Hidden cost of toilet paper

by Emily Stewart

For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a world and a life without toilet paper. But actually, less than a third of the global population uses toilet paper daily. And as it turns out, foregoing the T.P. might just be the best thing for our bodies and our planet.

Most of us assume that toilet paper protects us from dangerous bacteria and disease, but studies show that alternatives, like bidets, are actually safer and more effective. The chemicals found in a standard issue toilet roll will surprise you. Toilet paper fibers contain the much-hated chemical BPA, a xenoestrogen that the FDA has indicated is linked to increasing the risks of cancer, heart disease and infertility.

Of course, the primary problem with our toilet paper addiction is that we go through an enormous amount of it. Everyday, 27,000 trees go down the toilet as waste paper. And we consume thousands of gallons of excess water to flush the wad of paper through our sewer systems. If we each swapped just four rolls of traditional paper for recycled paper this year, we would save one million trees and 356 million gallons of fresh water.

To learn more about the impact of our $30 billion T.P. habit, check out this latest video from the Hidden Costs series.

Comments 226

  • The video link does not work (in my location?)

    Here is one from U-tube that did.

    ‘Hidden Costs Series: Toilet Paper’

    Wipe on…

  • Given the present subject of what we wipe from our arses, and what was written by Madmanintheattic on the previous thread:

    “By defdinition Adi Da Doo Dah Day is a fraud as are all the rest of them.”…

    this little brief except is probably helpful in clarifying some issues about who or what to trust.

    Trust. Intuition and Feeling are the conduits to Trust in the subjective experience of sppiritual life.

    ‘Adi Da Samraj: Trust’

    Could it be more clear?

  • In antediluvian times I posted this link to NBL comments (Kathy C might remember):

    Lota (vessel)

    For other uses, see Lota (disambiguation).
    Lota (Urdu: لوٹا‎), (Hindi: लोटा) a small, usually spherical water vessel of brass, copper or plastic used in parts of South Asia.[1] The name is from Urdu and Hindi.
    A Lota is commonly used to store or transfer small amounts of liquids like water, particularly for cleaning and ritual purification.

  • One man’s meat is another man’s poison. One man’s guru may be another man’s impostor.


    Kafir (Arabic: كافر‎ kāfir, plural كفّار kuffār) is an Arabic term used in a Islamic doctrinal sense, usually translated as “unbeliever,” “disbeliever,” or “infidel.” The term refers to a person who rejects God or who hides, denies, or covers the “truth.”

  • Very interesting little video. Robin’s Lota notwithstanding, I wonder how much money, energy, and resources it would take to outfit almost 100,000,000 U.S. homes with bidets in every bathroom? Perhaps there’s a better way?

    In our home, we still use toilet paper, but we have given up paper towels and paper napkins. We haven’t used them in more than 2 years and we don’t miss them at all. We probably do just a tab bit more laundry, but it wouldn’t add up to more than a few extra loads a year.

  • Since we are on the topic of rear ends, how about the SHTF in the USA:

    ‘Barack Obama’s baleful continuity with Bush era fetters on American liberties’


    A small piece:

    “Unnoticed amid the fiscal cliff histrionics, the president signed into law further powers for the state to surveil and detain citizens…

    Largely ignored by the media, these laws further entrench odious policies like indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping and the continued operation of the US gulag in Guantánamo. The deal to avert the fiscal cliff itself increases the likelihood that President Obama may yet scuttle an unprecedented cut in the Pentagon’s bloated budget. It’s not such a happy new year, after all.

    On Sunday 30 December, the White House press secretary’s office issued a terse release stating:

    “The president signed into law HR 5949, the ‘Fisa Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012′, which provides a five-year extension of Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

    With that, the government’s controversial surveillance powers were renewed until the end of 2017. The American Civil Liberties Union called it the “heartbreak of another Senate vote in favor of dragnet collection of Americans’ communications”….

    “With the renewal of the NDAA for 2013, with the indefinite detention provisions intact, ( Chris )Hedges told me:

    “The appellate court is all that separates us and a state that is no different than any other military dictatorship.””

    And here is more grist for the rear end of the USA mill.

    ‘The coming drone attack on America’


    By Naomi Wolf:Friday 21 December 2012

    A few quotes:

    “People often ask me, in terms of my argument about “ten steps” that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.”

    The hidden cost of : Democracy after Peak Oil.

    Wipe away…

  • Robin Datta

    What was the ‘Lota’ reference in relation to…?

  • The REAL Dr. House

    Oh that Lota? Now I get it, Thanx TRDH.

  • Look, this Hidden Cost series is gotta be pretty useful, but only if it goes far enough IMO.

    Many here see the hidden cost of much of the mdern world industrial economy as destruction of the biosphere; from cutting trees, now called deforrestation, to habitat ‘loss’ for species, and now US, to ocaen pollution, see the previous thread’s link on a deformed dolphin, (for fuck sake, that would be all those Soviet class nuclear subs off the Baltic Shelf, with some Chernobyl, and Fukushima which is still leaking into the Japanese ocean environment, and perhaps some Pacific Ocean nuclear testing thrown in at the beginning) to species eradication, to air pollution, ocean acidification, sea level rise, glacial shrinking(leading to freshwater loss to an entire subcontinental ecosystem in central Asia), loss of bes and polar bear deformities and hermaphridism on the rise.

    You name it in the biosphere, we are wiping our arses with it!
    These ‘costs’ are not so hidden now as they once were.

    The hidden cost of Incarnation: Death.(That is one for Kathy C)

    Like the Buddhists of an earlier time, once that is seen and fully understood, you begin to look way way deeper into this mortality thing, and IMO it is hardly surprising people with types of ‘mental illnesses’ often see the burning fires of Hell here, surrounding people and places, on Earth above ground.

    Seems we are manifesting it in this situation now anyway.

  • If every American used swapped just 4 rolls of traditional toilet paper for recycled, we’d save 1 million trees/year and save 356 million gallons of fresh water.

    If trees and fresh water were rare,
    The world would seem barren and bare;
    Although, then again,
    No one will care when
    There’s nobody left to care.

  • Use the Asian bum gun (google it if you don’t know what it is) and perhaps a sheet of bog roll to mop up the water (or leave everything to air dry if that’s what you prefer). Far more civilized than the revolting Western habit of smearing shit all over the place.

  • In India, we never use toilet water, we use water. Water is the best cleanser, given by nature. Using toilet paper is stupidity at best.

