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Humanure Handbook

Humanure: The Safe Disposal and Recycling of Organic Human Byproducts

Mr. Joe Jenkins has written a book for the really passionate do-it-yourself composting enthusiast. His book, “The Humanure Handbook — a Guide to Composting Human Manure” is filled with research and bibliographies that teach us step by step, what we should really be doing with our sewage, rather than discharging it into the toilet. If low-tech off the grid solutions to sanitary challenges and sustainable systems is a major concern for you, then The Humanure Handbook should definitely be on your bibliography.

Discharging human sewage into water creates blackwater, a complete waste of precious H2O. The Humanure Handbook shows how to dispose of humane manure in an environmentally safe and productive way, producing completely clean fertilizer and humus.

Most people think that something as ugly and smelly as human fecal material could not, nor should ever, be used as compost in edible food gardens. Mr. Jenkins argues that human compost can be just as healthy as horse, chicken or any other animal manure once properly exposed to the breakdown process of thermophilic composting.

In chapter 6 of The Humanure Handbook; Fecophobia and The Pathogen Issue, Mr. Jenkins describes fecophobia as “The belief that humanure is unsafe for agricultural use…” a term he admittedly made up himself. This seems to be the most important issue to be studied, people’s fear of humanure.

Basically, that people are afraid of composting their sewage seems to be what hinders the development of a more sustainable civilization for everyone. But what people fail to realize is that by the correct practice of thermophilic composting, all harmful pathogens are permanently destroyed. The Humanure Handbook explains in simple terms as well as scientifically, how this process happens.

Mr. Joe Jenkins’ book is available in over 60 countries around the world; it is a viable solution for those who want to live off the grid from city sewage. Avoiding the contamination of water all together is his proposal through the self-development of your very own composting toilet for only 25$.

A composting toilet is nothing more than a bucket filled with number one, number two, toilet paper and sawdust or moss (how you make it look nice however, is what costs money). Putting a good layer of sawdust over the top of any fecal material neutralizes foul odors completely, and prepares the compost for the thermophilic process.

The thermophilic process begins in an outdoor composting bin protected from rain and protected from contact with soil.

Thermophilic composting correctly is a matter of making sure that the compost is reaching heat levels far above those of the human body, thereby neutralizing anything that could possibly be living in human organic wastes.

In order to make sure all the harmful microorganisms are completely destroyed, it is important to make the compost heap reach these high-temperatures many times. Mr. Jenkins’ own compost pile at home is an average size and takes about one year to become rich and useful compost material that is both safe and clean for plants and people alike.

For those who are looking for the perfect booklet to do-it-yourself human manure composting at home, The Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins is the perfect manual. Humanure is not just for the lone hippie stuck in the 70’s, this book has a reach that goes beyond living out in the woods.

Humanure is a safe and productive alternative for urban spaces and on whole community level scales, if not one day perhaps, even nationally. The author’s speculation is that those that would most benefit from humanure techniques are those living in places where epidemics and sanitation is a serious concern. If you like low-tech off the grid solutions to sanitation and sustainable systems, this book The Humanure Handbook, is definitely one to be read.