Many guests that stay in one of our yurts find the composting toilets interesting. We decided to have them in the yurts since we did not have water or septic to the area. We also wanted to give yurt guests the convenience of not having to go to the bathhouse in the middle of the night to use the toilet.
The composting toilets are made by Sun Mar in Canada. They require no water, septic and have no odor. A fan in the toilet pulls air through the toilet and is vented to the outside. The air also helps dry out the liquids. Liquids also go to the bottom of the toilet in an enclosed drying area with a heater.
Solids and toilet paper stay in the bio drum chamber and compost over time. Bacteria is added to the unit occasionally to help eat the toilet paper. When the bio drum starts to fill we remove some of the contents into the finishing drawer where the substance finishes composting.
You can use a composting toilet by staying in one of our yurts.
Our yurts also have a private bath house up the hill with regular flush toilets.
The finished compost is placed in our flower gardens and around the trees.
This is one of the ways Cedar House Inn and Yurts is using composting.
Food composting has been a problem for many years since it is not offered in most municipalities. By throwing cooked food or food scraps in the garbage can in plastic bags methane gases are created at the landfill which is not good for the Earth. Some landfills are recapturing some of the gas to generate electricity but not all is captured across the country.
Some States like Vermont provide curbside food composting where the food is composted for fertilizer or given to pig farmers. The finished compost is available to the public for their gardens. In some Vermont towns they have reduced the frequency of trash pickup to every other week since less trash is generated and the trashcans do not smell of food garbage. Composting of food is every week.
At the inn we compost just about everything from raw food scraps from breakfast preparation to cooked food the guests do not consume. Fortunately Mary Beth’s breakfasts are well received and most guest’s plates are cleaned of food.
For the cooked food that most people throw in the trash can or garbage disposal we use the Green Cone Cooked Food Composter. All kinds of cooked food from pasta to meat can go in the cone and it is gone forever. No odors have been noticed in the 5 plus years we have used ours. It also does not seem to attract animals or flies. All the contents is contained underground.
For all other food scraps we have a compost bin near the garden.
For more information on the green practices at the inn visit green.
At Cedar House Inn we recycle everything we can to reduce the trash we take to the landfill and to help the environment and reduce our impact on the Earth. Recycling styrofoam is a challenge. For years we have been mindful to purchase items with limited packaging or in containers that can be recycled or composted (for example choose glass, 1 &2 plastics).
Unfortunately styrofoam sometimes appears with something we have ordered online (those darn packing peanuts) or guests leave us coffee cups or fast food take out containers in the trashcan that cannot be recycled. Styrofoam in the landfill can last for many years and never decomposes.
Fortunately you can now take styrofoam egg cartons and meat trays to Publix for recycling.
Now there is a solution I recently found. Unfortunately it is not available in our area. The process is called Styrosolve and involves crushing the used styrofoam into small pieces to be mixed with a recycled solvent that breaks down the styrofoam into polystyrene. The polystyrene is then sold to companies to make cell phones and television cabinets for example. What a great idea!
The company that has created this product is Blue Earth Solutions Inc. in Florida. They are a publicly owned company that will sell the technology to recyclers and municipalities through the country. Imagine making money recycling all of that styrofoam that now sits in the landfill for thousands of years.
In conclusion it would be great if we would all opt out from using styrofoam that cannot be recycled. Don’t request that your restaurant leftovers be saved in a styrofoam container. Use reusable coffee mugs. Purchase meat/chicken/etc and take the containers back to Publix. Get your egg cartons in paper or plastic and recycle them. By opting out the product that does not decompose will not sit in the landfill for thousands of years.
For more information on our green efforts visit our green page