Sustainable WNC

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Archive for January, 2009

Humanure- Take a huge step towards shrinking your environmental footprint

Friday, January 9th, 2009

This is a rough guideline on the simplicity of a composting toilet system. Like poetry, the simpler the system the better and more poignant it is. Please see the previous entry on Humanure- It’s a hot topic for references and “why”, as well as,the composting entries on more in depth management of the composting pile. It is essential that as the global population gets bigger and subsequently the globe gets smaller, that we learn to manage our by products so that they are resources not toxins. That way, instead of poisoning ourselves and all other beings, we indeed can have more abundance and richness than we ever dreamed of. Cast the marketed myths asunder, its a call for deep transformation!

The Composting toilet system to live for!
Supply list-
For outside you will need:
4 pallets of equal size. (Bigger the better)
1 maybe 2 rolls of 1/4″ hardware mesh
some eco dish soap and toilet brush
pile of damp cover material- yr old hardwood sawdust from a mill is the best
shovel

Inside:
at least two 5 gallon buckets
toilet seat
cover for seat

Cost: close to nill if you salvage most of this.
saving the planet- priceless

That’s it. You just replaced one of the biggest, most expensive, most polluting municipal services there is! All the while sequestering nutrients and carbon that will turn this climate crisis around.

How to assemble:
find a site on higher ground and screw together the pallets like you were building a shed out of them. Line the bottom and the sides with the 1/4″ hardware mesh (for rats,though I havent heard of rats in anyone’s so its really for other people’s comfort)

Line the bottom with sticks or coarse weeds as you would for any compost. Then a foot or so of cover material to act as a natural sponge.

Keep your soap, brush and shovel here.

In house: find a cozy place for your buckets.

One bucket has an inch or 2 of cover material the other full of cover material and an old can to shovel the material on to the fresh deposit.

Place your seat on the bucket with an inch of cover material and the lid on that.

You’re ready to make a deposit in the First Natural Bank. This will pay rich dividends within a couple of years.

It is important to put your urine in the bucket as well as the toilet paper. Always cover with enough cover material. This will keep it from smelling and deter flies. When the bucket is full take it outside and gently dump it into your primed compost bin. Shovel some cover material on this deposit. That’s it! You have just taken an enormous step towards shrinking your environmental footprint! For more in depth info on the composting toilet system see Joe Jenkins book - The Humanure Handbook or go on line as this is open source material ( see previous entry Humanre- a hot topic)

At the very least, this is a system to familiarize yourself with and have materials on hand in case of infrastructural compromise such as power outage (Did you know that pumping water can be up to 30% of a municipalities power usage? No power, no water). Always have a bucket ready. There is nothing grosser than a toilet full of human waste that wont flush.

I would like to leave you with a poem. I have create a new genre of poetry called- Haipoo

The wheel was broken
Now I give back what I take
Like trees dropping leaves.