Read The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure by Joseph C. Jenkins Online


There are almost seven billion defecating people on planet Earth, but few who have any clue about how to constructively handle the burgeoning mountain of human crap. The Humanure Handbook, third edition, will amuse you, educate you, and possibly offend you, but it will certainly pertain to you--unless, of course, your bowels never move. This new edition of The Humanure HanThere are almost seven billion defecating people on planet Earth, but few who have any clue about how to constructively handle the burgeoning mountain of human crap. The Humanure Handbook, third edition, will amuse you, educate you, and possibly offend you, but it will certainly pertain to you--unless, of course, your bowels never move. This new edition of The Humanure Handbook is:The Tenth Anniversary EditionRichly illustrated with eye-candy artworkPerfect for reading while sitting on the "throne"Revised, improved, and updated256 pages of crap...

Title : The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780964425835
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 255 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure Reviews

  • Wayne
    2019-06-02 11:55

    This is an important book, but not great reading. I was looking for "how to," but the author was so afraid of people's reactions (and rightly so), that he took most of the book warming the reader up with the "why." After a point--maybe the second chapter or so--I got the idea, but he kept repeating himself.To summarize:1. Pooping in water is unhealthy and bad for the environment.2. Poop should be composted.3. If poop is composted properly, the end result is not dangerous.4. If it's not composted properly, it can give you lots of nasty diseases.5. Worms and other parasites only come out if they already went in.6. How to: Put a little sawdust or peat moss in a bucket. Go in the bucket. Cover your deposit with enough sawdust or peat moss so you can't see it or smell it. When the bucket is full, dump it on your compost pile. Compost for two years.

  • Jeremy
    2019-06-11 10:45

    This book was a surprising eye opener to me. I'd always believed the fecophobic assumption that human manure was unsafe. While strongly commending people that compost it rather than flushing it, I also wrongly assumed that this compost was something one had to be highly wary of using.In the Humanure Handbook, Joseph Jenkins spends a lot of time defending the practice and safety of composting human shit, and using the subsequent humus in gardens. Different than the direct application of "night soil" primarily followed in some Asian countries, he details the importance of heat and age in safely composting human manure, while also stressing the simplicity and cleanliness of the task. His words are backed up by hundreds of footnotes, listing a lengthy array of sources and scientific research, as well as over 30 years of practicing what he preaches, raising a family on food grown in part by using these composting practices.Where do things go when you wash them down the drain? Where does the soap go from your showers, baths, and laundry? Where does food go that goes through the garbage disposal? Do you know? Do you care? When it joins the "waste" from factories, restaurants and other business, and from drains on city streets, what then? We seem to use our plumbing as an excuse to not have to think or worry about this. In fact, in most places in the US the waste is sterilized with strong and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. The liquid portion is then treated again, expensive processes that attempt to remove the chemicals from the water before returning it to the environment. The sludge that is primarily made of organic matter is then often buried into plastic lined holes in the ground in land fills. Ironically, most of what creates this ugly sludge could have been recycled through composting.There are successful efforts to compost sewage sludge in places around the country. However, we're still dumping organic matter into our drinking water, polluting it unnecessarily. The final third of the Humanure Handbook looks into ways to inexpensively compost our own human manure, safely, cleanly, without odor, and without polluting our water. The author's preferred method costs basically nothing and can be done anywhere in the world, safely. Perhaps the biggest barrier to large scale adoption of the author's methods is the fecophobic aversion to crapping in a bucket and having to weekly transport the crap to a compost pile. Regardless, I agree with his premise that this is an issue that will have to be solved, and sooner than later.The Humanure Handbook was a much more engaging read than I expected, and will long affect my views on waste and the proper usage of that word. It offers very real solutions to many of the environmental problems affecting our world today. Highly recommended reading.

