In many places in the world, it is not lack of supply, but distribution that results in regional water shortages. For example, approximately 60% of Canada's fresh water drains north, while 85% of the population lives along the southern border with the United States.
Our family cottage in Ontario's "cottage country" was the perfect place for me to spend summers as a kid. Growing up in a suburb of Toronto, it was like traveling to a different world!
There was no electricity, no phone, and no running water. We learned about conserving water resources from battling mosquitoes and blackflies while going to the lake to bring back pails of water for washing and dishes.
Rain or shine, it was a 15 minute ride in the rowboat each way along the shore of the lake to the spring for drinking water. We didn't waste a drop!
My aunts and uncles had cottages just down the shore from us, and my cousins and I spent hours and hours outside in the bush, along the shore, or out on the water in the old row boat or canoe. I loved it there so much that I was inspired at a young age to become an environmentalist, although I didn't really think about it at the time. I just knew I was happier in a natural environment than in a man-made one. I still am.
Lake View From Our Cottage
I moved away from the city to live in cottage country after I finished high school, and earned an Honours degree in Environmental Geography in 1995.
Well, as they say, life is full of surprises. After graduation, my life unfolded in a way I hadn't expected it to and an environmental career was not part of it for the next while. Now, ten years later, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to develop a business that reflects my values, and hopefully helps other people to act on their own concerns for the environment.
Why Composting Toilets?
The concept behind the product fits with my philosophy of life - travel softly on this earth and leave as little impact as possible. Unfortunately, over the years we've seen the impact of human activity around our lake. The nutrient levels in the water have risen enough that we notice a dramatic increase in weed growth in some areas.
Human presence brings multiple sources of nutrients, including fertilizer used on lawns and gardens, and soaps and detergents used in the lake or too close to it. And certainly the outhouses used by virtually all the cottagers for the last 40 years have had an impact on water quality in the lake.
So when my brother decided to replace the outhouse with more convenient facilities, he went looking for an environmentally friendly alternative. The soil's too sandy and we're too close to the lake to install a septic system, and installing a holding tank would involve a major disruption to our property.
After researching a variety of products, he decided to install a Sun-Mar composting toilet. There is no electricity or running water, so he chose the Excel NE (Non-electric) model. We installed it in August of 2006. Check out the story and photos of our composting toilet installation.
You might also enjoy reading letters from other Sun-Mar customers on our composting toilet testimonials page.
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Let's Go Green!