  • people who are advising others to use recycled paper, i would first request them to understand the high costs of recycling. do a google and find out how much costly moneywise and environment wise recycling paper is. why cant you people use water to cleanse ?

  • Yes Robin, I remember our Lota discussion. Cloth works fine too. For the arse end, leaves of the Lambs Ear plant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_byzantina work fine and are softer than any TP. In our region it is perennial. And with a humanure toilet, is an addition to the organic matter to be composted. It is a grand attractor for bees as well.

    Cloth for menstrual periods has the same benefit of keeping chemicals away from the bottom AND can be washed out to use as fertilizer. Once upon a time the monthly period was called “being on the rag” because that was literally true.

    And cloth diapers of course. Not only do paper diapers put chemicals next to infant butts and waste resources, but they also are a threat to public health. Public health made a big push to get all human fecal matter into treatment plants and out of ditches etc. You can be sure that most parents now just wrap up all the poo instead of trying to put some in the toilet and send the whole package on to the dump. I have seen baby diapers in the trash cans in public parks. People get horrified about humanure, where care is taken to process human waste, and ignore all the baby poop that enters the untreated trash stream rather than the sewage stream.

  • Dan, the bum gun requires pressurized water – not a very good solution when the lights go out. Here is the low tech wash – a simple little thing often given to mothers after birth – the peri bottle. https://www.amazon.com/Lavette-Bottle-Perineal-Irrigation-DYND70125H/dp/B000VSXSX2
    While they won’t be making any after the lights go out, mine is 40 years old and still good. I can date it by the age of my child :)

  • I wonder if the last tree on Easter Island was used to make toilet paper?

    Answering one comment above, a bidet installed in any bathroom would cost, maybe $500 if you used a union plumber. Maybe $2,000 if you had to do drywall and plumbing to redirect the piping.

    At one roll per day for a family of 4, and at $0.30 per roll, payback is between 4 and 16 years. A do-it-yourself could be half that. And in 5 years, when that paper is double the cost, then the payback is half the time. Especially when you are unemployed and $5 is a big deal.

    But, when T.P. is NOT available, then how valuable would the bidet be?

  • Hey Kathy: speaking of “when the lights go out” – it looks like it’s already started.

    Despite the fact Ringfenced Economies like the FSofA, China and Germany may keep their Lights On longer than peripheral economies like Greece, Argentina and Brazil, the Knock-On effects of decreasing Electric availability in the “Developing” Nations impact the GDP of all of these “productive” countries. What they Produce in the main are many Toys that require Electricity to function, and you can’t sell more of thsoe Toys to people who don’t have electricity functioning in their homes and workplaces. Whether you produce large HVAC systems to sell to Bizness and Real Estate Developers or sell Iphones and LCD Big Screen TVs to Konsumers, the market for both is shrinking. The debt you took on to build the Factories to make these products on the assumption you could sell them to an ever increasing population of people who could afford to buy them is rapidly becoming unserviceable debt. As the sales of these toys drop, the Tax Revenue drops for these countries, and they also will no longer be able to service their debts either.

    Ever decreasing numbers of available Jobs in all these economies leads to more Unemployment,followed by more Political Instability. Eventually, as is the case already in Spain and Greece, NO Political or Economic compromise can work, in real terms the Energy required to run the systems is not there for everyone to waste. For one groupof people to maintain access, another group has to be triaged off.

    On the grand scale, eventually all the Big Power Plants serving large areas will go offline,and for a while the Uber Rich will keep Lights On in Walled Enclaves with some local power generation methods,but this too will fail in the long run, ot the least of the reasons being said walled communities will be Invaded by Hordes of Lights OFF people smashing all their Light Bulbs.

    How LONG will this all take until it is LIGHTS OUT everywhere? Well, Richard Duncan’s curve has a pretty steep slope to it, so somewhere between 2030 and 2050 seems like a good bet to make on this one.

    In the meantime for the Individual, reducing your dependence on steady electric power is a good idea. There is likely to be a fairly protracted period of “brownouts” before it is Lights Off for GOOD. Some Battery Backups utilizing Automotive Lead Acid Batteries and AC Power Inverters is pretty reasonable to invest in for a few hundred dollars. Add in a couple of Solar PV panels and RV Wind Turbines, for a bit more you can probably keep your Laptop running while the grid is down.

    Longer term, begin to come to grips with the fact Lights at the Flick of a Switch and Refrigerators keeping Marie Callendar Frozen Meals is not likely to last much longer, and keep more Dried and Canned Foods around then Refigerated ones. You won’t lose as much when the power goes down for a week or two. For those of us in the 1st world, we may keep the lights on another 20 years, and I am not likely to last longer than that, if that. For those of you younger folks in better health with expectations to live past this period, put on your Rewilding Thinking Cap now. You’re gonna need it.

  • Sorry folks, but this is more interesting than toilet paper or bum guns:

  • Makati1: Answering one comment above, a bidet installed in any bathroom would cost, maybe $500 if you used a union plumber. Maybe $2,000 if you had to do drywall and plumbing to redirect the piping.

    My comment wasn’t referring to the cost of installation or even the purchase of the bidet – after all, they’re already on the shelf at Home Depot, right? (Isn’t toilet paper already on the shelf, too?) But following in the vein of the video, what are the “hidden” costs of installing a bidet?

    The bidet is made in a factory – what are the costs of building that factory? The materials from which the bidet is made also have to be produced and/or mined. What is the cost of that process both financially and to the environment? How much energy is consumed? What about the large diesel equipment that allows humans to dig so deep in the earth for minerals and other raw goods, what is the ecological cost of operating and building that equipment? Many of these same questions could also be applied to the production of toilet paper.

    My point is that we humans have been quite adept, particularly since the dawn of the industrial age, at ignoring the cost and consequences of our actions. Often, if we can’t see it, then it doesn’t seem to exist – at least in our minds. The video points out the costs of one solution, suggesting a different solution that has hidden costs which are similar to or even greater than the original solution.

    I’m not advocating toilet paper use, we already have substituted a wash cloth for “moist toilet wipes” and now I think I’ll investigate Kathy C’s suggestion of lamb’s ear. I’m just suggesting that when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment, unless it’s something we can grow or produce ourselves using resources right where we are, then a solution to a problem, probably isn’t really much of a solution.

  • Stocked T.P. fills my latrine,
    And I’m used to a toilet routine;
    Per Jevons paradox,
    While I still have those stocks,
    I’m wiping my butthole clean.