  • Kerrie
    2019-06-12 12:49

    Let's talk about poo.It's gross, isn't it? Over the last 150 years or so humanity has advanced in the realm of how we handle poo. Instead of allowing it to flow through the streets, we sit on a ceramic bowl filled with water from the same source as the water we drink. We then flush it away into a city sewer (or septic tank), it gets treated with a bunch of chemicals, and the treated water is then put back into our water supply. Yum, chlorine!With a dwindling fresh water supply for a growing population and entire regions in record-breaking drought, Joe Jenkins' book makes so much sense. I can honestly say I had never really thought about it this way before, because let's face it, we flush and forget about it. But, Jenkins says, poo is such a great resource! Collect it, compost it, put it on your garden, eat the food, poop it out, etc. and the cycle just repeats itself.Why does that gross some people out?FECOPHOBIA. It's ingrained in our culture. Carry a bucket of poo out to a compost bin once a week? And put that on a garden? With food in it??? Yes, and yes.But you could get parasites from that, people say.If it's only your poo (and your family's poo) and none of you have intestinal parasites, tapeworms, etc. then how could you possibly get them?This book is truly paradigm-shifting, and forces the reader to take a look at what is holding them back from doing it. (It's for the future of our planet, y'all.) There are many compostable toilets out there, to make the process easier. But as Jenkins explains, in a way that wouldn't scare off even the most science-challenged person, the best way to kill every single pathogen in the poo is thermophilic composting. It's hot - like 131 degrees. Those $2K composting toilets can't do that.So, the easiest way?Build a wooden box. (You can stencil it up real nice to make it homey.)Screw a toilet seat to it.Put a 5-gallon bucket under it.Sit and do your thing. Cover the poo with leaves, grass clippings, peat moss, sawdust, dirt, whatever's handy. Pee in it, too. The moisture and nitrogen only helps the composting.Empty it once a week in the center of the compost pile. Cover it good with straw, weeds, whatever's handy.Make sure it ages 2 years before putting on the garden. The next harvest will be PHENOMENAL.Does it still gross you out? No way in hell, you say?FECOFRIGGINGPHOBIA.For anyone who has the land for a compost pile, and lives in an area where water is scarce and rates keep going up up up, this is worth a shot. I know I'm giving it one this summer.You can read and download the book for free here.

  • Kat
    2019-06-08 13:56

    Why do we piss, shit and vomit in our nice clean drinking water? I can't say I ever considered this question before reading the Humanure Handbook (via a free PDF). Since my guy and I are in contract on a sweet piece of land in the New York City watershed with a rustic cabin and no septic system (yet), I wanted more information on composting toilets and found this amusing and eye-opening screed.In case you're wondering, my first purchase for "the land" will be a big ole truckload of sawdust so I can start composting our "emissions." We're trying to figure out if we can possibly avoid having a septic tank at all--after reading this book and some other references on graywater systems, septic tanks seem downright nasty. Will these plans fail? Maybe. Is my family grossed out? Well, yes.Just ignore Jenkins's half-assed rundown of Eastern philosophy and you're golden.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-21 17:29

    Great analysis of and unique insight into waste management, particularly the disposal of human waste (I refuse to use the word humanure). I found a lot of it overly technical and dull, but it was worth it.Key things I learned:- Composting human waste makes it safe to use for agriculture- Asian agriculture uses it without composting, which is dangerous- Excreting our waste into purified drinking-quality water is really dumb- Composting closes the nutrient cycle and returns the nutrients in the waste to the soil

  • Amy
    2019-06-08 15:50

    Very encouraging. I look forward to shitting in a bucket in the near future.

