Category Archives: Kauai

The Composting Toilet

So I wish this wasn’t one of the more memorable things about our trip to Kauai, but it has been.

Our cottage had a composting toilet, which was composed of a wooden box with a hinged top with a hole in it and a full toilet seat that rested on top of that. Under the hinged lid was a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket. Next to the box was a covered can with sawdust and a scoop.

When we arrived, the owner gave the spiel. We were to use the toilet as we would, throwing the paper in there too, and then cover it with a scoop of sawdust. When we arrived, the sawdust in the can was fine and easy to scoop – no problem. When the bucket filled up or got too smelly, we were supposed to open the hinged lid, take out the bucket, put another big scoop of sawdust over the top, and put the bucket´s lid on. Then we were to leave the bucket outside the cottage and they would take it away.

Here is what I loved about the experience:

  • Peeing in the empty bucket. Ooh, how fun!
  • The first few times I scooped sawdust over the contents. A novelty!
  • Learning how much waste we produce (about a 5 gallon bucket a day, including lots of sawdust). Eek!
  • That it didn’t smell at all! In fact a poo in that toilet, covered in sawdust, smells not at all when the next person goes a few minutes later. In our experience… (Maybe we just ate no red meat while we were here though, which is true…)
  • Feeling like I was not murdering the planet too much.
  • Not having to deal with the waste after we put the bucket outside.

Here is what I did not love about the experience:

  • That after that first can of sawdust, the owner replaced it with dried bamboo leaves and other large and awkward to scoop plant matter, so it was difficult to scoop and messy.
  • The flies.
  • Remembering what to do in the middle of the night.
  • Going outside, in the rain, to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Switching the bucket/refilling the sawdust can/other basic maintenance when all I wanted to do was a quick pee.

But, hey, I pee a lot. Maybe someone who uses the bathroom less frequently would not find it as aggravating.

All in all, it was not too hard. I even was googling composting toilets, thinking maybe there was a way to have one in our house in Norway. I am not sure yet.

Glad I got the experience, and glad that particular experience is over! 🙂


The End of Kauai

We are leaving our little cottage on moving to the big city!

We are leaving the rain, the dangerous stairs, and the composting toilet. I am a little bittersweet, though.

We had a nice time and lived pretty cheaply here, relatively speaking. For a cottage, the rental car and gas, it was about $175 per day. Of course if we were camping that would be heinously expensive, but we have been scoping out places to stay in Japan, the last leg of our trip, and thinking that we need to conserve our budget for there. For Hawaii, not camping, but with a car and Hawaiian gas prices, that is not too bad.

Yesterday it rained constantly. We went out for brunch at our favorite place here, though it was quite busy and we both chose things that left us wishing we had ordered our old favorites. What is that?! We are getting old 🙂 Afterwards we went back to the house and Kiddo took at 3.5 hour nap. I think she is growing. We went to a nice restaurant for dinner, where I treated myself to the first sugary item in awhile: gluten free lemon cake with strawberry and guava sorbet. I must say: I really love dessert. Well, I love food in general, but also sweets. I hate it when I get to the point of craving sweets constantly, which is where I was after Maui (the vegan desserts at Mana Foods were deadly), so that is why we are cutting back. Last night was a sweet reprieve.

The place was called Caffe Coco, and they serve Hawaiian/American food with a healthy twist. We got salad wraps as appetizers, and then I got organic chicken on purple sweet potato mash with coconut creamed spinach. It was sooooo tasty.

The meal, the dessert, the company of my beautiful family was all a perfect end to our stay in Kauai.

The next morning we woke up, hung around, cleaned the place up, took our last pees in the composting toilet and headed out. We ate our first Hawaiian plate lunch at Mark´s Place, a random hole in the wall we found on Yelp. Good, but greasy, as Hawaiian plate lunches are known to be.

Kiddo slept at the airport and we headed out without a hitch. Honolulu, also rainy, I hear, awaits!