More about Compo Closet™
Our Story: The seeds of a revolution!
After working a corporate job for 15 years, he decided it was time for a change. So, despite having recently finished renovating their house (really - we'd just finished it!), Richard and his partner, Angela, decided to quit their jobs and drop everything to go traveling.
They rented out their newly renovated house and moved into a caravan on Richard's parent's driveway. #LifeGoals.
Meanwhile, they self-converted their van (Morrison) for a year on the road.
So why composting toilets?
Richard had never heard of composting toilets before he put one in his van. He quickly saw the practical benefits over a chemical toilet. Portable chemical toilets need to be emptied every few days and literally flush drinking water down the toilet. Drinking water is too valuable just to be wasted and it is especially scarce in a camper van.
He also learned of other environmental benefits as well - not using chemicals and not needing to treat the wastewater.
Chemical toilets need to be emptied every few days. They literally flush precious drinking water down the toilet. They frequently use chemicals that are bad for the environment, and the wastewater needs then to be “treated” continuing the unnecessary use of energy.
Despite seeing the advantages of composting toilets he couldn't help notice the problems with current designs.
The poop compartment door was too small.
Aiming for the pee portion was also a creative task…..
And honestly, they looked like the love child of R2D2 and a vacuum cleaner.
These niggles became a minor obsession as they traveled around Europe. Richard would sketch toilets and research other amazing composting endeavors around the world. He would talk to anyone they met about them (well, everybody poops!) and how great they are but how he couldn't help but see improvements.
Then the pandemic ratcheted up a gear...
Before borders closed for a second time, Richard and Angela made a break across Europe. They headed to the south of Spain to enjoy the warmer weather over winter. As they couldn’t really travel, they rented a small apartment and Richard threw his efforts into realizing his vision of the best composting toilets in the world!
Enter Erica - Angela's twin sister (No this will not get weird.)
Erica and Angela grew up on Orcas Island, Washington State but both moved to Europe for studies. Erica returned to Washington State to finish her degree in Economics at the University of Washington. She returned to Vienna settled down and completed a Masters in Marketing.
Before the second lockdown Richard and Angela visited Erica and her husband Gogo in Vienna, Erica wasn't spared Richard's ramblings on how amazing composting toilets were.
Erica and Gogo had a T5 VW van that doubled as a work van for hauling lighting and rigging in the week and camper van at weekend. Suffice to say that Erica knew about the difficulties of having a stinky potty in a small space.
In a moment of schnaps-induced weakness, Erica agreed to come on board and sort out Richard's half-baked marketing. Finally, there was someone qualified for their role on the team! Yass!
Together we're now finalizing our designs and planning our crowdfunding campaign to launch a new range of portable & compact composting toilets.
Along the way we've also been thinking about how we can use this as an opportunity to have a positive impact on the world. That's why CompoCloset is committed to giving 10% of profits to charitable causes. As a new producer of plastic products we're also keen to ensure we use recycled materials and we're looking at how we can support initiatives such as plastic bank.
As a manufacturer, we're also looking at how we can help the UN achieve its Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation for everyone - including the 2.4 billion people who lack access to basic sanitation services, such as a simple toilet.
Please tell us if you have a charitable cause or initiative that you think we should know about!