Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Humanure and your relationship with life cycles

Humanure is what it sounds like- human waste transformed into a viable, safe fertilizer


I was studying this use of human manure as a way to transform toxic sources of water poisoning in rural areas of Uganda into a way to improve suffering soils. The issue of poor water quality in the areas where I was working posed a particularly acute and complex problem which could not be solved through human manure. However, it's a practice I'm seeing more and more in less urban areas of western countries. I envision that there is a way to implement the humanure system on a scale efficient and large enough to accommodate urban dwellers. World food security about world water security- a far more precious resource considering global climate change. Each time you flush your toilet you are washing down gallons upon gallons of clean water which will in turn flow through a processing facility that inputs thousands of gallons of clean water and then dumps the "cleaned-up" sewage water into rivers and estuaries. The nutrients in that water feed hungry, fast multiplying algae which suck oxygen out of the water systems as they grow. This disturbance in the balance of the fragile water ecosystem causes plants and wildlife to suffocate, starve, or take over (if they are highly opportunistic). Finally, this has extremely profound and wide-reaching effects on the ecosystems which produce the food we eat. It can cripple and utterly destroy their ability to sustain populations of organisms which are key to the healthy functioning of our food systems (such as bees). We should do what we can to protect the precious water that we have and find new ways of harvesting fresh water that is not being used (For instance these fog nets in Peru which have brought fresh water ...).


You can avoid flushing down the gallons and put nutrients which your body did not process back into the food system safely and in a balanced manner. A very informative but long read is the Humanure Handbook <--- everything you would want to know about microbials, soil ecosystems, vermiculture (worms! our best wiggly friends), composting, composting human poo, and soil cycles.

Also, if you are more hands on and would like to see how it works through videos, Jenkins has tons of videos which doc**ent the wh*** process (even if you just want to learn how to compost) right here

Views: 36

Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 5:30pm
I think the key is to just start with a compost toilet, and then once you have some 'product' do some tests and raise a garden with it and then test what you grow. Research needs to be done to establish how safe it is, authorities need to disabuse themselves of the notion that its dangerous. In a world where water is more expensive than gas, and chemical fertilizers are running out, we can't start building compost toilets soon enough.
Comment by Joe Sutton on March 24, 2010 at 5:10am
This is an interesting idea. Now only does it conserve water, but puts unused nutrients to good use!

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