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Photo Special – My Eco-Loo is ready

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 3 August 2014

I am very proud of myself. Not only have I constructed an eco-loo but I have been uber- environmentally friendly in using 80% recycled materials.  For a man who came 127 out of 127 with 27% in the U4 Warwick School woodwork exam I think I have done well.

The box case is an old trunk. I took off the top with my early Christmas present to myself (an electric screwdriver) and cut a piece of hardboard (not recycled into shape). That was then reattached to the hinges and thus to the chest.

The bucket is kept in place with some scrap wood I picked up and sawed to jam it in. That leaves a distinct compartment either side for loo paper and for herbs & flowers which will make it smell more pleasant and which you chuck a handful of into the bucket after usage.

The whole thing can now sit on the snake veranda at the Greek Hovel. This means I do not have a trek through the dark to the smelly, lizard infested outside loo which I can now demolish. That thing like all Greek loos fails for me as

a)      It uses far too much water which the Mani is a bit short of

b)      The Greek system sees piss and pooh allowed to seep into the ground. By the time it hits the next water channel it is clean. For this to work loo paper must be not flushed away but put in a bucket by the loo which once every few days you take to the bins at the end of your road in a plastic bag for collection. This is both environmentally unfriendly and also very unpleasant.

c)       The bucket from my eco-loo will every two or three days be emptied into my – soon to be built – humanure system. One bucket of “waste” plus herbs and loo paper is covered by some fibrous material (grass, leaves, etc.) and then the process repeats. A new humanure pen will be built in 2015 and by January 2016 given the heat here and winter rains, the 2014 “crop” will have burned up all of the harmful bacteria and will be black earth. That can then be used as free and very high quality mature for the olive trees in the manuring season (January) of 2016. That pit is then freed up again for 2016 usage while 2015 “matures”

The Mrs is not quite so keen on my environmental zealotry. Heck I only want to help the planet…
Anyhow I am proud of my efforts, now onto the humanure pit.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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