No Flow Toilets

No Flow Toilets


Composting toilets can turn human waste and some saw dust or wood chips into pathogen-free compost in a matter of weeks. Unlike conventional toilets, composting toilets require almost no water and can function without a municipal waste water plant. However, because composting toilets have not been a technologically viable option in cities until recently, most building codes and municipal laws in states outside of California don’t allow for them.

In 2010, California included composting toilets in its CalGreen standards for private residences, but many other states have not established certification processes that encourage the use of composting toilets as a water conservation mechanism.

According to Food and Water Watch, 75 percent of the empty plastic bottles end up in landfills, lakes, streams, and oceans where they might never become fully decomposed. Plastic bottles also cause a huge risk to the marine life. Plastic waste is at a very high volume causing trash to circle in the world’s oceans. Birds and fish mistake the garbage for food leading them to death.

Take Action:

  • Within California, law makers at local levels can still offer benefits to builders and homeowners that install composting toilets, and encourage the practice by ensuring that public facilities use composting toilets. Lawmakers in other states can push for standards like CalGreen that encourage the use of composting toilets as a part of ecological design.
  • This page outlines the National Sanitation Foundation’s standards for composting toilets.

Contributed by: Sarah Evans, Stanford CWP Program

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From the 2017 Indicators Report

Annual per capita greenhouse gas emissions in California have dropped by 14% from a peak in 2001 of 14.0 metric tons per person to 12.0 metric tons per person in 2013.

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‟The earth and the human community are bound in a single journey.”—Thomas Berry