OK, I asked the old noodle to come up with a challenging blog idea and here we go.
I skipped a day of blogging this week, which is what happened when I was trying to figure out if I really should blog about what I’m about to blog about. Today I decided that the impact of the upcoming blog is important enough that I should just bite that old bullet and let ‘er fly.
So to speak.
Here’s the warm-up: We’ve been training Simon to do his “business” in one specific area of the farm. The idea was to teach him that making doodoo deposits where students, teachers and parents are likely to walk is to incur the ire of the folks who then have to clean up the resulting carpet tracks in the school building, which then incurs the wrath of the sisters. Not good. Think of the training program as DDM (Doo Doo Management).
Okaaaaaay … so where’s the in-depth blogging idea? Well, just this: if DDM is important for doggies, might there also be some call to reconsider human DDM?
Whaaaat??? What kind of a topic is that, you ask? Everyone knows that human DDM happens unobtrusively behind closed doors, and is magically whisked away by water, never to be seen, heard from or talked about again. So is this any reasonable kind of blog topic?
You bet your sweet waste management it is.
- Fact number one: the water system that carries our unspeakable stuff away is the very same system that eventually fills our water glasses, washes our dishes, and cooks our pasta. Oh, eeeuuuuwwww.
Yeah, and we’ve been doing it for a very long time, and by rapidly increasing numbers of bodies.
- Fact number two (no pun intended): a great deal of chemical warfare, some of which isn’t all that great for human consumption, is thrown into that magically whisked water to remove the unspeakable stuff and to make the water potable (we hope).
- Fact number three: that which is removed must be disposed of (as in thrown away, but someone please tell me exactly where “away” is) and in ways that pollute only specific areas (we hope). In the meantime, millions of gallons of polluted and chemically “freshened” water is being dragged around the land — and at significant cost to us all.
- Fact number four: fresh water on the planet is not in never-ending supply. Actually, it’s rather scarce, as water goes. To intentionally pollute the precious, limited element without which we cannot live more than a few days, seems, well, stupid.
Let’s look at the other side of this equation for a minute. In nature, one creature’s bodily deposit is another’s nourishment (and before you go eeuuww again, bear in mind that incredibly rich soil is created by worm castings — a prettied-up word for, yep, doodoo).
And human “castings” are valuable, too. Especially if we are eating wisely. Properly composted (and that’s really easy to do, honestly), human manure can be transformed into perfectly safe, rich soil additive! Not only does that save water, it doesn’t waste the “waste”, and costs a whole lot less in the bargain. No pipes or plumbers, no nasty overflows, no water pollution, no expensive potty repairs or replacements, and fabulous free compost in a never-ending supply. If there ever was a time when Earth’s soil could use a helping hand, this would be it.
Folks often ask me what one person can do to help the Earth, and if you only did one Earth-loving thing in your entire life, recycling human “waste” (a true misnomer) would be the way to exert a huge, positive impact. The system is called “humanure” composting.
I haven’t calculated the specific numbers yet, but I can tell you for sure that it saves a lot of water, is extremely easy to do, costs about $75 to set up (one-time cost; you can probably do it for less), and takes about ten minutes a week to maintain. It uses wise old Mama Nature and her thermophillic wizards to accomplish the work — not a single Monsanto-esque product is needed.
And it doesn’t smell (’cause I know someone out there is still going eeeeuuuuwwww).
Joseph Jenkins has written a great book about it, and you can read the whole thing free by downloading it here.
All right, I know this was a little “out there”, but just think about it. And what a huge difference you — all by yourself and with a minimum investment of time and money — can do to help save the world.
Not bad, huh?