  • Rachel B
    2019-06-06 09:36

    3.5 starsA very interesting read overall! I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in "sustainable living." The concept of composting one's own excrement obviously won't appeal to everyone, but this book gives lots of detailed information on the why and how for the counter-cultural.As interesting as the book was, it begged for a proper editor. The author was very repetitive, went off on unrelated tangents, and simply had an inconsistent writing style throughout the book. Several of the chapters could have been greatly condensed or removed altogether.Jenkins also has an ignorant view of religion and stated his opinion as fact, though of course there were no citations used, since these "facts" (mostly about those who practice any sort of religion) aren't real.There is also a lot of cursing in the book. Given the topic, the use of s*** was to be expected, and I didn't find it offensive. However, all of the other curse words simply served to make Jenkins appear unprofessional. I think the scientific community, as well as society in general, would be more likely to take his book seriously if it was written seriously.At the end of the day, I did learn a few new things about composting in general and humanure composting specifically, so I count this book a success. I would really love to see a better-edited 4th Edition, however!My favorite quote is, "...humanure is not dangerous. More specifically, it is not any more dangerous than the body from which it is excreted. The danger lies in what we do with humanure, not in the material itself. To use an analogy, a glass jar is not dangerous either. However, if we smash it on the kitchen floor and walk on it with bare feet, we will be harmed. If we use a glass jar improperly and dangerously, we will suffer for it, but that’s no reason to condemn glass jars. When we discard humanure as a waste material and pollute our soil and water supplies with it, we are using it improperly, and that is where the danger lies. When we constructively recycle humanure by composting, it enriches our soil, and, like a glass jar, actually makes life easier for us." (p. 122)Edit 7/18/16: I think about this book all the time. It has definitely changed my outlook in some areas, and I would recommend it to everyone! I still think it needs better editing, but there is so much thought-provoking (and practical) information here.

  • Jeremy Kinney
    2019-05-17 13:36

    An excellent book! Though using human manure for composting is not a popular subject, it is one we all need to think about. Jenkins really puts the importance of humanure into perspective while making it an interesting read and even adding a little humor. This book is definitely for the environmentally conscious person who cares for the future of this planet. I would recommend this book to anyone because, after all, we all poop right? In his book, Jenkins explains how ridiculous it is to pollute our precious water resources with human "waste." In fact, he considered it not waste, but a resource. By using humanure we can build our soil and keep our water clean. In times where our topsoil is being destroyed and a water crisis near, a book like this is more important than ever if we wish to live sustainably and survive as a species.

  • Kyle
    2019-06-05 14:35

    The most beautiful book ever written about shit. Not only is this something that I fully intend to practice on my homestead, but it is something that I wish I owned land RIGHT NOW so I could start doing it today, and stop wasting all of the valuable organic materials and nutrients my body passes. If anyone should wish to criticize my praise for this book, please do so with A) proof that the system advocated by the author would not work, or B) a system that would be more hygienic and more effectively recycle nutrients back to the earth in a usable fashion than the system the author describes. If you do not have either of those but wish to criticize, I suspect that you haven't actually read this book and are judging a book by its cover. Please read the book and try again.

  • Gururaj
    2019-06-04 10:33

    It's a great book.Great book to understand the basis of water pollution from human activity. I admire Joseph Jenkins to have gone against the tide and doing what he thought is right. It's definitely not easy to say the least.I feel that it has solution to water problem in the developing world.Nice quote from the author (The world is divided into two categories of people: those who shit in drinking water and those who don't)Hilarious titles for the chapters are a plus - Crap Happens, Deep Sh*t. :)I wish there was more technological advancement in this area that would make it easy to deal with Human Manure. I guess it will need a culture change. There are compost toilets available, some of which are electric but I am not sure how good they are.

  • Anna
    2019-06-03 17:33

    You can read my full review on my blog. The short version is --- the book has the same pros and cons as most self-published books. The author goes out on a limb about things that don't necessarily make sense and spends far too long defending other things that the reader presumably already agrees with or she would never have picked up the book. And yet, in the midst of all that, self-published books tend to have an authenticity, passion, and non-mainstream weirdness that appeals to me and lets me ignore all of the downfalls.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-16 11:59

    I'm convinced! We'll be using Jenkins' method when we build our off-grid house, if not before. I've seen it in action a couple times now too; makes good conversation with other eco-minded folk. I continue to be surprised at how many people I find who are already using this method or planning to. Essential reading for anyone concerned about their impact on the planet and finding a better way to deal with our "waste" besides flushing it "away" with our drinking water...

