For the past three years, Art Cormier has lived in a self-built Tiny Home parked behind his rock climbing gym (the Rok Haus) in Lafayette, Louisiana. His cozy little set up includes a simple Tiny House greywater and composting system, perfect for anyone who owns their own land.
Through trial and error Art has come up with an efficient, eco-friendly lifestyle that includes composting and the reuse of his greywater. The best part? His systems are easy to replicate for any DIYer!
Watch the video below to learn about Art’s Tiny House greywater and composting systems
Art uses a Composting Toilet: The Nature’s Head. Psssst…. we use the same one!
Art states that he empties the solids portion of his toilet every six months. He does this by emptying the receptacle into his self-built, rotatable, backyard, compost container. In this container, he also composts food scraps and yard waste. The temperature of the contents needs to hit 200 degrees to properly compost or sit for two years.
I know what you’re going to say: But… it’s human waste!!! Isn’t that gross?!?! Consider your opinion on manure for a moment. Manure is animal dung, used to fertilize land. When handled properly, manure and “humanure” should produce high quality soil. Now consider synthetic fertilizers, and how they are banned by the USDA for use in Organic farming. If you really think about how we handle our toilet waste (flushing it with clean water and adding chemicals) it’s not economical, environmental or hygienic. For more information on “humanure” composting, check out the Humanure Handbook by Joseph C Jenkins.
If reusing toilet matter still grosses you out after researching, it’s okay. It’s not for everyone. Please still compost your food scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings, etc. Composting reduces landfill waste and incineration, and therefore pollution. It’s also a great way to create a healthy garden. The heat generated by composting can also be used as a source of energy. For example, running a hose through a compost pile is a great way to heat water.
Art’s Tiny House Greywater System
Art uses the water from his shower and kitchen sink to water his garden. This simple set up is basic. It’s simply an underground hose that directs greywater to his trees. He uses biodegradable soaps so as to make sure the trees and grass are not harmed. In fact, they are thriving! One cautionary note, Art lives in Lousiana. He doesn’t have to worry about his greywater freezing. In cold climates, it’s a good idea to dig your greywater below the frost line and/or create a french drain. Always make sure it is legal to dispose of your greywater on your land before creating this type of system.
A few highlights of Art’s Tiny House:
- 24V Lighting System with LEDs
- 24V Chest Refrigerator
- Stainless Steel Custom Countertop
- Homemade Sliding Shoji Door
*Visit Art’s Tiny House website for more tips!
*This article was originally posted on Tiny House Listings
If he needs to let the humanure sit for 2 years before using, and he empties his toilet every 6 months, wouldn’t that mean he’s basically adding fresh waste to the barrel and will never reach that 2 years of composting point? Or does he have multiple composting barrels in order to stagger that out? That is one thing I’ve wondered about composting toilets, especially for those who have more of a mobile existence and can’t lug around a bunch of large compost piles/barrels/etc.
It’s tough to compost on the road, that’s for sure… I think he only uses his compost for plants that he doesn’t eat from anyway.
Question for Art and two for THGJ. Art, I just can’t imagine that many places allow a tiny house owner to spread their human liquid waste or composted solid waste around their trees and lawn (or gray h2o for that matter)…even if they own the property they are parked on and use biodegradable products. Then imagine extending this living protocol to a tiny house community. Thoughts? Maybe I misunderstood.
THGJ, with a mobile, traveling TH…do you use an RV dump station or some other ‘off-loading’ method/place? Composting just doesn’t seem very practical when moving…and does G always have the pleasure or does J don the disposable gloves sometimes?
Why not? It’s a great fertilizer. You need space of course, dumping lots a urine on a small plot of grass would be too much, but if it’s a large area, it shouldn’t hurt. But yeah, cities don’t usually like it.
For us on the road, we use the same toilet as Art does. Our urine either goes into a regular flush toilet or on someone’s grass (with their consent of course). Our solids usually end up in a biodegradable trash bag and in the landfill (which is basically a biodegradable bag full of high quality dirt). You are correct, composting is not easy while on the move.
I usually get the pleasure of taking care of all of that, though Jenna has done it a few times.
J’espère que Guillaume fera la traduction en anglais!
C’était juste pour vous dire que le lien vers le site internet de la Tiny House de Art ne fonctionne pas… 🙁
Je suis un Francais (j’habite vers Le Mans), et j’adore votre “Giant Journey”. C’est une idée formidable!
Bravo à vous et bon voyage!
Content de voir que notre idée de voyage résonne en France aussi! Je viens de réparer le lien, merci.