  • Be careful which leaf you choose to wipe with.

  • It’s back to the stone age again,
    With hygiene much like way back when;
    I can deal with no paper
    Or suitable scraper,
    But once there’s no water—what then?

  • “Try the fish.”


    Record radioactive cesium levels found in Fukushima
    January 19, 2013


    “A rockfish caught in the port of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was found to have radioactive cesium 2,540 times the government’s safety standard for foodstuffs, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, said Jan. 18.

    Caught in December, the rockfish had a reading of 254,000 becquerels per kilogram, the largest reading found in seafood since the nuclear disaster of March 2011.

    The rockfish was caught near an unloading point north of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors. No fishermen operate in the nuclear plant’s port.

    The previous record was 25,800 becquerels of cesium per kilogram found in two greenlings caught about 20 kilometers north of the plant in August 2012.”

  • Dr. House, there are some lower-impact ways to get a bidet experience: there are sitz baths and then there are some nozzles that you can hook up to a regular toilet that don’t seem to use much in the way of materials—far less than TP, anyway.

    Is eliminating TP going to be enough? No, nothing at this stage will ever be enough, not even using leaves and corncobs. You could apply the logic you are using to every aspect of our lives and sensibly conclude that the most ethical thing for all of us to do would be to kill ourselves immediately. Perhaps you could write us some prescriptions, although wouldn’t those pills need to be manufactured in a factory, sealed in packaging, shipped on a truck, etc.?? Perhaps you can give us an herbal recipe we can brew—sustainably—from plants in our backyard…!!

    If people had rejected toilet paper and, by extension, other superfluous consumer items en masse back in the 1940s, maybe we would be in a different place today, but we aren’t. And the fact that we are here at Guy’s joint means we are all using computers and electricity, most of us from traditionally-built Western-style houses with running water and fuel burners and all the sunk costs those systems bring with them.

    I think it is easy to come to the conclusion that the correct amount of energy use/toilet paper use is, if not the amount we ourselves are using right now, the level that we imagine to be using in the near future (once we insulate our houses and put up the PV panels or buy a bidet or build a yurt). But we know, too, that the real “correct” amount of fossil energy use is zero, just as we also know that we will never bring our personal fossil fuel consumption to zero as long as we are alive.

    The medical industry is a HUGE generator of waste, btw. I won’t even get into the zero-tolerance notions (no doubt promoted by for-profit medical suppliers) that have made disposable needles, scalpels, speculums and so forth the order of the day. I will say that in Italy, where I lived for a number of years, they don’t use all the disposable drapes and johnnies—from what I have seen they have stuck with cloth. While they do now use massive amounts of bottled water, pallets upon pallets of which they distribute in the wards, patients are told to bring silverware and cups and glasses from home, and the patients themselves (or their relatives) wash these items after each meal at sinks located in the center hall of the ward. Not so long ago, patients’ families needed to bring the sheets for their loved one’s bed, and were responsible for laundering the bedding. There’s a lot of drug-company abuse: causing paranoia over expiration dates (my husband’s family was all convinced that if they took an aspirin that was a week out of date, they would be poisoned) and playing very nasty tricks with packaging. If a course of medicine was usually two weeks, rest assured that it would be packaged in boxes of 10 pills each. Pharmacies in Italy only distribute sealed confections of blister-packed pills, so of course the extra pills must be thrown out.

    Virtually all bathrooms have bidets in Italy, though. They consider the Americans (French, Germans, etc.) pretty filthy in their habits. ;-)

  • Lidia, i read about a group who assists people with suicide (with information) – who suggest going to the Party Store and getting a small tank of helium (used to blow up latex balloons), bringing it home and hooking it up to a plastic bag over the head via plastic cylindrical tubing available at hardware stores. Inhalation of about 10 – 15 breaths renders the user dead with no pain in a short period of time.

    This is easily found on-line and explained in detail, and the materials are readily available and inexpensive. The group will provide a member to be there with the person, if they wish, to remove the evidence.

  • Lidia, actually, you made my point better than I did. Thanks :-)

    A few threads back I did mention that anyone reading this blog is obviously part of the problem since all of us are using computers, taking advantage of the internet, etc.

    And, I agree with everything you say about the medical industry – horribly complicit in the destruction of the planet – all to make a buck.

  • https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/20/1474171/study-finds-warming-driven-megadroughts-jeopardizing-amazon-forest/


    An area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study. These results, together with observed recurrences of droughts every few years and associated damage to the forests in southern and western Amazonia in the past decade, suggest these rainforests may be showing the first signs of potential large-scale degradation due to climate change.

  • Not a subject I would bring up in polite company, so hears to impolite company!!
    I have a suggestion for a way the average Westerner can significantly reduce their use of toilet paper. I had my suggestion in limerick form but it was “crappier” than I was willing to type.

    Eat well= less TP use.

    When people I know stay for a visit, who eat the average American, store-bought diet, they go through a roll of TP about 5 times faster than the healthy eaters I know. Some people I know, who eat really well, say that their “ordure” is as care free as a deers’ or rabbits’.

  • Re: Toilet paper, I have paper mulberry that grows like weeds all around my property. It has an enormous leaf, and I understand that the fibers in it cause it to be a choose for the Japanese in making toilet paper. So, with a potentially invasive plant which produces leaves which can be used to make a safe and non tree destroying alternative, I propose we elect the paper mulberry! BTW, this stuff REALLY does grow like crazy and might be good option of other uses where it has already established a stronghold.

  • Lidia I spent two months on the Cape with my dad last fall when he had triple by-pass and I was astounded at the amount of disposable waste that left the hospital every day. Of course I do realize our entire system is unsustainable, but witnessing the staggering amount of plastic thrown away was quite an experience.

    I have an Italian friend who lives in Italy half the year and she tells me that now, you have to separate every bit of recycling as to type. It gets picked up in clear plastic bags and if any of it isn’t properly sorted, it gets left behind with a handwritten note explaining the infraction. You then have to bring it back in until the next pickup and put it back out in the correct configuration. I surmise they have simply run out of space for landfill, not a problem we have yet here in the US, alas.

    Anyway, her husband is American – it drives him crazy, ha!

  • Correction to the above; It is the bark from paper mulberry which is used to create the paper in Japan and is referred to as ‘washi.’ However, the leaves have been used as a common source of woodland toilet paper..

  • Tom, one such group in the US is http://www.finalexit.org/ – they offer a book by Derek Humphrey with the method you mention and information on other methods.