  • Eric T.
    2019-06-10 15:53

    A lot of very good data and information. Unfortunately, one must be subjected to the authors misguided religious/political views in order to get at the raw usable information provided. If you have any reason to be interested in waste management and have the cognitive capacity to exercise discernment, I recommend reading, at least portions of, this book.(My personal interest in this subject has to do with waste management applications in 3rd world missions.)

  • Michaela Hutfles
    2019-05-26 13:47

    If you need to be sold on this as a good ideas, read the first half; if you need to understand how to do this because you are already sold skip to the second half.Great book to hand to your building permit folks if you want to try to actually get this permitted on your property.He kinda covers gray-water, but I would really suggest a different book if your seriously looking into gray-water reclamation.Remember: it's not waste it's recyclables.

  • David Hughes
    2019-05-26 17:29

    A sobering yet inspiring read. My favorite quote:"Less than 1% of the earth's water is available for drinking. Why shit in it?"I've read so much about nutrient cycling using livestock, and the odor-free deep bedding composting methods used by farmers like Joel Salatin. This is essentially the same thing, but for humans.

  • Bruce
    2019-06-14 16:35

    Excellent book. Not just for the technique (and there are some great youtube videos to help with this as well), but the great way the author tries to break down our general cultural resistance to dealing with our own shit, literally and figuratively.

