What a lovely week! The last 5 days we’ve spent with Dona Rolha’s parents on the coast in Vila do Conde. The luxury apartment did have 3 toilets and soon we were joking about the eco-loo toilet we used for 10 months.

our sawdust bucket toilet

The first years the ruin was ours (but we still lived in the Netherlands) we camped on our own property in Portugal during our summer vacation. At that time, there was no water bore hole and no electricity: a genuine off-grid DIY campsite.

We washed in the river or used solar camping showers. We could have peed in the garden, but we opted for a sawdust toilet. After some research, Nuno found the seperator: a special toilet seat for sawdust toilets that keeps urine separated from the feces, which prevents stinking. Nuno built a nice seat around the seperator, and we placed our nice ‘throne’ in the ruin. The pee went into a bottle, the poo into a bucket and we ‘flushed’ with a hand of sawdust. It worked great!

We emptied the pee bottle on the compost pile and buried the contents of the poop bucket somewhere in a corner of the garden.
(If you can’t handle detailed pee, poop and other toilet stories, stop reading here and switch to the next post)

eco toilet experience

We have done that for a few holidays. One day I left crying for a hotel with a real toilet; it had been raining for days and on top of that I unexpectedly had a heavy period. But beyond that, we were really excited about our eco-loo. We agreed on articles about the waste of clean drinking water when flushing regular toilets. Just like with articles about the value of poo in a self-sufficient eco household.
Therefore we were not concerned at all to have an eco-loo in the ruin and after that in our DIY shed.

Thus, after emigration, we installed ourselves in the attic of the ruin. We covered one attic room with plastic where our bed was. And we put our eco-let in the tower room. A bucket next to it with sawdust, a waste bin for the used toilet paper and a bucket for the supply of toilet paper and other things. The pee bottle had to be emptied every day, the poo bucket every 3 days. The only thing that sometimes gave an odor was the waste bin with used toilet paper. But besides that, honestly, no smell.

sawdust toilet, never again

But … when you use it for more than 3 holiday weeks, soon the day will come that you are completely fed up with it. Especially if you have to go outside in the winter to empty your eco-let before you can go to the toilet. And without going into too much detail; the design of the seperator didn’t consider periods. Keep in mind that every person sometimes has intestinal problems for a year. And that the lack of water in an eco-let does not make cleaning easier. In short, our eco-loo was out and in our DIY shed-de-luxe we have a regular toilet again. Hurrah!

PS: We do intend to bring out the eco-loo again for a nice outdoor eco-bathroom at our exclusive off-grid camping site. We will let you know when you can make a reservation 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing
    such a good blog.
    Best regards,
    Mead Schneider

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