What about your toilet?  We have an Incinolet electric incinerating toilet.  However, I would recommend an RV low-flush toilet or a composting toilet if you’re into composting.

I wrote a detailed blog post about toilet options for tiny houses a while back and here’s that info:

So what are the toilet options for Tiny Houses? 

Here’s what I’ve seen so far, would love to hear everyone’s feedback on their experiences.

1.  RV low-flush toilets

RV low flush toilet shown in a tiny house.

1.  RV low-flush toilets with a holding tank… that must be emptied… somewhere.  Or drained directly into a preexisting sewer system.

  • Pros:  fairly clean, small, no smell inside, simple typical American toileting experience.
  • Cons:  uses clean water and generates blackwater.  need connection to a sewage system or a place to dump the tank.  more plumbing adds initial construction costs.  without a municipal sewage system, a septic system would be cost prohibitive to many.  to sum up the Cons in a word: sewage.

2.  Incinerating Toilets

Incinolet brand incinerating toilet.

2.  Incinerating Toilets available in electric (Incinolet) or propane (Scanlet or Storburn).  Using 20amps of power (arguably too much for off-grid / solar…) this toilet burns waste to a minimal amount.  A metal bowl full of ashes is emptied into the trash twice a week, in our experience.

  • Pros:  no water!  great for arid climates.  waste is reduced to a very small amount. no plumbing in the house, no septic system, no blackwater.  don’t need to be connected to a sewage system.
  • Cons:  expensive!  $1,900 to $2,100 new.  high energy useage.  complicated to use.  prone to mechanical problems.  smelly.  (ever smelled burning poop?  mostly this smell is outside… but still not pleasant)  to sum up the Cons in a word: electricity.  smoke.  odor.  (one word wasn’t enough.)

3.  High-Tech Composting Toilets

One style of composting toilet: Nature’s Head.

3.  High-Tech Composting Toilets would include SunMar, Nature’s Head, Envirolet, Biolet, etc. etc.  Manufactured self-contained toilets that convert waste to compost with or without electricity spurred mechanical stirring.

  • Pros:  no water or low water.  no plumbing in the house, no septic system, no blackwater.  don’t need to be connected to a sewage system.  turns waste into a useful material like compost (regenerative)
  • Cons:  expensive!  $900 to $2,000.  large.  you have to do something with the “compost” or straight-up urine in some models – not ideal for city/town use.

4.  Low-Tech Composting Toilets

Bucket Toilet

4.  Low-Tech Composting Toilets or a bucket toilet like the Loveable Loo by Joseph Jenkins, author of the Humanure Handbook, which is a highly recommended read!  The first chapter on humankind’s parasitic behavior makes it worth the purchase price.  These are a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a toilet seat; sawdust is applied to waste after each use, then waste is put outside in a compost pile.

  • Pros:  small.  inexpensive ($250) or you can make your own for much less.  no plumbing.  no sewage.  turns waste into a useful material like compost (regenerative)
  • Cons:  potential for odors inside.  need sawdust and other composting materials.  need a site with several humanure compost piles that you can maintain and let cure for a year before use.

5.  A Litterbox.


5.  A Litterbox.  I’m joking about this one (kind of…).  We recommend “multi-cat”.  Enough said.  Ha haha  haaa?


Here’s a good source I found with way more info than I just scrounged up for this post if you want to read more about toilet options: environalternatives article.

Would love to hear everyone else’s feedback and research.

I leave you with this:


2 thoughts on “toilet?

  1. Karen

    You know, I never thought of it before, but what a good idea to take some high-quality cat litter with on camping trips to use in a bucket loo! Genius!

  2. I don’t remember if it was in The Humanure Handbook or in a review of that book that I read someone took two buckets, one full of just sawdust to use as cover and the other with a seat on it, to a group campout and became very popular for it. Everyone preferred to use his setup rather than the port-a-potty due to the lack of smell. Some used it out of at least a little concern for the environment too.

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