  • Justin
    2019-05-18 09:39

    It is beyond doubt that future historians will look back on our generation and the multiple water shortage and contamination problems we currently suffer from, and wonder how Western “civilization” could have advocated urinating and defecating into what little purified drinking water we have left. I apologize to the light-hearted among my readers for touching on such an apparently foul subject, but the growing global water and health crises stand in such stark contrast with current waste-management procedures, that it requires our urgent attention.If you don’t already think that the world is nearly completely upside down and backwards, then imagine a civilization that considers those who don’t deposit their feces into a bowl of drinking water on a regular basis as miscreants, uncivilized, dirty or poverty stricken. Of course this practice is convenient for taking such refuse to wastewater treatment plants where it is processed and eventually returned to the environment, albeit in some cases considerably more contaminated with “excessive levels of nitrates, chlorine, pharmaceutical drugs, industrial chemicals, detergents, and other pollutants” than before.This would all be fine except for three factors: water shortages, diseases borne from water contamination and fertilizer needs for boosting agricultural production. Although these are all complex and important topics deserving much more in-depth analysis, I will only briefly outline each one.Water shortageCurrently, United Nations estimates that 1.2 billion in a world of just over 6 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. More specifically, in developing countries, 21% of all people do not have access to safe drinking water, and in rural areas the figure jumps to 30%. 67% of the world’s households must fetch water from outside their homes.Between 1990 and 1995, global water consumption rose sixfold, which is more than double the rate of population growth.Increasing industrialization is creating a lion’s share of the problem: it takes 300 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of paper, and 215,000 litres to produce 1 metric ton of steel. Changes in our diet are also driving water consumption; it takes 15,000 tons of water to produce a ton of beef, while it only requires 1,000 tons of water for a ton of grain.China has approximately 21 per cent of the global population, but access to only 7 per cent of the planet’s freshwater.Water borne diseases42% of the world’s population does not have access to a latrine or other proper means of sanitation.“In the developing countries, 80 per cent of illnesses are water-related. Due to the shortage of safe drinking water in much of the world, there are 3.3 million deaths every year from diarrheal diseases caused by E. coli, salmonella and cholera bacterial infections, and from parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium, as well as viral pathogens like rotavirus. In fact, between 1990 and 2000, more children died of diarrhea than all the people killed in armed conflicts since the Second World War.”Those of us who are considered to have access to safe drinking water should consider that approximately 10 million people in the US have access to water that is not in compliance with federal standards for removal of microorganisms, and approximately 7 million Americans get sick annually from contaminated drinking water.Waste Management and topsoilSending human excrement to waste management plants infers that they are in fact waste. Waste is any material with no inherent value that is discarded and has no further use, a completely inaccurate description of human refuse which only becomes waste upon being discarded.Byproducts of our digestive system, or any other digestive system for that matter, are in fact a valuable organic resource material rich in soil nutrients. It comes from the soil in the form of vegetables, fruit, nuts, or grains (and even meat), is naturally processed in the body, and then can be returned to the soil in the form of humus after careful composting to provide the highest quality soil additive.Returning all organic residues resulting from crop production to the soil, including animal and human residues, should be axiomatic to organic agriculture, although it is not. The profound ignorance that surrounds this topic is causing major agricultural and health problems throughout the world.For example, not having enough natural fertilizers has given rise to a gigantic synthetic fertilizer industry. These petro-chemical products deplete non-renewable fossil fuels, cause crop dependence, promote dangerous single crop practices, and once in the human body “interfere with the body’s normal functioning, … damage human chromosomes and cause cancer and numerous other diseases. … For example, human mother’s milk has consistently shown contamination from synthetic organic chemicals since 1951, and the incidence of human breast cancer has risen dramatically since then.”2005 – 2015 was denominated the International Decade for Action: Water for Life. At its launch, the UN issued a useful document entitled Water for Life: Making it Happen. In it, they dramatically emphasize the importance of improved water and sanitation services:“Improved water and sanitation will speed the achievement of all eight MDGs, helping to:· eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;· achieve universal primary education;· promote gender equality and empower women;· reduce child mortality; improve maternal health;· combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;· ensure environmental sustainability; and· develop a global partnership for development.”Given this emerging reality, it is little wonder that water has been described as “the oil of the twenty-first century”, a scarce commodity that will be a source of conflict between peoples and nations. This is fine but oil shortages can be resolved by developing alternative energy sources, while the water supply cannot be increased other than by desalinization, a costly and complex process.The United Nations proposes a complex set of interrelated actions to combat this crisis. A major limitation in advocating flush toilet systems for everybody, besides those mentioned above, is their prohibitive cost for nearly every country around the globe. Because of this, and because this is considered the only civilized solution, governments simply leave the problem unresolved, leaving 90 per cent of sewage and 70 per cent of industrial wastes in developing countries to be discharged into water courses without treatment.However, in his insightful book “The Humanure Handbook”, Joseph Jenkins clearly demonstrates that composting humanure as he denominates it, is the most accessible, viable and expeditious option for resolving the sanitation quandary and its host of accompanying problems. His many years of personal experience and research indicate that although raw humanure “carries with it a significant potential for danger in the form of disease pathogens,” … they are completely destroyed by composting when the retention time is adequate or when the composting process generates enough internal, biological heat. Both of these conditions are easily met when the compost heap is properly managed. Spreading the resulting humus over his garden for 25 years has also proven that the product is an effective source of fertilizer for agriculture destined to human consumption. In fact, it may be useful to provide just a short list of the benefits of the humus that results from compost: enriches soil, prevents pollution, fights existing pollution, restores land, destroys pathogens and saves money. I am an avid composter (although admittedly not of my humanure) and would like to add here that perhaps the most beneficial aspect of compost is the sense of self worth and satisfaction one feels when helping organic elements complete their natural cycle and become dirt again.Of course setting up composting systems that can meet sanitation needs for the 1.2 billion excluded human beings (and eventually the rest of the entire human population), especially in urban settings, would be a daunting task to say the least. However, the progress made towards providing safe water supplies and sanitation services for the world’s poor over the past decade or two (according to the UN, 83 per cent of the world's population used improved drinking water sources in 2002, up from an estimated 79 per cent in 1990) pales shamelessly with the overwhelming and ever increasing need.All true change comes hard. Changes of this magnitude, requiring rethinking such deeply entrenched ideas about civilization, come even harder than normal. However, we can resist our intuition and permit nearly half of the world’s population to live in conditions that anybody reading this would consider horrifying, or we can explore thorny but promising paths towards true sustainability and dignity. If doing this single action well helps us make huge strides towards attaining all eight Millennium Development Goals, and thus bringing prosperity to the world’s people, I suggest we explore that path without further adieu.

