I figured as sentimental as my last post got, this time I’ll talk pooh.

Someday in the foreseeable future we will all, city and rural folk alike, be seeing our pooh in a totally new light.  We will be keeping it and transforming it, or the city will be doing that for us.  While today this may still be a very controversial and slow-moving issue, common sense will eventually prevail.

Humanure has a growing fanbase and will become the biggest thing since the flushable toilet became de rigeur in the 18th century.  Certainly considered a big improvement over throwing your waste right into the street or river, it does seem we’ve become extreme in our pattern of excrement denial.  Flush it and forget it.

Even broach the subject and folks get very squeamish.  Our government so far wants nothing to do with it.  As an Austin company discovered, they’ll give you a tax credit for your new low-flush toilet, but one that requires no water at all, no way.  Cause, that’s just weird.

But in fact, it’s already happening elsewhere.

“Ecological sanitation, as this call to arms is known in toilet circles, is already up and running in many spots around the world. In rural China, 15.4 million homes convert methane into power from what normally went down the pit behind the house. Household waste is stored in a state-subsidized “digester,” a kind of metal stomach that breaks down the matter and releases methane gas which is trapped for reuse. In the French city of Lille, a small fleet of ten buses are also using methane, gleaned from the city’s poop. And in some Indian villages, simple latrines have been built that separate waste and use it to produce compost and fertilizer at a per capita cost infinitesimally lower than any waste management budget in the West. ”

Browsing a bit of the lit on both sides of the issue, flushing vs not, I see only two real arguments.  The flush toilet, as great as it is, can’t possibly be sustained in our future, we need another solution.  But still, if I were in a densely-populated city where that waste was then used, I’d be worried about what’s in there.

When it’s just the family’s business that gets spread on the garden, I don’t get so queasy.   But there are some folks out there whose intake might not make suitable excrement, I’m thinking specifically in the case of all those pharmaceuticals folks use nowadays.

Is that paranoia?  Those chemicals are diluted sure, and yet, the pharm industry is booming and that’s a lot of drugs going through a lot of people and right onto those poor defenseless vegetables.  Do pharms compost away?

I have no idea and I don’t have time to research it.  So I’m going straight to the source:  The guru of the human pooh system is Joseph Jenkins, writer of the popular Humanure Handbook, which I’ve just purchased.

Before the year is out our current toilet will be replaced with a Lovable Loo, purchased online or recreated by Handy Hubby.  But don’t say anything, ’cause I haven’t told him yet. :)

I’ll keep y’all posted, until then, keep flushing!

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1945350,00.html

http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1857113,00.html