimensions are clearly very, very different. English canals are not seaways, like in Europe.


Monday, April 24, 2006

"I will recommend your product to anyone I know who is considering a composting toilet."

Posted by Scott

EnviroletCare Some quick comments from Bill and Mary F. in Minnesota received on April 20 after I helped them make some adjustments to a recent order. They have an Envirolet® MS10.

“Thank you so much for your assistance with this. I appreciate your fast response. You really are a customer focused company. I didn’t expect such a quick response and was quite pleasantly surprised.

I will recommend your product to anyone I know who is considering a composting toilet.”

Thank you for your consideration,
Bill Genell and Mary F.

We try our best! It’s all part of EnviroletCare™. We offer the longest & best warranty in the industry and the best customer service in the industry! Call us and find out.

Send us your comments!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Envirolet is Throne on "The King" Narrowboat

Posted by Scott

The  King in 1910 We have discussed narrowboats before on Buzz.

We’ve just added a collection of photos of “The King,” a 100+ year old narrowboat on the English canal system that has an Envirolet® Waterless Self-Contained System installed.

The owner and captain of The King, Graham, was kind enough to send us these photos. See the photos on flickr.

We will post again about The King and its Envirolet® soon with the full customer story and some history of narrowboats.

Envirolet Composting Toilet in the King

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Collection of Photos of Colorado Solar Home

Posted by Scott

Inside the Solar Home There is a nice collection of interior photos from the University of Colorado Solar Home Project that featured an Envirolet® Waterless Remote System.

You will notice lots of great bamboo furniture and accents. Looks amazing!

The solar home was part of the 2005 Solar Decathlon, which Colorado won!

See the photos on flickr.

We recently posted about this with a couple of photos of the Envirolet® Waterless Toilet in the bathroom.

Friday, April 21, 2006
Composting Toilets

The Real History of Composting Toilets

Posted by Scott

Ban the Flush! Envirolet® was first introduced to the world in 1977. Next year it turns 30.

Envirolet® wasn’t the first composting toilet. We didn’t invent the concept of composting toilets. We know that. Does that matter? We don’t think so. Do you know who sold the first microwave? Neither do we.

You might assume that the first composting toilet was invented by one of the other companies out there that claim they invented the first one. Unbelievably, there are more than one that make that claim.

The fact is, composting toilets have been around for well over 100 years.

Take a look at these waterless self-contained composting toilets from the 1800s!

There’s the Earth Closet from 1881 and the Earth Commode from the 1860s.

Earth Closet 1881

Ban the Flush! And the hype!

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Ban the Flush

Another Reason to Ban the Flush!

Posted by Scott

“A German pensioner flushed bundles of old banknotes worth a small fortune down the toilet because he thought they were now worthless, police in the northern city of Kiel said Thursday.”

Well, he was wrong. Apparently they were worth about €30,000!

[Via Reuters Oddly Enough]

Monday, April 17, 2006

"Your system was the perfect solution."

Posted by Scott

Thank you to Lynda in Quebec for sending in her comments and photos of her Envirolet® installation. Lynda is surrounded by water so she needed an environment-friendly solution. She installed an Envirolet® Low Water Remote System (go here for Canada).


This is our cabin in Ste-Agathe-Nord in Quebec. We are surrounded by a well on one side, a stream on the other side and a river in the front so your system was the perfect solution.”

Lynda T.

Envirolet Composting Toilet in Quebec

Envirolet Composting Toilet in Quebec

Keep ‘em coming! Send us your comments & photos and get a free jar of Compost Accelerator or Starter Kit!

Monday, April 17, 2006

"Boy, am I happy with my composting toilet."

Posted by Scott

George S. in Groton, New York kindly sent us his enthusiastic comments and photos today about his Envirolet® System. George has a Waterless Remote System (120VAC Electric).


Boy, am I happy with my composting toilet. I called your toll free number and explained my potential usage to a product contact. She recommended I buy the waterless remote 120V unit for my recreational camp that does not have water. My wife and I have 4 grown children as well as knowing we would have friends visit our camp.