  • Another resource for self deliverance is at http://www.peacefulpillhandbook.com/

  • BtD – the limerick is especially suitable for this topic. Thanks for the humor :)

  • This 2 hr. video is very much in line with what we discuss here on NBL. Who makes crop circles and why. Seems appropriate now that we are due for a huge event.


  • Tom, interesting about the helium. I never would have thought it, since you hear of people inhaling it in order to give themselves a funny voice.. Don’t know if I will take that route as long as I am responsible for other people–blessed in that I don’t have any kids, but would find it hard to bail out on mom and husband. I’m also generally a curious person interested in what’s going on: not the kind of person who ever walked out on a movie, no matter how bad (although I can’t really bring myself to watch movies anymore). I’ll see how it goes over the next couple of years–if I can successfully garden and get my re-localization schemes off to a good start that’ll make life worthwhile to me. No hope, no fear, I suppose. If I were on my own, I’d retreat to some sort of austere monastic place to live out my days.

    If NTE is a given, then it’s just a question of riding the suicide train to the end, isn’t it? …versus getting off at an earlier stop… giving up my seat to whom?

    I’ve inherited a decent number of old pills which might work. I’m not convinced of their expiration dates. ;-)

  • dairymandave:

    As long as we’re going in the “strange” direction, what do you think of this.

    i come from a large extended family where only the cousins are left. We don’t keep in real close touch, but for the upcoming funeral of our mutual family member (that i mentioned above and on the last blog post), we will be getting together.

    i called an older female cousin of mine today to give her the details of the funeral this coming week and she said:

    “Tommy, i gotta tell you this first. You know i went to see a psychic this morning” (she had previously told me that she was going to do this last week) “and i wanted to go first. The guy comes in the house and the first words out of his mouth were ‘All the way over here a woman was talking to me, who was very excited that her son was coming to be with her. Her name is the name of a flower, um … Rose.” (My own mother’s name is also a flower.)

    So the cousin who just died – his mom is Rose and she died about 10 years ago.

    How did this “psychic” get this? He hadn’t even been introduced to anyone yet and had none of our family information (as far as i know).

    The cousin who died’s younger brother (who is arranging the funeral)
    said that there were so many weird “coincidences” and strange events the past few days that he got chills thinking about it all. When i told him the above story, he went quiet for a minute and said – “this is so bizarre.”

    So is there an explanation or do we chalk it up to “unexplainable?”

    i’ve heard of psychics who helped police find people and other stories that border on the Twilight Zone. But what are they tapping in to?

  • I find it amazing how this site is used to propagate off topic ideas, even if they are somewhat interesting…..

    In this permaculture household, we have a dry composting toilet. We use TP, AND have a bidet. I’m male, and I’m the one who has to deal with the compost bin when it’s full, so I have first hand experience of dealing with toilet waste……. I’m also of French descent, and we invented the bidet…. a most civilised device, very handy post coital…!

    I have no doubt it’s women who are most responsible for TP useage. I had no idea that women even used TP after pissing until I started dealing with the compost toilet….. I swear half the waste in the bin is paper! Washing with a bidet which directs all the waste water and unmentionables in it to fertilise the garden is highly sustainable.

    Yes there is an environmental cost for the fitting of a bidet, but it’s a one off, unlike the endless manufacture of TP and the accompanied deforestation.

    In the end, as usual, the real issue is, there are far far too many people on the planet.

    Bring on the collapse………..

  • @Gail, wow, I left in September and hadn’t seen anything like that! Must be in the far North? I know the Germans have a separate recycling stream even for cigarette butts.

    Where I was, in central Italy, people were only kusum starting to get the hang of it, while in Rome it was largely disregarded.

    On the sick-care front, I wonder what Dr. House prescribes for his Patients. I’m not asking this to be snarky; I reaaly wonder how he can keep doing his job. I know my mom’s O2 is wildly unsustainable, but I can’t exactly take it upon myself to pull that plug.

  • @ Kathy, YW! :)

    thestormcrow says: …in limerick form….Eat well= less TP use.

    Try my new diet and see:
    It works ecologically!
    You not only eat well,
    But when you expel,
    The savings are in the T.P.

  • «If I were on my own, I’d retreat to some sort of austere monastic place to live out my days.»
    alas! it does not exist, there is no such place but in your dreams. there is nowhere to escape.

  • Mike, yes “bidet” is French! I haven’t traveled very widely in France, but never did come across one there. I got reports back from Italian relatives,as well, after their travels.

    Yes, women use more TP than men as it’s not so easy for us to shake out our business! The bidet is quite refreshing on a hot summer day. One consumer product I’ll promote here is “Chilly”, an “intimate” soap laced with menthol. Yowsa!

    “kusum” in my prev. comment = iPod keybd. artifact

  • Mike; If you watch it, you may see that it is quite appropriate to NBL.


  • Gotta try and make a home-made version of that Chilly! ;-)

    Michele, I think there are still places where (climate change aside) folks can live very simply. I visited some of the ancient monasteries remaining in the Italian hills and, aside from all the religious business, it looked like quite a peaceful life. Some of these orders are self-sufficient, as far as I know. It’s a matter of looking to the past, to a great degree, for example, long ago they would fire up an oven quite rarely and would eat dried bread “husks” as a matter of course, over months. These husks are stil made today, industrially, of course, for those people who still enjoy them as part of their food culture. You have to soak them in wine, water, or the juice of the fresh tomatoes in your lunch, otherwise they are inedible they are so hard.

    Many of the Amish/Mennonites live pretty sustainably, except for their large brood size which cancels that out.

  • Dave

    Crop circles are pretty neat
    Using grain fields for art, nice feat
    While it may seem quite queer
    Perhaps aliens come here
    For the canvas that just can’t be beat

    I don’t know Dave – crop circles – either a lot of people have way too much time on their hands (is there profit to be made by making crop circles?) or something else is going on. My best guess is that aliens just found a planet where the folks stupidly monocropped and said hey nice canvas….

    If they are coming to take us away, I will pass – I would rather die here on a dying planet than take my chances with some other life form.

    One must never forget “To Serve Man” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone)

  • Lidia, when the grid goes down for good as it will some which way or other, 400+ nuclear power plants (total of 700 individual reactors) and all their spent fuel pools go Fukushima. Only unlike Chernobyl and Fukushima they will not be contained in any way at all.

