Hygiene

Understanding that the constructs of the yurt are quite simple, you may quickly jump to think about the most basic of needs – How to go about the shit, shower, and shave routine.

The first item of business is a priority and can be addressed adequately since we learned more about building and using composting toilets. This configuration with urine separation offers a very neat, efficient, and low-impact way of managing everyday excrement, and we are looking forward to starting on our version of this facility right away.

Yes, the outhouse will be a short walk away from the yurt, but we’re not opposed to making use of time-tested chamber pot technology for those instances when we can’t or don’t wish to make the trip. Many people would be extremely uncomfortable with having to actually handle their own waste, but poop is a fact of life and we’re looking to find that balance between modern convenience and giving the bears some privacy.

bear woods
See more from Andrew on Flickr.

Consider that each flush of a conventional toilet uses around 2 gallons or more of clean drinking-quality water, while there are 1 in 10 people worldwide who have no clean water whatsoever. A composting toilet is actually quite regal when compared to the 2.3 billion people worldwide that don’t have access to a toilet at all!

Another concern for the potty-conscious is feminine hygiene. Most conventional products available for containing monthly flows are consumable and designed for disposal by clean water flush, or by being tucked away in the solid waste stream (aka landfill fodder). Again, having to shift my comfort level for handling bodily fluids, modern reusable alternatives take cues from the past’s rags and have persuaded me to convert long before any outhouse. (Many thanks to a certain little sister for introducing me to Pink Lemonade.) Still hunting for better ways to manage menstruation, this recent development was designed specifically to change lives for the better in resource-poor environments.

Turning from foul to fresh, showering is the next topic to bubble up on the hygiene list. Contrary to popular belief, it’s a very manageable task with no public utility and limited water resources once we move past the idea that bathing has to be a daily (or more) routine. We’ll look forward to breaking up hot, dry, and dusty days with refreshing outdoor rinses under an elegantly simple solar shower during the summertime. In the wintertime, I guess we’ll make do with stove-warmed ‘bird baths’ in between the occasional romantic starlit soaks.

Shave? Here’s 17 reasons not to.

 

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