Discover the Beauty of Living with Less at Tiny House 43

Composting Toilet In Tiny House What Material




An image showcasing a composting toilet in a tiny house, highlighting the use of biodegradable materials like sawdust or coconut coir, alongside a visually appealing compost bin filled with organic waste

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When it comes to living in a tiny house, every square inch matters. And that includes the bathroom. That’s why many tiny house dwellers are turning to composting toilets as a sustainable and space-saving solution. But the question remains: what material should you use in your composting toilet? Look no further, because I’ve got the answers for you.

Sawdust, coconut coir, peat moss, wood shavings, straw, newspaper, leaves, hay, and grass clippings are all excellent options for your composting toilet. These materials not only help to control odor and absorb moisture, but they also aid in the breakdown of waste, turning it into nutrient-rich compost.

So, whether you’re looking to go off-grid or simply reduce your environmental footprint, a composting toilet with the right material is the way to go. Join me as we explore the different options and find the perfect material for your tiny house composting toilet.

Key Takeaways

  • Composting toilets in tiny houses can be sustainable and space-saving solutions.
  • Various materials can be used in composting toilets, such as sawdust, coconut coir, peat moss, wood shavings, straw, newspaper, leaves, hay, and grass clippings.
  • These materials help control odor, absorb moisture, and aid in waste breakdown.
  • It is important to consider factors like availability, cost, environmental impact, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, and potential drawbacks when choosing materials for composting toilets in tiny houses.


Using sawdust as a composting medium not only helps to control odors, but also provides a rich carbon source that effectively breaks down waste in the composting toilet of a tiny house. Sawdust is a readily available and inexpensive option for composting toilets. It absorbs moisture well, reducing the risk of odor and promoting the composting process.

However, there are some drawbacks to using sawdust. It can be bulky and may require more frequent emptying of the composting chamber. Additionally, the sawdust must be sourced sustainably to ensure environmental responsibility.

Alternative options to sawdust include coconut coir, which is also effective at controlling odors and promoting decomposition. Coconut coir is lightweight, easy to handle, and retains moisture well. Transitioning to coconut coir as a composting medium can be a viable alternative to sawdust in a tiny house composting toilet system.

Coconut coir

Nestled within the organic heart of this miniature abode, a secret concoction of nature’s fibers intertwines, transforming waste into fertile sustenance for the earth.

When it comes to composting toilets in tiny houses, coconut coir is an excellent alternative to sawdust. Coconut coir is a natural, sustainable material made from the fibers of coconut husks. It has several benefits when used in composting toilets. Firstly, coconut coir has a high absorption capacity, which helps to control moisture and odor. Secondly, it contains beneficial microorganisms that aid in the breakdown of waste. Additionally, coconut coir is a renewable resource that is easily available.

Comparing the effectiveness of coconut coir versus sawdust, coconut coir has been found to have better moisture retention properties and a higher carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, making it an ideal choice for composting toilets.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about ‘peat moss,’ another popular material for composting toilets…

Peat moss

Step into the world of peat moss, where a magical transformation takes place within the depths of this organic wonderland. Peat moss, also known as sphagnum moss, is a popular option for composting toilets due to its absorbent nature and ability to break down waste effectively. However, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of using peat moss as a composting toilet material.

Pros Cons
High absorbency Environmental impact
Effective waste breakdown Non-renewable resource
Readily available Expensive
Controls odors Limited supply

While peat moss offers several benefits, its environmental impact and limited supply raise concerns. As a non-renewable resource, the extraction of peat moss can harm fragile ecosystems. Additionally, the cost of peat moss can be prohibitive for some individuals. Therefore, it is worth exploring alternatives to peat moss for composting toilets, such as coconut coir or wood shavings. These materials offer similar benefits while being more sustainable and readily available. Considering these alternatives allows us to make informed choices that minimize our environmental impact while still effectively managing waste. Transitioning to the next section, let’s delve into the world of wood shavings.

Wood shavings

Deep within the labyrinth of nature’s workshop, wood shavings come alive, transforming waste into a rustic blend of earthy fragrances and organic matter.

When it comes to composting toilets, using wood shavings as the composting material offers several benefits. Firstly, wood shavings are readily available and affordable. They provide excellent absorption properties, helping to control moisture and odors in the toilet system.

To properly prepare wood shavings for composting toilets, it’s important to use untreated and chemical-free shavings from a reliable source. It’s advisable to mix the wood shavings with other organic materials, such as kitchen scraps or sawdust, to create a balanced composting environment. This mixture will enhance the decomposition process and create nutrient-rich compost for your plants.

As we transition to the next section on ‘straw,’ it’s important to note that using wood shavings in composting toilets is a sustainable and effective choice.


As you explore the world of sustainable waste management, consider the versatility and benefits of incorporating straw into your composting system. Straw, typically obtained from cereal crops such as wheat or rice, can serve as an excellent carbon-rich material in your composting toilet. Its high carbon content helps balance the nitrogen-rich waste, promoting decomposition and preventing odors.

Additionally, straw bales can be used for straw bale gardening, a popular method of growing plants directly in the bales. This technique eliminates the need for soil and provides an excellent source of organic matter for your composting system. The straw breaks down over time, adding nutrients to the compost and creating a rich environment for beneficial microorganisms.

Transitioning to the next section, rice hulls offer another sustainable option for your composting toilet.

Rice hulls

When it comes to finding the right material for a composting toilet in a tiny house, there are several options to consider. In my previous discussion, I mentioned using straw as a composting toilet material. Now, let’s explore another alternative: rice hulls.