    I keep posting this but it does not seem to get through

    Nuclear power plants are designed to disconnect automatically from the grid in the event of a local power failure or major grid anomaly; once disconnected, they begin the process of shutting down the reactor’s core. In the event of the loss of coolant flow to an active nuclear reactor’s core, the reactor will start to melt down and fail catastrophically within a matter of a few hours, at most. In an extreme GMD, nearly every reactor in the world could be affected.

    It was a short-term cooling-system failure that caused the partial reactor core meltdown in March 1979 at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. Similarly, according to Japanese authorities, it was not direct damage from Japan’s 9.0 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011, that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster, but the loss of electric power to the reactor’s cooling system pumps when the reactor’s backup batteries and diesel generators were wiped out by the ensuing tidal waves. In the hours and days after the tidal waves shuttered the cooling systems, the cores of reactors number 1, 2 and 3 were in full meltdown and released hydrogen gas, fueling explosions which breached several reactor containment vessels and blew the roof off the building housing reactor number 4’s spent-fuel storage pond. Of even greater danger and concern than the reactor cores themselves are the spent fuel rods stored in on-site cooling ponds. Lacking a permanent spent nuclear fuel storage facility, so-called “temporary” nuclear fuel containment ponds are features common to nearly all nuclear reactor facilities. They typically contain the accumulated spent fuel from ten or more decommissioned reactor cores. Due to lack of a permanent repository, most of these fuel containment ponds are greatly overloaded and tightly packed beyond original design. They are generally surrounded by common light industrial buildings with concrete walls and corrugated steel roofs. Unlike the active reactor cores, which are encased inside massive “containment vessels” with thick walls of concrete and steel, the buildings surrounding spent fuel rod storage ponds would do practically nothing to contain radioactive contaminants in the event of prolonged cooling system failures.
    Since spent fuel ponds typically hold far greater quantities of highly radioactive material then the active nuclear reactors locked inside reinforced containment vessels, they clearly present far greater potential for the catastrophic spread of highly radioactive contaminants over huge swaths of land, polluting the environment for multiple generations. A study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined that the “boil down time” for spent fuel rod containment ponds runs from between 4 and 22 days after loss of cooling system power before degenerating into a Fukushima-like situation, depending upon the type of nuclear reactor and how recently its latest batch of fuel rods had been decommissioned.[9]
    Reactor fuel rods have a protective zirconium cladding, which, if superheated while exposed to air, will burn with intense, self-generating heat, much like a magnesium fire, releasing highly radioactive aerosols and smoke. According to nuclear whistleblower and former senior vice president for Nuclear Engineering Services Arnie Gundersen, once a zirconium fire has started, due to its extreme temperatures and high reactivity, contact with water will result in the water dissociating into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which will almost certainly lead to violent explosions. Gundersen says that once a zirconium fuel rod fire has started, the worst thing you could do is to try to quench the fire with water streams, which would cause violent explosions. Gundersen believes the massive explosion that blew the roof off the spent fuel pond at Fukushima was caused by zirconium-induced hydrogen dissociation.[10]

  • Here is a map that shows where the plants are in the world. It doesn’t show how the winds might blow all this nuclear waste as it burns

  • Once we reduce military budgets to 10% of what they currently are, and rename and repurpose them as “Peace Forces”, we should then try to find more efficient ways of keeping out bums clean.


    BP chief is confident that we won’t run short of mid-priced oil any time soon. And economics is such a sham science, the way it is practiced in this age at least, I can’t see the USA voluntarily collapsing, and I can’t see any other players insisting that the USA does the decent thing and let its economy collapse. So we may be waiting for quite a while yet for either peak oil or economic collapse to save us from ourselves.

  • Further there are More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/27000_abandoned_oil_and_gas_we.html So all the abandoned wells will be neglected after collapse, as will all the currently operating wells. I don’t have the numbers for the North Sea or any of the other ocean areas but I presume it is large. So we will have BP times some huge number to add to all the burning power plants. Add in drought, heat, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes – good luck finding places to live. Take a gas mask tho, because the smell of the rotting corpses once dieoff begins will be really bad. Throw in some new and renewed diseases without medical care – dengue, malaria will move north with warming.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but most here have seen the handwriting on the wall, and we don’t like it but well there it is. Fukushima changed everything – in a sense as we woke up to the fact that all the reactors and fuel pools in the world were going to burn when the grid comes down. We should have understood that earlier but now we do.

  • Personally, I don’t want to die prematurely (of course I realize sooner or later I will) and I don’t plan to use those methods of easy exit unless the food and/or water runs out, slowly and there’s no alternative… and then that would be a luxury.

    I am far more concerned (I know, it’s stupidly neurotic) about violent death…not even my own, but my 3 daughters.

    When I was young I endured a really violent attack and it has shaped my life, to the point where, anything would be preferable to going through that – which is why I have a gun. When the zombies are clawing at my door, I would much rather end it quickly, myself, than be tortured. If I’m already gone when that sort of thing becomes commenplace, I want to bequeath that quick exit to my kids rather than have them be attacked, mutilated, and so forth.

  • Lidia, your question was rather non-specific, so I’m not entirely sure how to respond, but I will share a couple of thoughts anyway.

    Beyond a doubt it is very difficult to provide healthcare with what I know now. But the difficulty is with myself, not with the patients. On the one hand, some days it takes all the resolve I can muster to make the six mile trip to my clinic. I would much rather spend the day working in the garden, talking to the goats, feeding the chickens, playing with the dogs, etc. I suspect most people would prefer a life doing such relaxing, non-stressful activities. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills. And, until the economy collapses completely, I still have bills to pay – lots of them (including payroll for 8 employees).

    On the other hand, I really enjoy interacting with my patients (well, most of them). We talk about all sorts of things, including their health. One of the advantages of practicing where I do is that some of my patients raise small numbers of livestock or grow a garden or hunt or make really practical things in the old traditions (soaps, food stuffs, clothing, etc.). So, to make the day more enjoyable, and to engage my patients, I talk to them about those things. They appreciate that I take the time to hear about something they enjoy, and I benefit by learning a great deal.

    As a family physician (same as a GP in England), many of the maladies I treat would never have been seen by a doctor 50 years ago – nothing serious, but people don’t want to be sick even for a day, so they come to see me. However, I do treat LOTS of depression and anxiety. People are really worried and scared. So many are without work or are underemployed. They don’t know how they will survive. Before the so called fiscal cliff was averted, there was a significant uptick in the number of cases of anxiety as many of my patients have been on unemployment for a long time and were afraid that they would lose that benefit.

