If there are a few things that 2020 has taught us, it’s that toilet paper is a precious commodity, laying chickens and seeds can be hard to find, international travel is a luxury and alcohol is almost a prerequisite during a global pandemic!
The other enormous change that many people aren’t talking or necessarily thinking about is a change in our thinking, our culture and our society. Shutting international borders, travel restrictions and issues with international supply chains have made many civilians and businesses look towards their local areas for solutions, products and the things needed to run a household or business.
This turning of the tables from globalisation to localisation is seeing many people in Australia take more control over their food, energy production and waste disposal.
Changing the world starts at home
Protests have helped shape public opinions from the French Revolution through to the environmental protests we saw sweep the world in 2019-2020. Many people want to make a change in the world but aren’t quite sure how to do it. Holding placards and chanting catchcries may make your cause more visible to the public and politicians, but it often doesn’t lead to real-world change that affects you personally or helps your direct environment.
By taking control of the things you can change you’re much more likely to start making minor changes in your world, which in turn will affect others in your family and social circles and spread like idea vines to those around you. If you’re concerned about the environment and want to make a change for the better, looking towards a more sustainable lifestyle is one of the simplest ways to make a change for good.
"As a nation, we’re literally flushing perfectly good drinking water down the toilet"
When you stop to think about it, flushing perfectly good drinking water down the toilet is a crazy concept. For centuries, access to clean drinking water has been difficult, troublesome and a burden on time and effort for many people and still is. The fact we think we have so much of it, we can flush it away without thinking about it is partly why we’re not seeing a change in environmental issues across the globe.
Up to 25% of all household water usage in Australia is through the simple act of flushing toilets (source). Taking this out of the equation will mean hundreds of thousands of litres of water saved every year in the driest continent on the planet (makes sense, doesn’t it!).
A global pandemic has made us more self-reliant
Even though we’re still in the grips of a global pandemic, trends are starting to indicate Australians are shying away from relying on their governments or large corporations for the things they need. Many seed suppliers have seen a more than 10X increase in online sales of things like watermelons, tomatoes and basil seeds.
Chicken breeders have been inundated with orders after people weren’t able to purchase eggs in supermarkets. People are baking their own bread more often, doing more DIY projects and improving their homes with renovations, installation of greywater systems and of course, installing a waterless toilet.
Waterless toilets are a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle
As more and more people are starting to realise the potential issues with living in large cities with a sizable population, they’re looking for options in rural and semi-rural areas. Real estate agents have seen unprecedented demand from major cities like Sydney and Melbourne for rural and semi-rural homes as people retreat from city living in favour of the coast or countryside.
Many of these homes rely on water tanks for drinking water so the installation of a waterless toilet is one of the most effective ways to save as much precious water as possible.
With more people looking at a more self-sustainable lifestyle, living in rural areas where they understand the importance of water conservation and people wanting to take more control over their homes, waterless toilets have seen an increase not only in interest but in sales.
“We’ve seen a 25% increase in traffic and interest around waterless toilets to our website this year when we compare it to last year,” says Peter Vollert, director of Ecoflo and waterless toilet devotee “and it’s not just people in rural areas or what you would typically call ‘greenie types’ buying them, we’re selling toilets to people in townhouses and families in the suburbs. I think more people are starting to realise water is precious and when we go through a year like 2020, we need to rely on ourselves more and more, including waste management”.