Using rice hulls as a composting toilet material has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in odor control and moisture absorption. Compared to sawdust, rice hulls have a higher carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, making them an excellent choice for promoting the breakdown of waste.

Additionally, rice hulls are abundant and easily accessible, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly option for composting toilets.

To further emphasize the benefits of rice hulls, here is a numeric list:

  1. Superior odor control
  2. Excellent moisture absorption
  3. Sustainable and eco-friendly choice
  4. Abundant and easily accessible

Now, let’s move on to the next section and discuss the use of newspaper as a composting toilet material.


Newspaper, a versatile option, can be utilized as an alternative material in a composting toilet. It serves multiple purposes, such as acting as bedding and insulation.

When used as bedding, newspaper provides a carbon-rich environment that promotes decomposition. Its absorbent nature helps in moisture retention, aiding the breakdown of waste materials. Additionally, newspaper acts as insulation, regulating the temperature within the toilet system. This is crucial for the composting process, as it requires a consistent temperature range for optimal decomposition.

By using newspaper, I can create a well-insulated and efficient composting toilet in my tiny house. Transitioning to the next section, leaves are another popular material that can be used in the composting toilet to further enhance the decomposition process.


You’ll be amazed at how leaves can turbocharge the decomposition process in your composting toilet, turning it into a leafy powerhouse of nutrient-rich goodness. Using leaves as a composting toilet material has several pros and cons:

  1. Pros:

    • Leaves are abundant and easily accessible in most areas.
    • They provide a good source of carbon, helping to balance the nitrogen-rich waste in the toilet.
    • Leaves break down relatively quickly, aiding in the composting process.
  2. Cons:

    • Leaves can be bulky and take up a lot of space in the toilet.
    • Some leaves, like those from eucalyptus or walnut trees, contain natural compounds that can inhibit decomposition.
    • Leaves may not be available year-round in certain climates.

Alternatives to leaves for composting toilets include sawdust, coconut coir, and shredded paper. These materials also provide carbon and can be more readily available in certain situations.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about ‘hay,’ another common composting toilet material, we can explore its benefits and drawbacks.


To create a cozy and rustic feel in your composting setup, consider using hay as a natural and earthy alternative. Hay can serve as a bedding material in a composting toilet, helping to absorb moisture and create a favorable environment for the decomposition process.

Compared to other materials, such as leaves, hay is more effective at maintaining a balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, which is crucial for successful composting. Its high carbon content aids in odor reduction and promotes the breakdown of waste. Additionally, hay provides insulation, keeping the composting toilet warm during colder months.

However, it’s important to note that hay may contain weed seeds, which could lead to unwanted plants in your compost.

Transitioning to the next section, grass clippings can also be a suitable alternative for composting toilets.

Grass clippings

Gather green and glorious grass clippings to enhance the eco-friendly essence of your composting setup. Grass clippings can be a valuable material for composting toilets, providing both benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of using grass clippings as a composting toilet material include their high nitrogen content, which speeds up the decomposition process. They also add moisture to the compost and can help control odors. Additionally, grass clippings are readily available and often free.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Grass clippings can mat together and create a dense layer, which may hinder aeration in the composting system. To avoid this, it is recommended to mix grass clippings with other materials, such as leaves or sawdust.

To effectively use grass clippings in a composting toilet, follow these tips:

  1. Layer grass clippings with other materials to promote proper aeration.
  2. Monitor moisture levels to prevent excessive dampness.
  3. Avoid using grass clippings treated with pesticides or herbicides.
  4. Regularly mix the compost to ensure thorough decomposition.

By incorporating grass clippings into your composting toilet, you can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any specific guidelines for using sawdust as a composting toilet material?

There are specific guidelines for using sawdust as a composting toilet material. It should be dry, odor-free, and used in the right ratio with waste. Peat moss can also be used, as it helps with odor control and moisture absorption.

How does coconut coir compare to other materials in terms of odor control in a composting toilet?

Coconut coir is a highly effective material for odor control in composting toilets. It outperforms other materials in terms of its ability to absorb and neutralize odors. Additionally, coconut coir is cost-effective and easily accessible.

Can peat moss be used as a composting toilet material in a tiny house, and if so, what are the benefits?

Peat moss can be used as a composting toilet material in a tiny house. It has numerous benefits, including excellent odor control, moisture absorption, and nutrient retention. It is also a sustainable and readily available alternative to other composting toilet materials.

Is it possible to use wood shavings as a composting toilet material without any negative effects on the composting process?

Using wood chips as a composting toilet material in a tiny house offers numerous benefits. Exploring the use of sawdust in composting toilets reveals that it can effectively aid the composting process without any negative effects.

Are there any particular considerations to keep in mind when using straw as a composting toilet material in a tiny house?

When using straw as composting toilet material in a tiny house, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. It is important to maintain the proper carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and ensure adequate ventilation. Guidelines for using sawdust as composting toilet material can also be applied.


I’ve discussed various materials that can be used in a composting toilet for a tiny house, including sawdust, coconut coir, peat moss, wood shavings, straw, newspaper, leaves, hay, and grass clippings.

Some may argue that using these materials is messy and requires a lot of effort. However, by properly managing the composting process, keeping the toilet clean, and regularly adding the right amount of carbon-rich materials, the composting toilet can be odorless, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

So don’t let potential objections deter you from embracing this sustainable solution for your tiny house.

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