    Treating depression can be one of my biggest challenges since I know that it’s not going to get better in the longterm. I don’t sugarcoat things. I speak plainly and honestly. By the same token, I don’t tell a depressed person about NTE as that just wouldn’t be helpful at all. Of course, I prescribe lots of anti-depressant medicine, but I also encourage patients to look for every opportunity to simplify their lives by getting off of Facebook (and the internet itself), getting rid of their cellphones, walking as much as possible, and trying to reconnect with nature.

    Healthcare staff deal with life and death every day. We know that each one of our patients is going to die someday. We do what we can to mitigate that somewhat, but we can’t stop it. It’s a given and it’s just a matter of when. Armed with that knowledge, we do what we can in the meantime to help our patients live happy, healthy lives. Just because I’m aware of NTE doesn’t change my perspective; each of my patients is still going to die someday, and I’m still going to do what I can to help my patients live happy, healthy lives.

  • Off topic here, but quite pertinent to some lines of thought expressed in by commenters in previous posts:

    The Ecology of Hell

    “The motivations of the various actors remain inscrutable, beyond being able to state the obvious: they are what they do. This is not an unreasonable view of humanity. After all, we can see that popes roll around in popemobiles and bless things, that politicians lie and shake hands, that basketball players dribble while boxers try to punch each other in the head. Why they do these things is obvious: they are defined by their behaviors, ……”

  • @KathyC, well, there is that!

    I wasn’t speaking of an escape, really: merely a retreat. That there are places where voluntary poverty or simple living is normal and not seen as crazy. I could eat a baked potato or a bowl of oatmeal ten meals in a row, but instead I prepare the conventional fare my relatives insist on. This is a weakness: falling into the status quo. I would like to find a simple community where renouncing complexity would have positive reinforcement and yield social rewards. As was discussed in the last thread, this could also be seen as selfish and ego-driven.

  • michele/montreal Says:

    Hidden cost of toilet paper

    “there is nowhere to escape.”

    Eggs Actley

  • @dr.House, thanks for your reply. In Italy the PCP has office hours and operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so the waiting room is the oldsters’ social scene. I’m sure your human connection to your patients helps them with what physical issues they may have, as just the sense of someone caring is beneficial in itself.

    The context of my question wasn’t really clear, but I asked it while I was in the frame of mind considering TP usage and resource usage in health care. Maybe you are not in a situation where you order millions of dollars worth of treatment for a single patient, but have you ever faced a situation in which you felt conflicted about the amount of resources used? I’m just putting myself in the position of someone who personally refuses to buy Kleenex or paper towels and who thinks that a bidet is too much of an investment for a family to make, hygiene-wise, thinking how I could then direct much more than what those resources represent towards most “average” patients, particularly the ones who aren’t really ill. It seems like a matter of compartmentalizing it .
    I’m not blaming you, because I think we are all doing it to varying degrees. Just curious, is all. Thinking about the big truck coming ’round slinging O2 tanks.. The hoverounds. The exotic lizard-spit injections an Italian friend of mine was taking. The quadruple bypass he later had that technically killed him but for the fact that they were able to reboot him into a coma so that he could spend six months in the ICU. He “came back” but it was hard for me to have the same relationship with him. It wasn’t his fault–his care was directed by others–but there was something deeply UNSEEMLY about the whole affair: the refusal to accept death, the need for experimentation, control, and ultimately “victory” with absolutely no regard as to cost. There’s a comment on an IPF thread that might explicate better, if I can find it… Back later if I do.

  • Lidia, I tend to be very practical when it comes to healthcare, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.

    I’m a firm believer that healthcare decisions shouldn’t be made based on cost but rather on what makes the most sense. In a large percentage of cases, what makes the most sense happens to be the least expensive and the least resource intensive.

    I could come up with a lot of examples, but in general, I tend to lean toward letting nature takes its course as much as possible and when it makes more sense. Of course, patients get to make the decision – after all, it’s their health.

  • I have just cut my toilet paper use down by about 80%
    I’m using a toilet stool to lift my legs or help me ‘squat’
    This is a humours explanation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WQaqeC_wME

  • Lidia, I have been in and around communities that ascribe to simple living. Guess what – they argue about what is the RIGHT way to do simple living. There are the vegetarians who are considered wrong by the vegans, and then people who only eat things that a plant would normally shed at some time such as seeds and nuts (forgetting that they are eating tree fetuses). Each is sure that their simple living is the best and other’s simple living is not good enough or moral enough or whatever. In fact they can become more tiresome than “normal” people with their holier than thou view. I suppose some well established religious group would have worked that all out and put down the rules for their groups accepted simple living, if you like living under rigid rules that might be more peaceful.

    this song by David Rovics says it all – especially in the comments that precede that explain where the inspiration came
    https://youtu.be/lai0ytdCwvo lyrics below

    I don’t drive a car
    ’cause they run on gas
    but if I did
    it’d run on biomass
    I ride a bike
    or sometimes a skateboard
    so fuck off all you drivers
    and your yuppie hordes
    sitting all day
    in the traffic queues
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t eat meat
    Ii just live on moldy chives
    or the donuts that I found
    in last week’s dumpster dives
    look at you people in that restaurant
    I think you are so sad
    when you coulda been eating bagels
    like the ones that i just had
    I think it is a shame
    all the bourgeois things you do
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t wear leather
    and I like my clothes in black
    and I made a really cool hammock
    from a moldy coffee sack
    I like to hop on freight trains
    I think that is so cool
    it’s so much funner doing this
    than being stuck in school
    I can’t believe you’re wearing
    those brand new shiny shoes
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t have sex
    and there will be no sequel
    because heterosexual relationships
    are inherently unequal
    I’ll just keep moshing
    to rancid and the clash
    until there are no differences
    in gender, race or class
    all you brainwashed breeders
    you just haven’t got a clue
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I am not a pacifist
    I like throwing bricks
    and when the cops have caught me
    and i’ve taken a few licks
    I always feel lucky
    if I get a bloody nose
    because I feel so militant
    and everybody knows
    by the time
    the riot is all through
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t believe in leaders
    I think consensus is the key
    I don’t believe is stupid notions
    like representative democracy
    whether or not it works
    I know it is the case
    that only direct action
    can save the human race
    so when I see you in your voting booths
    then I know it’s true
    I’m a better anarchist than you

  • Robert, I do thank you for not breeding.
    Here is some more info on the squat toilet as well as selling a frame that can be used over the toilet to squat on – which gets you in an even more natural squat position. One could build it pretty easy, however one can also go outside next to your humanure compost pile and poop on a nice large comfrey leaf and add fold up your deposit and add it directly to the compost pile.

