Eventually our standards for what is considered “sustainable” will have to actually be sustainable. As long as we, as a society, are not recycling all our wastes, as nature does, our practices are not sustainable over the long term.
Nathan Roy at Ecologic Construction is currently designing one of the first residential onsite waste water systems that is truly sustainable. It is not a composting toilet! It is a much cleaner, more efficient better solution. (more…)
If you’re committed to using all natural cleaners like tea tree oil and white vinegar, you can install a greywater system that lets you use your household water on your landscaping. All the drain pipes from sinks, laundry, tubs and showers can be rerouted to the garden. Only the toilet pipe should remain connected to the septic tank. With less water running into your tank, sewage is less likely to back up into the yard, and you won’t have to have your tank emptied as often. (more…)
Fresh water supplies are becoming increasingly scarce, especially in arid regions where increasing populations are depleting aquifers that took millennia to charge. Harvesting rain not only decreases the demand on the ground water supply, it also consumes significantly less energy to utilize.
Rainwater Collection: We built this cistern under a greenhouse. The cistern is made out of reinforced concrete with a waterproof coating. There is an access door in the floor. Rainwater is collected on the glass roof, a small area 8×10′ but the cistern fills up fast. We installed a valve to ensure that only clean water is collected. The first few gallons run out a drain pipe, then the valve switches on and directs water into the tank. The water is used on landscaping, pumped directly out of the tank with a garden hose. A generous supply of water is also useful in emergencies when electricity is out, for instance, and the well pump is not working, as a source of water for flushing the toilet. (more…)