Our eco friendly toilet, built and installed at no cost to us, is designed from reclaimed wood and manufactured in Wales. The special gift and its installation on our Ashram site is entirely independent from electricity and water supplies and gives us the opportunity to explore and experience the simplicity and perfection present in nature.
The simple technology used to design contemporary composting toilets is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world. The way the toilets work means that they are hygienic and don’t smell, and are often used in parkland and nature resorts, for camping, mobile homes and boats as well as in remote or rural areas. They are a sensible choice for those who are environmentally conscious about careful use of our precious fresh water supplies.
Why did we need it?
This environmentally sustainable toilet (below) is our alternative to the outside toilet that Swamiji asked to be removed during his visit last year, as it was in a location that was blocking the vibrations of the estate. See our post from earlier this year (below) when that work was begun.
Have a look and try it out when you’re at the Ashram next. All the facilities that you need are in place and by using it you’ll know you are part of the natural cycle and not spoiling Mother Nature or taking more from her than needed.
How does it work?
Composting is a method where solid waste is broken down by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen - it maintains the nutrient cycle, returning nutrients back to the soil - back to nature. The success of composting toilets depends on aerobic bacteria to break down the waste just like any other composting.
Rather than flushing, we keep a bucket of carbon-rich materials like wood shavings, bark mulch and leaves beside the loo. A handful is used each time the toilet is used and the end product goes into a bin. As with any compost, it will transform into a soil-like material reducing down to a very small amount over a period of 6 to 12 months. The end product at our Long Acre site will be removed regularly by a designated company and used as a fertiliser off site. It can safely be used on non-edible plants and trees. The liquid waste is rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. It is a sterile, non-contaminant, and can also be used as fertiliser.
If you would like more information about how the toilet works or have any questions, please get in touch.
The next stage
The Ashram Committee and Trustees are currently working on the design for the block of toilets. These won’t be composting toilets, but we are exploring designs that enable us to be as efficient and sustainable as possible in our use of resources. Preparing the design is one of the conditions to signing off the planning permission with the council, along with the landscape and lighting plan, the accessible car bay and other requirements. These have to be in place before the Meditation Hall is completed and are all current projects over the summer months that are helping to take us closer to our goal. See our earlier post (below) about the planning permission.
There are lots of things to do and ways to get involved in supporting and developing the Ashram, and plenty of regular general maintenance that really needs more people to help with. If you would like to help please get in touch.