  • Bethany
    2019-05-18 09:44

    I wanted to really, really like this book. I wanted to tell everyone that they should read it and that it really would solve world hunger, bring about world peace, stop the soil, air, and water pollution problems that are wreaking havoc on the health of humanity around the world over. I wanted to. I do, after all, have good reason to really like this book. I already compost my family's poop. I fertilize the garden with urea tea. I recycle my greywater, using it to boost moisture levels in the compost bins. I feel like this book and I should be good friends.But I just don't believe it. (Ok. Maybe I believe it a little bit.)I just don't believe that reading this book will make people want to change. I think that the average person who reads this book will believe that it's saying something important. I think they'll recognize that it's a bad idea to poop in the 1% of available fresh water on the planet, then try to clean it up with toxic chemicals like chlorine, increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics, only to toss it out into the rivers and streams laden with the heavy metals it has picked up along the way.But I doubt that they will read it and think "Hey, I could be a little part of the solution!" And that's because this book does not encourage people to change.Oh? Did I confuse you?Perhaps it's semantics. I think people CAN change. I think they WILL change. I think they WANT to do the right thing, if they know how and it's within their reach. But I think they will change when they are given the courage and the hope that their changing will make a difference.And that's what this book doesn't do.I felt ashamed, confused, guilted, angry, and a little bit hopeless by the end of this book. Am I glad I read it?? Of course!! I now know how to ensure my compost will indeed grow gorgeous tomatoes next year without infecting my family with terrifying poop-laden worms and diseases! (Inside joke, haha.) And I know that there are some people who will act on the information in it simply because they now have the information they need to do so. But those are not the best motivators for effecting change in the population at large. Hope is. And that's what our towns and cities need!! We need hope that one town at a time, one city at a time, one state and one country at a time could stop pooping in our fresh water, and instead, collect our recyclable manure, compost it, and produce an excellent organic soil for fertilizing our farmland naturally.Hope inspires. Hope encourages people to change. I believe people can and will, but I'm not sure this is the book to do it. I hope people (You, dear reader) will overlook the jaded tone, the cynical outlook, and skeptical perspective of the author. I have no reason to judge him for his perspective. After all, he's the one who has been the voice of reason virtually tuned out by the world at large. I hope you give it a chance and build yourself your own compost pile and wooden toilet throne. =)

  • Desiree
    2019-05-19 17:45

    The Humanure Handbook is a great how to and more importantly why-to guide to composting human manure. It's clear, informative, scientific, interesting and at times even humorous. Jenkins is a great writer with a passion and knowledge of nature and ecology is quite thorough, making this work popular for very good reason.

  • David Gross
    2019-06-02 10:59

    My main problem with this book is that it touts itself as a handbook when it's really a philosophy book with a couple of practical chapters at the end. I was easily convinced that this is something that needs to be considered, so beating me over the head with it for a couple hundred pages before telling me how to go about it was unnecessary and pretty annoying.

  • Melissa Monster
    2019-05-17 11:51

    I want to buy a copy of this book for every person that I know! Everyone should read this.

  • Corrie
    2019-06-15 15:59

    Everyone should read this.

