A short biography of human waste and its value | Aeon Essays - Deepstash

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Human and animal waste has been misunderstood all along. It is what keeps the earth's ecology balanced.


A short biography of human waste and its value | Aeon Essays

A short biography of human waste and its value | Aeon Essays



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Holy Crap!

Human and animal excrement is a natural, renewable, and sustainable resource - if only we can overcome our visceral disgust of it!

An average adult produces about a pound (or half a kilo) of poo a day. That means that New York City, with its official census population of more than 8 million...

Those Sewage Systems Aren't Environmentally Friendly

  • In the developed world, we built flushing toilets, underground pipes and gigantic sewage treatment plants to protect ourselves from our massive sh*t piles
  • Yet, these marvels of modern engineering have done significant damage to Earth's ecology.
  • Soils grow barren, so we use sy...

What The World Does With Poo

  • For the most part, we try to distance ourselves from it as much as possible. The exact mechanisms of that process depend on where you live.
  • In the Western world, we flush it down the toilet.
  • In the less fortunate places, it’s left to decompose in pit latrines or underneath ...

Dumping Poo In Water Isn't A Great Idea

Dumping waste in a local body of water has proved dangerous. The infamous pandemics of cholera that swept through Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries were started by faecal contamination of drinking water. E...

We Don't Let Poo Go Back To Where It Can Do Good

 If you think about where our food comes from, particularly in colder climates, you’ll realise it’s grown someplace else. As our bananas, apples, lettuce, corn and rice grow, they extract nutrients from the land.

That food is then trucked, shipped and flown to where we live – and where we ...

The Drainage System Can Collapse The Earth

Our local sewage treatment plants clean that water from pathogens, but not from the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium this wastewater is rich in.

These potent fertilisers usually flow into a body of water nearby, constantly overfeeding the lakes, rivers and the ocean.

That results ...

The Soil Needs Poo But We Are Depriving It

  • Because we don’t ship our shit back to where the food comes from, we keep perpetuating the redistribution of nutrients on the planet.
  • Soils grow barren, so we use synthetic fertiliser, which isn’t anywhere near as good as the real shit, and also is very polluting to produce.

  • With so much smart tech, why haven’t we closed our metabolic rift? The problem is that we have to mend another huge fissure in the excremental ideology – not the metabolic but the mindset one.
  • Unlike people in ancient societies, we still think of our excrement as the ultimate waste ...



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