    When my father went to Brazil in a rural area even the flush toilets were squat – his hemmerrhoids went away. Later he came back and was working for a company that built medical buildings – he kept trying to tell Drs. about this discovery and no one would listen.

    I was using that method a lot until I tore the meniscus in my knee. Robin has commented that if you don’t squat regularly as a child something changes in the bones of your ankle I think it is. That makes squatting as an adult much more tiresome and difficult.

    Thanks for showing an in between method of getting a more natural position for us squatting compromised first worlders and leaving less to wipe :)

  • Kathy C Says:

    Hidden cost of toilet paper

    … “however one can also go outside next to your humanure compost pile and poop on a nice large comfrey leaf and add fold up your deposit and add it directly to the compost pile.”

    Have you ever done that when it’s thirty degrees below zero F./ –34.44 C.?

  • omg I can’t keep up!

    Marathon? Your pace is relentless!

    Please, I would like your permission – everyone who comments here at Nature Bats Last – to take screenshots of comments, links, and posts. @Guy – please accept my apologies, I probably should have asked you offline first, but I’m juggling the balls as they come at me. (I’ve already posted this request a few other places, a synchrony of timing is good practice, I’m still working on coordinating backward chaining (who needs to be alerted in advance) with the urgency of action in the present.)

    I am trying to build a representation of the discourses around climate shift, using real people in real interactions (I do consider our cyberspace communication real, even if it isn’t as material as being in physical presence).

    I’ve developed a form where people can register their “Informed Consent” – ideally I would like to be able to display names so that whatever I produce (some kind of public presentation) has its sources revealed in case anyone wants to investigate whether I took something out of context or for any other reason follow-up with people whom I quote. This is a kind of action research….. I do have university level training and credentials in the field of human subjects research. http://darkallyredesign.com/what-we-do/art-exception-clause/

    You are the root, here. Meanwhile, @Greg Robie, I will respond to your latest comment over at reflexivity within some days. @Guy, I hope you’ll decide to continue to participate there, too.

  • organder – I live in AL. But people used to go outside and poop in outhouses when it was below 0. What do you think people living in tents in Siberia do – poop in the tent? What do you think people living in Igloos did – poop in the igloo? But of course once people started making bowls they made chamber pots long before they made toilets you can sit on. Any appropriate size bowl will do so you can squat inside and dump into the humanure bucket or take out to the humanure pile https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamber_pot

  • Kathy C Says:

    Hidden cost of toilet paper

    “organder – But people used to go outside and poop in outhouses when it was below 0.”

    Yes, I know. I’m one of em. Every now and then you have to take an ax out with you to the outhouse and knock the point off the pile.

    BTW it’s ogardener

  • For anyone who is trying to understand the increasingly bizarre twistings and turnings concerning the Sandy Hook story, this may be of interest. Consider the possibility that it is actually ‘an experiment’.

    Bear in mind that the Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:
    “U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.
    Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of ‘learned helplessness’ in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)”


  • Re crop circles. Dmd, I thought you considered yourself a hard-headed realist ?
    Those lights are chinese lanterns. You know, made out of wire and paper with a candle inside. Those circles are made by people, with ropes and boards. Nothing to do with aliens, everything to do with humans. Some do it for fun, some do it for money. Every year dumb gullible American idiots pay a lot of cash to stay in hotels and be driven in coaches to look at the circles. It’s a small industry. There’s whole magazines and people’s livelihoods built on the things, so somebody has got to keep ’em appearing.

  • Steph, you certainly have my permission to use all my writing for anything you’d like. Because this is a public space, I assume — perhaps incorrectly, and I don’t know the legal implications — the same is true for each person who posts here.

  • This is for ogardener and anyone else who likes some music

  • “We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood—it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” “

    Martin Luther King – From Beyond Vietnam

  • Think Kyoto hasn’t failed? Think again.

    The Kyoto Protocol - What Has It Achieved?

  • Steph, when we write here as comments we are often writing comments that relate to other folks comments and may not take as much time to write them as the original essay. It seems to me that out of context some comments could be misconstrued. I would prefer to be contacted before any comment I make is used so I know it is not suffering from being out of context. Please ask Guy for my e-mail and contact me before using a comment – or ask about a specific comment here on the discussion site. Of course I realize this is an open forum so anyone can take any of our comments at any time without permission. But it seems a courtesy to ask.

  • K- “organder – But people used to go outside and poop in outhouses when it was below 0.”

    O- Yes, I know. I’m one of em. Every now and then you have to take an ax out with you to the outhouse and knock the point off the pile.

    BTW it’s ogardener

    K – Sorry for the mispelling. So it never dawned on you to use a chamber pot when you were using an outhouse???

  • Kathy C Says:

    Hidden cost of toilet paper

    So it never dawned on you to use a chamber pot when you were using an outhouse???

    Too redundant.

  • K – So it never dawned on you to use a chamber pot when you were using an outhouse???

    O – Too redundant.

    K – You were the one complaining about the cold. On cold days and nights you can stay warm except for the dumping if you use a chamber pot. Don’t like redundancy, don’t complain about the cold.

  • Badlands/AK:

    About epi-pens. I have been told that 5 years old is too young to teach about how to use an epi-pen. The parents should know how to use it and should keep one around for the child. Also, their school teacher should be educated about how and when to use it and should have one for the child. In Canada, the prescription for epi-pens are renewed every six months because they lose their effectiveness after that time.

    About age eight is when a pediatrician should assess the child for the maturity to be able to use the pen appropriately.

    Does that help?

  • Michelle/Montreal:

    Are you still in such pain that you cannot leave your apartment? Is it back pain? Has a physician told you what is wrong?

  • Thank you ulvfugl for the Ry Cooder song. Wonderful. For your enjoyment, Ry Cooder playing with Ali Farka Toure at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1994:


    The video of this ends early, but the audio is complete. I looked for a more complete video including these two, but could not locate anything. Enjoy!

  • thanks for caring BCN: it is foraminal stenosis, discal hernia and arthrosis. will pass more exams in the next 2 weeks.

    but, more importantly, my occupation consists in keeping my NTE switch “on”. She/it always go back to “off”, as soon as i release my finger. I am still easily distracted. simple constatation.

