Someday I will build a house house

There are many types of owner built homes. I dream of building myself one someday. My favorite is stone but there are straw, cordword and even paper.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Another I don't understand why everyone doesn't have one. A machine that washes AND dries clothes. If you have an automatic washer and an automatic dryer, why not go totally automatic and have it dry clothes too. It costs about the same as a washer and dryer together.

If you want to really save water there is the wringer washer. But then laundry is a whole-day affair. Start with the cleanest and end with the dirtiest using the same water. My mother always had a wringer washer when I was growing up. I wonder when water will become so scarce that we will be back to wringer washers. Right now I think about the only place you can buy them is at Lehman's. They have one made in Saudi Arabia. I guess even with all that oil, water is still at a premium in the desert.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Composting toilets have come a long way.

Forget about water saving toilets. I think no water or composting toilets are the best way to handle human waste. All that manure needs to get back to the earth. There are amazing systems that actually do this. The cost depends on how much work you want to put into it. At the low end is Jenkins' bucket system as described in his book Humanure (available free online). But I could see that taking out buckets of the stuff would get old fast. And it reminds of the untouchables caste, whose job was (and still is in some parts of India) to take out buckets of feces from upper caste homes.

I like the Envirolet. They have normal looking toilets that have a duct that takes the stuff down to a floor below where the composting takes place. The cost is quite high, but then if you compare it to installing a septic tank, it is reasonable. Only problem is getting the building inspector to accept your not putting a septic tank in. There are lots of composting toilets to choose from for example Sun-mar, Biolet, Phoenix, and I believe the Clivus Multrum has been around for a long time.

And then you have to have a system for handling grey water. That will be in another post.