Sunday, November 15, 2015

HUMANURE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

At Skreien where I'm from they're now making a giant loop of a water/sewer-system. The water will be pumped from 100 meters below the sea level in Lake Mjøsa, and then pump it up to 500 meters above sea level, a height difference of 600 meters. Then the waste water and sewer will be transported in pipelines down to the treatment plant by Lake Mjøsa, and finally again be released back to the lake.

This is of course insane, like our whole industrial culture, or ACID (Advanced Competitive Industrial Dominion). ACID is like acid to our Earth, and only knows to destroy the planet which we depend upon.

The opposite of industrial culture is PERMACULTURE! Here follow a brilliant article by Jonathon Engels about how to make a small, local permaculture loop to treat our bodies waste.

HUMANURE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

It’s something that becomes more and more unsettling for me the deeper I look into the issue. With every morning constitutional, with every quick run to the bathroom, the majority of industrialized humanity is carelessly waging war on the environment. In harsh but accurate terms, we are pillaging and polluting the planet in the most idiotic of ways. The way we’ve come—and much of the underdeveloped world still seems to be moving—to handle human feces and urine is almost immeasurably damaging to the world when it could be exceedingly good for it.


Compost Toilet (Courtesy of Andy Wright)
Compost Toilet (Courtesy of Andy Wright)

Generally, when I’ve written about this topic, I’ve done so light-heartedly, acknowledging the humorous side of poo and pee (and, I fear, distracting conscientious readers from the point), but that mood has sort of escaped me of late. As I find myself too often caught in the locks of modern life, visiting someone or somewhere, in an urban environment, at an eco-hotel, it’s left me with little option but to flush and add to this problem. Where else can you go in a city? Where else can you go when at a family member’s house? A friend’s? A restaurant? A business? A crowded campground!

Trust me, I want to laugh. I grew up in a household where fart jokes were richly appreciated and the agony of “holding it” rowdily laughed at. But, perhaps this is why the problem has persisted so. The end result of digestion, a simple fact of life, has become so taboo and untouchable that, despite a growing awareness of the environmental impact of the flush toilet system, change is excruciatingly slow if not largely ignored. But, as much as plastic is a problem, as much as chemical waste dumps, feedlots and GMO corn is an issue in need of immediate address, some would venture to say that humanure is doubly so.

THE REALITY OF A FLUSH


For every flush of the toilet, people are sending away a minimum of 5 liters (and up to 25 liters) of fresh water, something that we are quickly recognizing as a hugely dwindling resource. The toilet accounts for over a quarter of the water usage in the average US household (and not far off in most other industrialized nations). Obviously, this means that over 25% of the fresh water we use in our homes has no greater purpose than to usher human excrement away. Every time we flush the toilet it is wasting water, be it grey or completely potable. Read on...

- HUMANURE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER, PART 2: THE EASY-DOES-IT INSTRUCTIONS

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