The Green Cabin
What is a cabin? "A cabin is a hut, or room on a boat or plane." But to must of us is the United States, a cabin is a small one room building with the sole porous of keeping you dry and warm while hunting, fishing or just while getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This is what I think of when I talk about a cabin. To me a cabin is a one room building. Something that leans itself to the menial less life style. I like the thought of living with the land and not just on it.
I plan to start with a 12-foot by 20-foot floor plan that can be easily expanded as my needs change. So start small and don't tell the powers that be that you are going to wire the building. By letting them think it is going to be a simple shed or outbuilding, there is no need for building permits. Other then the cost of the land I should be able to get the whole thing up and running for under $3,000 dollars Building and all. I look at the whole project as an investment in my future. By building a cabin I will not have a mortgage and by making it as green as possible with super insulation, solar power, solar water heater, a rainwater harvesting system. I should not have any utility bills.
Friday May 14, 2010
Lets talk about waste disposal. (ie) a toilet. Most people when you talk about the toilet they think of a flushing toilet like the one at home. While a flushing toilet can easily be installed in a house with running water, with a little ingenuity you too can have a flusher in your cabin without hooking up to city water. The flush is the easy part. All you need is a water tank mounted higher then the toilet tank with water in it to refill the tank after you flush the toilet. To do this mount a 55gal. drum about 8 to 10ft off the ground outside the wall of the bathroom so that it refills the toilet tank when used. Now to refill the larger tank you can use a small windmill or other pump weather it is powered by water or wind or solar. All it needs to do is top off the larger tank once a day or so and use non-palpable water and save your drinking water.
Now that you have a flushing toilet what happens to the waste? It goings down the waste pipe. You just have to install a small septic tank and leach field. In a cabin setting this can be quit small.
The water for the system can be rain water you collect in your rain barrels.
To conserve water I would use the system, "if its brown flush it down, if its yellow its mellow"
On a side note: If you live out in the back woods you can always use a tree.
I would also use a hunters toilet as a backup. (ie) a 5gal. plastic bucket with a second bucket filled with sawdust. When you use the hunters toilet you take a handful of sawdust and scatter it over the waste when your done. Then when emptying your hunters toilet you can put it on you compost bin to be used on your flowers.
Now for palpable drinking water
You can drink and cook with bottled water or use a good filter system to make your rain water safe to drink. If your lucky enough to have running water on your land. A running water source can both make power and supply drinking water. You can wash and such with plain rain water but you should filter your water when cooking or drinking it. Even if you have a well you should have it tested and use a filter before drinking and cooking with it.