We have used the toilet almost every weekend with a couple of weeks vacation since I installed it almost 7 months ago. I finally checked the emptying tray at 6 months and it was almost full, so I dumped it into the woods, done deal! Not bad for all the use we have.

By the way, out of the 6 in my immediate family 4 are women. They are quite happy that I didn’t build an outhouse!

Thanks for a well designed convenient way of composting this waste and feel free to use my testimonial.

I’ve included a couple of pictures because I am running out of accelerator. Thanks in advance for sending my free one!”

George S.
Groton, NY



The Envirolet® Waterless Remote System is ideal when you have the space to fit it. You need a minimu of 30” of space below the bathroom floor to fit. The composting tank goes below with the Waterless Toilet in the bathroom.

Send us your comments & photos and get a free jar of Compost Accelerator or Starter Kit!

Sunday, April 16, 2006
Buzz Word

Envirolet Lens

Posted by Scott

Squiddoo Lens Check out the new Squidoo Envirolet Lens.

What’s on the Lens?
We created the Lens as a sort of mix tape of all things Envirolet. We have a few web sites to say the least. On some of them we sell Envirolet systems, naturally. We also have a blog or two to promote Envirolet and other green things. Then we have some promo gear like shirts. You can also find Envirolet on Amazon.com, flickr and sometimes eBay. Links and more about all of them can be found on the Lens.

Sunday, April 16, 2006
Buzz Word

Happy Easter from Buzz!

Posted by Scott

Easter Eggs We hope everyone has a terrific Easter Day with their family! Enjoy some good food and Easter egg painting!

Easter weekend is also a popular first weekend at the cottage! Time to re-start your Envirolet® Composting Toilet System or add a new system!

And just like Easter eggs, Envirolet® Systems come in a wide selection of colors!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"We can't get over how well the it works & no smell!"

Posted by Scott

Thanks to Mike D. in Minnesota for sending in his Envirolet® Composting Toilet System installation photos, along with some fine comments.


Sorry for the bad pictures, but we couldn’t wait to let you know how impressed we are with your system. We looked at other brands at the store & online, & was a little nervous ordering without seeing the product first hand. We can’t get over how well the it works & no smell! Your staff is pleasant, helpful, & very knowledgeable which made for a comfortable transaction.”

Mike & Family (In Minnesota)


Mike has our Envirolet® MS10 model. The MS10 is one of our most popular systems. It is completely waterless, runs off 120VAC electric and does not require an excess liquid drain. It is the recommended Self-Contained System when power is available. He compared available systems and went with Envirolet®.

Be sure to send us your photos and comments!

Continue on to see another photo.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Remote System Tank Colors!

Posted by Scott

We know our customers love choice. That’s why we’ve added two new options!

The composting unit for Envirolet® Waterless and Low Water Remote Systems are now available in two new colors. In addition to the standard Black you can now get them in Grey Granite and Sandstone Granite.

The photo below shows the tank in Grey Granite. This photo was taken at the recent Cottage Life Show in Toronto.

Waterless Remote Tank Grey Granite

The new colors are to offer more choice. But, they also make a unit that blends in with nature a little more than the standard Black. This is important because these units are usually installed outside and may be visible.

Most who see the Grey Granite think it looks like a rock, which is fitting considering the strength of our units. The Sandstone Granite looks like sand, of course!

Let us know your comments on the new colors and if you have any new color ideas we’d love to hear them too.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

University of Colorado Solar Home Installation

Posted by Scott

We have previously posted about the University of Colorado Solar Decathlon Team.

They won the 2005 competition with an Envirolet® Waterless Remote System (12VDC) installed!

The Envirolet® Waterless Toilet continues to look great in any bathroom. Proving that composting toilets and design can go hand-in-hand.

Here is a new photo of the Waterless Toilet in the bathroom. There is another photo if you read the entire entry.


Tuesday, April 4, 2006

"Thanks again for the great product."

Posted by Scott

This is a follow-up to a recent post on Buzz about Brian W.’s Envirolet® Waterless Remote System that has been used for four seasons in Vermont.