  • Fernleaf
    2019-06-13 09:31

    So I've been reading a book lately called the Humanure Handbook and basically it is a book about what to do with human excrement to keep it from becoming 'waste.' Which is a really good thing because right now we basically shit into our drinking water and then flush it off where it is 'treated' and then put back into the world. Not only are our treatments often ineffective, resulting in pollution but we also lose all the possible nutrients we could gain by composting our 'waste' back into a useful soil additive. Somewhere along the lines of human evolution western culture became fecophobic...afraid of our own shit. This kind of mentality is ridiculous when you break the matter down into into it's component parts.The book emphasizes that thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria and a thermophilic environment in your compost will break down the pathogens in fecal matter in a matter of hours and render them harmless. Further decomposition through bacteria and mesophilic bacteria plus macroscopic organisms like earthworms creates a rich black humus that is ideal for gardening and results in no pollution, no wasted drinking water, and no contamination of food sources.The author's main composting method is a 2-bin compost system is the backyard through with the use of a sawdust toilet- basically a 5-gallon bucket and a ready supply of organic 'biofilter' covering material to keep flies out and smells neutralized- that once full is emptied into the compost bin along with food scraps and more cover material to create an environment where thermophilic bacteria can thrive to do their work. The system sounds ingenious and after reading the book I really would like to try one of these systems myself. The book also talks about alternative gray water systems that sound promising as well.This book was something I had been looking forward to reading for a while and afterward I feel very enlightened and informed. Too many people think that only certain items can be composted or that fresh water for their toilet will always be in plentiful supply. This is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone, fecophobes especially, who are interested in making a personal commitment to the environment and their community.

  • Victoria Haf
    2019-06-15 09:32

    El tema es un poco raro pero también necesario, tendríamos que pensar más a donde van nuestros desechos. Como estamos por construir el baño en nuestra casita fuera de los sistemas públicos, decidí leer este libro que tenía desde hace un buen rato. Aunque a veces resulta un poco repetitivo, aprendí mucho y en retrospectiva veo que muchas de las cosas que estaba haciendo están mal. Cuando tenía perros, hice un agujero y puse ahí toda su popó, igual cuando murieron los enterré. Ahora sé que hubiera sido mejor compostar la mierda y los cadáveres porque una composta termofílica mata los patógenos que pueden seguir viviendo en la tierra.Da instrucciones y explicaciones claras de qué hacer y qué sucede en la descomposición de materia orgánica, es un buen libro para los fecofobos, ayuda a perder el miedo a volver a introducirnos en el ciclo natural. Cuando acabas de leerlo, te da mucho más asco el sistema de cloacas y nuestra higiene basada en mover los desechos con agua, literalmente "la estamos cagando" y un día va a ser un problema horrendo (no solo por los desechos orgánicos llenos de patógenos, sobre todo por los químicos que echamos y porque no separamos las aguas negras/grises/de lluvia). Cuando se deja de cagar en el agua, las aguas grises que salen de la casa (regadera, lavabos, lavadora…) ¡es agua más limpia que la que sale de una planta de tratamiento de aguas negras! (limpiada con químicos y echada a lagos, ríos, mares…).Como dice el autor, "hay dos tipos de civilizaciones: las que se cagan en su agua potable y las que no" y como dicen en Italia "manco li cani" (ni siquiera los perros).

  • Alison Van Arsdel
    2019-06-12 15:54

    I thought this book was excellent and everyone should read it. If you aren't into the science or political parts you could skip the involved pages on those topics. But anyone who could read this book and not want to begin composting and using grey water systems...well, I don't know about them, they concern me. I think the book gives you everything you need to get started including the motivation. If you are very serious about setting up a grey water and composting system and live in a trickier area to do so, you may need other resources to help you along. I've definitely changed how I do things since reading the book and will continue to make changes. The most disappointing aspect of the book is learning how simple it is to live in harmony with nature and finally complete this part of the nutrient circle of life. I would get angered at the politics and designers that even got us on our current plumbing system. What a better world we would be if the proper systems had been set up initially. It would be less expensive and wonderful for the planet. It would take a lot of work for the whole world to get to that place. If it happens one at a time, it happens one at a time. I am one!

