Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Jenkins Publishing (PA); 2nd Revised & enlarged edition (June 1999)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #667,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #6 in Books > Science & Math > Environment > Recycling #23 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Soil #126 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Waste Management
To anyone who believes that once flushed the contents of the toilet are "safe" and "away", I recommend reading this book. To those more informed who are looking at an expensive commercial composting toilet ... I recommend reading this book before you make your decision. K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid!Joe Jenkins offers an inspiring, humorous, well-researched and well-written book. He makes what should be a very obvious point ... flushed "away" or thrown "away" doesn't mean gone ... it merely means "someplace else", and worse ... someone else's problem.We live in rural AZ where, as far as I am concerned, deliberate water wastage should be considered a crime. Defecating and urinating into our rapidly diminishing, precious water supply is the true definition of madness! It is time for the world to wake up and remember what Nature has always taught ... the function of all organic matter is to enrich and replenish the soil.For those worried about contamination and their health ... I offer these words (coincidentally from another composting toilet book that, other than this quote, isn't worth the paper it's printed on!):"Healthy humans excrete healthy E. coli (only some strains of this bacteria can make you ill) and other healthy bacteria. If you are healthy, and you compost your excrement, then you use this on food crops, you will not infect yourself with any diseases that you did not have before"Regardless, a properly designed and maintained thermophilic compost pile, as per Jenkins' instructions, will reach temperatures in excess of 160 F (71 C) and this is proven to kill all known pathogens (disease causing organisms) in 24 hours. He recommends that the capped (i.e.
One could be forgiven for thinking that this is just another "how-to" book, albeit a bit off the beaten path of woodworking manuals and the like. Not that "The Humanure Handbook" doesn't deliver practical information. On the contrary, the book empowers the reader to exploit a vital and overlooked resource, and to eliminate personal contribution to a chronic source of pollution, water and power waste in the bargain. (Trying doing *that* with a router.) The methods described are cheap and simple. And the author puts his money where his mouth is, espousing methods he has personally employed for over two decades, and backing this practical experience with impressive in-depth research.This much easily justifies the purchase price, but there's much more here than "A Guide to Composting Human Manure". The Humanure Handbook dispels some fallacies of commonly accepted and widely repeated composting techniques. Even if you're already an avid composter (and I was) chances are Jenkins has some surprises for you (and he did).As social commentary, I can think of no other "how-to" book that tells such a compelling, frightening tale of blind assumption and culturally ingrained self-destructiveness. We see with startling clarity how the "civilized" world has combined ignorance, chemistry and technology to convert a needed resource into a nightmarish and wholly unnecessary problem. We are forced to confront the false assumptions each of us has unconsciously absorbed. And, by extension, we are forced to question how many other fundamentally bad ideas have become invisibly institutionalized in modern society.Unlike many preachy indictments of modern life, however, The Humanure Handbook provides answers rather than merely posing questions.
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