I’m including Brian’s recent comments as well. I like his idea about adding photos to the vent!

“I got the startup kit in the mail on Friday. Thanks so much for sending that right out, i’ll now be able to get that done when I head up to Vermont this coming weekend. I’m glad you like the photos, I’ll send you the other ones I have…..these were more in the process of installation and us finishing up with the rest of the bathroom, so that’s why its a mess…ha..

In two of these photos you can see the vent tube that we sent up from under the house out to the turbine. We thought about boxing over the tube for the portion that is still shown but we thought it would be an even better idea to leave it and decorate it with stickers and photos from our trips to the cabin. Take care, thanks again for the great product.

Brian W.
Rhode Island (with a cabin in Vermont)




Be sure to check out the previous post for some more great photos!

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Waterless Remote System (Modified Slightly...)

Posted by Scott

Martin in New York sent in some photos of his Envirolet® Waterless Remote System barn installation.

You will see that he decided to add some extra features to his Envirolet®. A flush has been added to the waterless toilet. He has a drain on his system as well, because of the added flush device.

Martin said the “flush valve is spring loaded. [It] flushes only for as long as you hold down the lever.”

The padded palm tree seat is also custom!

Be careful before considering any modifications*. Please call us first!







*Important Note:
It is generally not recommended to modify your system without contacting us first! Do not do any electrical modifications.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

"She was very knowledgeable and provided us with excellent guidance."

Posted by Scott

Martin & Iris B. of Sudbury, Ontario purchased their Envirolet® Waterless Remote System (12VDC) today online and sent along some nice comments with their order.

“My wife and I had the pleasure of speaking to your agent Jennifer at the Toronto Cottage Life Show on April 2nd. She was very knowledgeable and provided us with excellent guidance. Thank you Jennifer!”

Martin & Iris B.
Sudbury, Ontario

Great feedback, Jennifer!

It’s great to meet our customers in person at consumer shows!

Read a recent post on Buzz about the Cottage Life Show.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Yurt Toilet

Posted by Scott

A customer I spoke with at the Cottage Life Show was looking at an Envirolet® Composting Toilet Sytem for the new yurt he was planning on building in Ontario.

In case you didn’t know, a yurt is a “…portable felt dwelling structure used traditionally by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia.”

Modern yurts in Canada and the United States “…are made using hi-tech materials. They are highly engineered and built for extreme weather conditions. In addition, erecting one can take days and they are not intended to be moved often. Often the designs of these U.S. yurts hardly resemble the original designs and are better named modern yurts or yurt derivations as strictly speaking they are no longer round felt homes that are easy to mount, dismount and transport.”

[Via Wikipedia]

Finished Yurt

He was opting for a yurt because all he needed as a “foundation” was a deck. He had his land, so all he had to do was build the deck, assmble the yurt and he would be done. He figured this would take less than a week.

He was also making a conscience effort to go as green as possible living off-the-grid and attempting to leave as small a footprint as possible. Yurts are pretty nice to the environment around them. Hence, the Envirolet® composting toilet as a sanitation solution.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Monday, April 3, 2006
Cottage & Cabin

Cottage Life Spring Show 2006

Posted by Scott

Kids with Envirolet at Show The entire Envirolet® Show Team would like to thank everyone who came out to see us at the Spring 2006 Cottage Life Show this past weekend in Toronto.

We were happy to meet so many new customers who made the smart decision and chose to add an Envirolet® Composting Toilet System to their cottage! More water saved!

It was also nice to see so many great current Envirolet® users were at the show who came by our booth. We hope to see you again next year or visit us in our showroom this summer.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Carnival of the Green #21

Posted by Scott

Carnival of the Green Greenthinkers is hosting Carnival of the Green #21 this week. Actually, I wrote this particular post for Greenthinkers! So I’m plugging myself…

Lots of green topics are covered like places to get fair trade coffee, sustaiable business in India, recycled bags of all sorts and even South Park’s take on eco-snobbiness! Plus, lots more.