SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

January 24, 2015

Humanure, great if U can do it!

HUMANURE  —  Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle


Humanure – Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle

(TRFW News) We live in a world that likes to dispose a lot of things, including clothes, paper, plastics, and even food. The landfills are rising; cars and harmful chemicals are polluting the environment, yet we still waste a lot of things even when there are recycling bins.

One question I pose is this: Is it possible to live a waste-free life – or very nearly so? Apparently, there are people in this world that have been successful with this. One lady proves this to us by only producing only a mere quart of waste in 2014! (1)

Zero Waste Home

Bea Johnson, a native from France and currently resides in Mills Valley, California, have been living a waste-free life along with her family members. She’s a zero-waste expert and provides consulting to those who want to learn. (1)

This lifestyle influenced a young lady from New York, Lauren, who was an Environmental Studies major at New York University (NYU). She says her transition wasn’t quick. In fact, it took her about a year and it took a lot of effort to make this happen. (2)

The humanure handbook

The environmentally-friendly humanure sanitation toilets are designed to collect human waste; including fecal and urine together, along with carbon cover material in order to achieve an odor-free, heat-producing organic mass called thermophilic. This hygienically safe process destroys pathogenic organisms to create a final product that is suitable for growing food. (3,4)

A study was done to look at various humanure systems in the United States and explains how the detailed process works. In summary, there are three components involved:

  1. Toilet – simply a collection device.
  2. Cover material – carbon-based material that effectively eliminates odors and flies.
  3. Compost bins – collected in an aerobic, thermophilic manner that is not accessible to outside contamination. (4)

Other countries are doing it too

People are doing this method throughout the United States; however, the handbook explains that it’s not for everyone since proper management is required. An interesting fact is that it is effective in countries where human waste is a problem. (4,5)

A village in Santo Village, Leogane, Haiti has successfully utilized the humanure and noticed a significant improvement. They formerly used a commercial dry toilet system for sanitation purposes, but failed due to the breeding of flies, maggots, and foul odor. When this was replaced with a compost toilet system, flies and odors were completely removed. The best part of all is that they were able to create tons of high-quality compost for the villagers to re-use! (5)

Why should you consider it?

Huge amounts of nutrients are wasted when we excrete waste and become pollution to the natural waterways. All of this can be avoided by utilizing this compost operation that is safe and provides rich fertilization for your gardens. (4,6)

As the former NYU college student tells us, her life has improved by saving money, eating better, and feeling happier because she has simplified her life and is helping the environment. (2)

Sources for this article include:


Image source:

(My comment:  
Had never heard of this, but I’m so impressed.  What a stunningly terrific “Green” thing to do.  Helping your budget,  feeding your gardens and plants with humanure  which has to be certainly the most expensive and nourishing thing to do for the plants (and hopefully, home-grown food-stuff).   All while diminishing our carbon foot-print which is harming our planet.  
Love it!  But have to admit, I’m not going to do it.  Have been looking for ways to cut back on all the things I feel I need to do in order to just keep on keepin’ on.  .  so can’t take on anything new.   This could be a movement starting here – – or should be.  Why not give it a look?. . . . just sayin’                 . Jan )

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