  • Jocie
    2019-06-05 09:55

    A practical guide to putting back into the soil the nutrients you took out, in a way that is best for the health of your family and community.(thermophilic composting done correctly (it is not that complicated) kills all pathogens except prions (mad cow disease). Septic systems and flush toilets- the water is usually treated and put back into lakes and rivers, the sludge is usually put into landfills (we are pulling nutrients out of the soil, and packaging them away!)- but watch out! This biosludge contains heavy metals/ medicinal waste, etc, and is being used more commonly (even sold as compost) in farming. It is apparently common practice in Asia to use 'night-soil' on crops, uncomposted. Thus, their soil is undepleted, and THUS, you should not eat their fresh veggies!Better than a Sun-Mar (mouldering toilet) for killing pathogens.Although possibly not legal, depending on where you live.Very useful book to read if you are into sustainable farming.He makes it easy to understand how to do it well. He rants for quite a bit, though.

  • Ruth Timmons
    2019-05-23 14:31

    I was given this book by a friend when I complained that I wasn't finding anything on line about the practical details involved in composting toilets. She'd found this book in a reading list for would be Mars colonists. In it, Jenkins does a great job of discussing a topic most people would rather not think about. There are other books that cover the dangers of not treating human wastes, but Jenkins also detail the problems and dangers of modern sewage treatment systems. Mainly that we in the first world waste millions of cubic feet of clean fresh water every day by shitting in it. Almost half of the water used by American households is for flushing the toilet. In his book, Jenkins explains the benefits of composting human excrement, human manure, and addresses, one by one, all the objections he's met in thirty years without a flush toilet. Best of all he lays out, in detail, the hows, whys and wherefores of building your own composting toilet systems. He includes chart after chart of pathogens and what it takes to kill them (heat and time) and spells out how to achieve it.

  • Polly
    2019-06-07 16:30

    This book is free to download. just Google it.You can guess what this book is about.... If you keep an open mind, you'll find that the author asserts this practice is entirely safe (more so than than our current "sanitation" systems: waste-water treatment plants, septic tanks...) and even better, effective at turning what some call "waste" into something useful. By composting our waste we're just completing the natural nutrient cycle. The author says he uses his own composted humanure on his garden, and has safely done so for years. I would like to try this someday - when I rent from someone who'll let me - or when I own my own place. :)In the meantime, I'm going to learn as much as I can about how to build a composting toilet. I also want to learn more about the history of sanitation/sewer systems, composting, and all types of cycles.

  • Nicholas Moore
    2019-05-31 17:57

    This is an excellent book, though a bit repetitive. But considering how the general public views human feces I think repetitive is necessary. This book not only tells you how to compost your poo, pee, and any other organic substance, it also tells you why you should and why it is safe to do so. I have not built a composting toilet yet because I don't currently have a place to compost it. But shortly after I read the book, weirdly enough, I met a family who did build one and has been using it for over a year. I asked them whether they have had any smells and they said occasionally they get an ammonia smell but not very strong. They are very happy with their new way of "going". If I ever have the opportunity to build a compost pile I will definitely consider a humanure composting toilet.

  • Chris Jones
    2019-06-04 17:42

    For me, this book served me more as something that sparked my imagination than it did as a manual. I was ignorant to the ways of humanure composting before I found this book at my small neighborhood bookstore and I was fascinated by the concept. Waste recycling is something that I think about a lot so when I read this book I was quite relieved (no pun intended) that there were more productive uses for human waste. Very informative and well written, contains all the instruction you need to build your own system and a breakdown of scientific terms for the layperson. This book will answer all your concerns with such a project and it is consciously written. Highly recommended for people into permaculture, ecological remediation, etc.