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Compost Toilets - Design & Implementation Self Paced

Learn the benefits, potential pitfalls, tricks and tips in designing and maintaining a successful compost toilet system for any context!
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Why the hype around Compost Toilets?

Compost toilets are beginning to make their way into regulations and standards in North America, being used in a variety of contexts from award-winning commercial buildings to remote cabins. With their ability to save thousands of gallons of water and close the nutrient cycle at the same time, they are a major asset in any well-functioning and regenerative system.

But what determines the type of toilet that is best suited for the usage? How does one get the approval to install one? And what's involved in maintaining it?

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the application of composting toilets within the multiple contexts of health and safety, regulations, and navigating the sustainability goals within the constraints that exist in our culture. 

Taught by one of the most experienced designers and policy influencer, as well as long time composting toilet user, Gord Baird, your journey through the ins and outs of composting toilets will be led by on the of the field's best. 
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Write your awesome label here.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for a wide range of people from differing contexts, including but not limited to:

Anyone who wants to decrease their water usage;
- Regulators who are seeking to learn more about alternative waste management trends;
- Professionals working remotely who have moved to their summer cottages and now need to address their lack of water;
- Permaculture designers and educators
- Homeowners who are thinking about building;
- Temporary camps seeking a responsible method to deal with otherwise harmful wastes;
- Architects & Waste Water Designers, or professional associations seeking a course to meet annual training needs; 
- folks who build or use Tiny homes on wheels that want to ensure their systems are mobile; 
- Home Builders/contractors (timberframe, loghome, natural builders) working on remote islands; and
- are self-motivated to follow the course material at their own pace without needing any additional live support.
NOTE - No previous knowledge of compost toilets is required to take this workshop.

Learn how to create and maintain compost toilet systems!

Course Sessions and Content

Our students love us

Gord & Javan are highly informative and will have you grinning ear to ear. I loved the puns and the simplicity with which they explained the not so simple material.   
If you are interested in the inner working of a simple and efficient way of dealing with waste this course will be very helpful to you.
Definitely worth the cost, whether you're new, starting small, or tackling a big challenge project.

Course Logistics


Any time that works for you! Digest the course content at your own pace, knowing that you have lifetime access to the material. This course becomes another valuable resource in your land management toolbox.


A series of video presentations, worksheets, assignments, plant lists and other resources to equip you to make best use of these pivotal landscape design elements. 


A community of peers who are on the same journey as you, to interact with and learn from.


Online and accessible from anywhere in the world, with lifetime access to the course materials and recordings.


Don't hesitate

Need the freedom to digest and work through a course in your time? This is the course for you!

Who is the course a good fit for?

This course may be of use to you if you are:
  • interested in learning how to design for your unique context;
  • prepared to obtain and read the book "Essential Composting Toilets: From a waste-stream to mainstream". Information on how to purchase the textbook will be provided to those registered; 
  • someone with a preference for a self-paced course;
  • excited to dive into the possibilities of different compost toilet systems;
  • realistic in your expectations, or willing to have your expectations of what's possible challenged.

Who is this course NOT a good fit for?

  • You have no time, you're enrolled in 50 online courses this year and this will be but another course that you don't attend.
  • Those who think compost toilets are a cool idea, but have no desire to build your skill or capacity to design and implement these essential elements.
  • Anyone who thinks compost toilets are the only way to deal with human waste. Compost toilets are one way to do so, and effective implementation and management is critical to their success.
Learn from Instructors who can save you hundreds of hours of mistakes

"We all learn from mistakes, they just don't have to be our own."

Meet the instructorS

Gord Baird

Gord Baird’s background and experiences stem from building the Eco-Sense homestead, a Living Building Challenge project that includes net zero water and waste systems, located in the District of Highlands on Vancouver Island. Addressing sustainable building, waste and water systems in the context of conventional codes and standards spawned an interest to change policy.

 An unexpected career developed from the passion to stir the pot of sustainable water stewardship, compost toilets, policy and governance. Gord’s policy work includes being a technical editor for the Province of BC’s regulations on compost toilets and greywater, consulting for municipal and regional governments on rainwater harvesting for potable use, and developing a non-potable water reuse guidebook for commercial and multi-family residential building for a regional government.

He sits as an elected municipal councillor, is the 4 year vice-chair for the CRD Regional Water Supply Commission, and is an 8 year commissioner for the Juan de Fuca Water distribution Commission. Hands-on work includes co-authoring the Essential Composting Toilets book, designing and installing over 30 residential potable rainwater systems, strata small water systems. He is an ASSE internationally certified rainwater harvesting designer and installer.
Patrick Jones - Course author
Patrick Jones - Course author
Patrick Jones - Course author
Meet the Host

Javan K. Bernakevitch

Javan K. Bernakevitch is passionate about helping people create more abundant, diverse and profitable landscapes and lives that get better year after year. An educator and designer for clients, community events, non-profit groups, university students and businesses, Javan inspires and empowers audiences with a passion for change.

Integrating Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Permaculture, the Soil Food Web, Myco-Integration, Project Management and Business implementation, he understands and emphasizes the importance of balancing biological systems - soil, water-harvesting, landscape rehydration, composting, growing food and biological waste-water treatment - with financial viability. A career focus on regenerative retrofits of broad acre and small scale landscapes to re-establish working watersheds, ecosystems, productive landscapes and enterprises has taken him across North and Central America, Europe and Africa.

The originator of All Points Life Design, he has pioneered new ways for clients to identify their values and bring regenerative enterprises and productive landscapes to their lives.

He operates Permaculture BC, an education and community hub for permaculture in British Columbia, and All Points Land Design, focusing on land design and installation. He has worked with the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University and Simon Fraser University. Recent partnerships include working with the Cowichan Green Community, Seven Ravens Permaculture Academy, Galliano Conversation Association and Healthy Homes.

Our students love us

Gord is gifted with a way of explaining that makes complex topics clear, and delivering the information in an insightful way that only someone with perceptive insight of his "audience" allows. His approach to sharing information is refreshing and liberating in its practicality and delivery. It gives me pleasure to be able to highly recommend his teachings.
This deeply informative, fascinating workshop by Gord Baird of Eco-Sense Living, should be mandatory for everyone moving from a city to a gulf island, and certainly would be a great resource to teach self-sufficiency in the face of climate change, and toward next level protection of sensitive groundwater resources. 
I've taken dozens of ecological design & permaculture workshops over the past 20 years and the workshops I've taken with Gord (water harvesting & integrated landscape systems) stand out at the top of the pack. His passion, thorough research and most of all his unique project experiences add up to a learning environment that is difficult to match. I highly recommend learning from Gord. 
Tayler Krawczyk

Frequently asked questions

Do I need any experience to take this course?

Absolutely not! No previous experience is necessary!

Is there any interaction with the instructors?

This is a SELF PACED course with all of the material being pre-recorded. There is no interaction with this version of the course. If you're interested in a LIVE version please ensure you have a free account with Regenerative Living to be notified when LIVE versions are available.

Will have lifetime access to the course material?

YES! You'll have lifetime access to the course. 

Is the course refundable?

The course is non-refundable.
Don't hesitate

Learn how to create and implement compost toilet systems. 

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