Written by Geoff Chia for Multihull World Magazine.
To me the principal hurdle before embarking on this project was how best to dispose of sewage in the least noxious and most environmentally friendly manner. Chris Palmer, environmental engineer and founder of Envirotech treatment systems, was the first person to inform me about the viability of a composting toilet for a boat, but I was rather sceptical at first.
Further research however validated his assertions. I continued to annoy Chris and Stephanie, his daughter, an environmentally conscious business graduate, with my ideas for several years. When the opportunity to put this project together finally came about, it proved impossible for me to move aboard initially due to shore based commitments, hence Stef very kindly agreed to take on the practical aspects of initiating this project and to boatsit for a few months.
The key concept is lifestyle modification without significant lifestyle compromise. Indeed, many aspects of this project are positively beneficial, such as the exercise of kayaking to and from the boat. Carrying water to the boat is also good exercise, forces us not to take fresh water for granted and focuses our efforts on water conservation. Stef outlines her experiences below.
Ultimate proof of drastic energy reduction will require a formal energy audit which I hope to arrange in due course. This will also prove that a low footprint, low energy lifestyle is a huge money saver and hence economically eminently sensible in the long term. – GEOFF CHIA