  • Elaine, just read that to my husband. He remarked, yep we’re the cops of the world – the title of a song by Phil Ochs https://youtu.be/6_2x3JWWzvY

    Guy, the Kyoto protocol poster says it all. We have been doomed for a long time – too smart for our own good and too dumb to do anything about it – pretty soon everyone will see that. I found a quote from one of Gail’s essays from Thomas Hobbes – Hell is truth seen to late. That about says it all – well world welcome to hell.

  • Kathy C; We tend to imagine that all life is just like ours, based on oxygen/photosynthesis with water as the solvent. Even on earth, we can find life based on sulfur, sulfates, iron, nitrates, various anaerobic kinds. It has been speculated that life could be based on methane as the solvent, or even based on silicon. Anyhow, man may not even be edible to other life forms. That’s a relief. What if photosynthesis hadn’t happened and some other process got started?

    The fact that we evolved just far enough to be too smart, smart enough to wipe ourselves out is really the theme of that movie I recommended about crop circles. Maybe there is life somewhere that took a different path and became more mature than we are and avoided hitting the wall. Maybe they see what we are doing to ourselves. Let’s admit it; we aren’t very intelligent. Most of us can’t even see. What if we had spent the last 200,000 years growing up rather than killing each other?

    The last 15 minutes is where the punch line is.

  • Kathy C Says:

    Hidden cost of toilet paper

    “K – You were the one complaining about the cold. On cold days and nights you can stay warm except for the dumping if you use a chamber pot. Don’t like redundancy, don’t complain about the cold.”

    I asked you a question. You replied, “organder – I live in AL”. Which didn’t answer my question at all. A simple yes or no would have sufficed. Then you became condescending as if I had no idea about a chamber pot.

    Moreover, please enlighten me and illustrate where I was complaining about anything in my posts.

    Your treatise on humanure may work for you in Alabama but everyone participating on this forum doesn’t live in Alabama nor subscribes to the idea of using humanure in their vegetable gardens when other alternatives may be available like Bokashi, vegetable/plant matter composting, granite derived stone dust, the use of actively aerated compost teas – both fungal and bacterial, sea weed etc. I have won blue, red and white ribbons for my organically grown vegetables at the county fair in my area and I don’t use any manure of any kind at all plus I am competing against farmers and gardeners who are using commercially manufactured inorganic fertilizer. Just FYI.

  • michele/montreal:

    Those are some serious conditions. I hope there are things that can be done, but I’m afraid surgery is going to be one of them. I just kept thinking about you all weekend. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • @BC Nurse Prof

    re:epi-pen Yes, thank you so much for inquiring, it does help. I think I will focus on getting him set for the long haul of allergy shots, which he should soon be old enough for. While that sort of thing is still available. And just getting him more familiar with our allergy action plan/s. Thanks again!

  • .
    On Morality

    The monkeys used series of grunts
    Inventing the “law” with word stunts,
    But that greased the way
    To mute social fray
    That each monkey always confronts.

    The top monkey set down the law
    And taught all to hold it in awe,
    But if anyone bucked,
    They got royally fucked
    With justice that’s red, tooth and claw.

    You see, they had no right or wrong
    To govern the monkey throng,
    But if you insist
    That justice persist,
    The right ones were always the strong!

  • Orgardener, You can do humanure anywhere you can garden. It serves the function of returning the minerals to the soil. Otherwise you have to get them from somewhere else.

    The Humanure Handbook was something of an accidental literary phenomenon. Joe Jenkins began writing the book as a master’s thesis while attending Slippery Rock University’s Master of Science in Sustainable Systems program in northwestern Pennsylvania in the early 90s. Not content with academic convention, but fastinated with the topic of humanure composting, Jenkins decided to convert the book’s language into a popular format and self-publish the thesis as a book.

    When we no longer have pressurized running water in houses its back to smelly nasty outhouses that waste precious resources that are currently being wasted in septic systems or sewage treatment plants. It DOES NOT SMELL – I keep our buckets in the house in the bathroom and often it might take a week for the two of us to fill it up before it goes out to be dumped in the compost bin. Thus I never have to go outside in the winter to an outhouse and freeze my buns off. However I noted that I lived in AL to get across the idea that the squat and poop on a leaf next to the humanure compost pile never subjected me to below 0 weather. I am well aware that solutions in one part of the country are different than in another part and was trying to get across the idea that you could use a chamber pot as a means of employing the healthful method of squatting inside.

    When the grid goes down for good pressurized water will end and although you can flush a toilet with a bucket of water, where will you get that water and why would you want what is now a precious resource to be used to throw away a valuable resource? Doesn’t matter of course because about 1 week after the grid goes down the nuclear power plants go up. But if you don’t live anywhere near a nuclear power plant you should start thinking about either building an outhouse or doing some sort of composting toilet because the grid will go down eventually. Outhouses are nasty, composting toilets are not, and humanure toilets are composting made simple.

  • Darwin and Hooker invented/discovered Permaculture a century before Mollison.
    Pity nobody paid any attention or learned anything. Seems they still have not, just stupid talk about colonising Mars whilst they continue to trash Earth.


  • @ Kathy C. When the grid goes down for good pressurized water will end

    Mine will not. The well is several hundred feet higher than the house, and gravity takes care of everything.

  • Death by a thousand cuts.

    White-Nose Syndrome: A Crisis for America’s Bats


    I’m already familiar with living off grid.

  • What thestormcrow said.

    Some days, I don’t really need any toilet paper (though I still check!) and my diet is largely (always) fresh food. I do wonder why that’s not the case every day, though.

    What will people do if (actually, probably “when”) toilet paper isn’t available any more? Not everyone can have a bidet that works off grid or when the water pipe perishes.

    I agree with comments about using composting toilets, though that’s not directly related to the use of toilet paper.

  • BenjamintheDonkey,

    Your finest yet.

  • Please, I would like your permission – everyone who comments here at Nature Bats Last – to take screenshots of comments, links, and posts.

    Because this is a public space, I assume — perhaps incorrectly, and I don’t know the legal implications — the same is true for each person who posts here.

    The comments guidelines/policy could be modified to include a Creative Commons license. Our host could even place all posts and comments to NBL under a http://creativecommons.org/choose/“>Creative Commons License.

  • I like throwing bricks

    The gent is attempting to enforcement by coercive violence. He’s promoting oligarchy, not anarchy. Action speaks louder than words.