Wednesday, December 21, 2005

DIY skill of the day: composting toilet, from shit to soil.

one of the most basic ways to start to be self sustainable, or what i think is a more accurate way to put it, or to (re)learn how to take care of ourselves, is to start with what we do with our waste. the mega-systems used by this civilization are aboslutely stupid. first off, if you live in a area more densly populated with humyns; you put the shit in fresh water so that it can be piped many miles where it is then concentrated and pumped full of killer cemicals to kill the bactiria, which eventually make their way into the enviornment and thus everything, at a plant which requires massive amounts of energy, and requires factories to produce the chemicals for killing, which in turn requires more energy. or, if you live in a less densly humyn populated area, you probably have a septic tank; smaller scale, same stupidity. still put shit into fresh water, then put into a giant tank which takes must be paid for (++$$) along with the pluming ifrastructure. after the water and shit go into the tank, they are then "leached" into a field, which is most likely right where you live, this then gets into the water table and everything that uses that water (you and your food). In short, this subsystem of civilization (just like the rest of them) is a helluva lot of work! and requires wonton destruction of your home, and expensive to boot! stupid! but luckily it is much easier to not do this. a composting toilet can be as fancy, complex and expensive as dictator Bush has at his eco-borgeouis green ranch (oh, you didn't know? but he insists that peak oil is a myth and the comsumer lifestyle will go on forever!) , or DIY ($0). Of course, the best solution is to eat all wild plants and animals and be nomadic, as this way ones shit contains the least amount of killer chemicals as possible so it is compost from the start and being nomadic none builds up too densely in one spot as to harber e-coli or other harmful bactiria because it will decomose rather quickly. But in lieu of that, a compost toilet is a geat and easy way to start.

what you need to have: at least 2 buckets (ya know those plastic ones, you can find them behind resturants), sawdust or some other dry organic matter, a bin for the compost (i use 4 wooden pallets nailed together, but anything with good air cerculation will work. Also, it would make it easier if their is a little door at the bottom to geet at the done stuff), hay to put ontop of each deposit of humanure made to compost bin (you could use grass clippings or any dryed out grass or grass-esque plant), and a seat to place the bucket in (this can range from a broken toilet seat to a full blown outhouse). thats it!

what you need to do: the work part of this consists of bringing full buckets to the compost, dumping them and putting hay on top, putting a new bucket with leaves at the bottom of it (important!) in the out-house (or whatever you use), and shitting.

a more thurough explaination and overall good resorse on this is The Humanure Handbook. i hope this is redundant for you, but if it is not and you already have the information, i hope it serves as a reminder and an inspiration to get to it. and if niether is the case, i hope this has opened your eyes. what better time than now, what better place than here?


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