Using all the waste… Using everything. How can Toilets help?
In this post:
What is that? …..Desertification,
Can Animals and Land Management reverse climate change?
HOW DOES Mr. Savory’s “HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT” AFFECT CLIMATE CHANGE?,
Using natural nutrients – manures, etc., so that the ground absorbs more CO2.
Cost Comparison | Organic Vs Chemical
…a list at the bottom of 7 posts on the subject of water-sanitation-toilets
photo above: David Law on Unsplash
From: The Weather Network …….. 17 October 2018
‘We have 12 years to save the world. What do we do now?”
Meteorologist/Science Writer, Scott Sutherland’s article talks about the harsh realities of the UN’s report and that: THERE IS HOPE !
There is one positive point the new UN climate change report delivers. If the world stopped burning fossil fuels right now, by stopping the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere up to this point in time, the planet is not likely to get any warmer by an additional 0.5°C, either by 2030, or 2050, or even by 2100 (although the confidence of that statement does weaken, the farther into the future they look).
So, it’s up to us now. We can avert disaster if we act and make the necessary transition without delay.
But as we now know, in 2018 the green house gas levels have gone up again.
One way to sink CO2 is with the help of forests and grass lands. But, ground that can not hold plants and is washing away can not absorb CO2.
Too much of planet Earth is becoming arid, dry, void of plant life, bouncing heat back up into the sky.
What is that? …………………….Desertification
One recent study has shown that Grasslands are a more reliable carbon sink than trees
“Looking ahead, our model simulations show that grasslands store more carbon than forests because they are impacted less by droughts and wildfires,” said lead author Pawlok Dass, a postdoctoral scholar in Professor Benjamin Houlton’s lab at University of California, Davis. “This doesn’t even include the potential benefits of good land management to help boost soil health and increase carbon stocks in rangelands.”
another study suggests that grassland plants react differently. Some sink/hold more carbon when there are increased CO2 levels
“Grasslands cover between 30 and 40 percent of land and play a key role in soaking up carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels.” said University of Minnesota Professor Peter Reich.
Can Animals and Land Management reverse climate change? Is this a new idea?
The explicit opinion of the Center for Biological Diversity is that grazing has significant negative impacts on local biodiversity.
Other information is in conflict with that reasoning….
Herd grazing: Grazer urine and feces recycle nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other plant nutrients and return them to the soil. It also acts as food for insects and organisms found in the soil. These organisms “aid in carbon absorbtion and water filtration”. Grazing can also allow for “gathering of litter” helping to stop soil erosion. With soil erosion comes a loss of nutrients and the topsoil. All of which are important in the regrowth of vegetation.
It appears that the difference here is between “over grazing” and ״proper management of wild and domestic grazers”.
Mr. Allan Savory (a Zimbabwean livestock farmer and ecologist) realized it was how the livestock were managed that was the problem/solution.
Mr. Savory’s talk on TED, (22:13 min) which is one of the TOP 100 MOST-WATCHED TED TALKS, is a very moving, heart-rendering story.
“Desert-ification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in his quietly powerful talk. And it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands and speeding up climate change (warming). Savory has devoted his life to stopping it.
Does it work?
Fight Desertification & Reverse Climate Change
GLOBAL IMPACT – Livestock, properly managed keep grasslands healthy and can restore grasslands from desertification.
HEALTHY GRASSSLANDS absorb and store carbon (CO2) in soil
HEALTHY GRASSSLANDS hold water and a great variety of plant species
HEALTHY GRASSSLANDS provide nutritious, healthy foods
HEALTHY GRASSSLANDS success for farmers, ranchers, communities
HOW DOES Mr. Savory’s “HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT” AFFECT CLIMATE CHANGE?
Excess CO2 in the atmosphere needs to be drawn down to Earth and safely stored in the soil. The micro-organisms in the soil convert CO2 into stable forms of soil carbon that contribute to its ability to absorb and hold water and support life forms. Grasslands, because of their sheer size – 40% of Earth’s land surface – and their ability to store carbon better than any other environment, are our best opportunity to sink CO2 into the ground. For each 1% increase in soil organic matter on the world’s 5 billion hectares of grasslands, 64 ppm of carbon dioxide would be removed from the air.
In one study we have seen a 400% increase in permanent soil carbon on land managed with Holistic Planned Grazing, relative to the neighboring land managed differently.
Bunched and moving, herbivores (plant eating animals) are essential to the productivity and health of grasslands. Their hooves chip hard soil and trample plant material allowing for seed germination and enhanced water infiltration. Grazing stimulates grass growth, and dung and urine fertilize the soils. This method doesn’t only improve profitability and food security but also restores grasslands.
total 2:16 minutes….. Examples of Holistic Management Success
What I am getting at is – put the nutrients back in the ground/soil.
Grazing animals, eat the grass and then deposit their waste, from it, back on the ground. This improves the grasslands. If they can do this, so can humans.
Any way that we can prevent extra nutrients going into water systems, the better. Any way that we can improve the kinds of grassland on planet Earth, the better.
Any chance we have of absorbing more CO2 in the ground, not in the air, the better!
People are playing with these ideas in different ways: Using natural nutrients – manures, improving the soil or proper grazing, etc., so that the ground absorbs more CO2.
Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops
Linda Kinkel, the University of Minnesota’s Department of Plant Pathology, is working on an approach she believes will help farmers sustain optimal microbial communities by ensuring they have the food they need – carbon – at all times. She calls it ‘slow release carbon’, but it’s not something farmers will see in supply catalogs anytime soon. … Ultimately, the scientists from The American Society of Microbiologists (ASM) envision a future where farmers again trust in the unseen forces of the soil – instead of the fertilizer shed – for answers to their challenges.
Nepalese farmers go organic with human waste
The Siddhipur Village Development Committee considers human waste as wealth. “It’s three times better than chemical fertilizers,” Mr. Jeevan Maharjan says. Since 2013, Mr. Maharjan has been using urine. He collects about 100 liters of urine from his family’s EcoSan toilet each month and holds it for about 2 weeks. Then for every liter of urine, he mixes three liters of water and sprays it over his land where he cultivates seasonal vegetables and fruits.
From an update, I received from a Senior WASH Officer in Kathmandu, Ms. Srijana Shakya, at the Environment & Public Health organization, (http://enpho.org/), I have learned that “Mr. Maharjan, is still using EcoSan toilets and human waste as fertilizer for agricultural productions.
Prior to the massive earthquake in Nepal (in April 2015), many farmers in Siddhipur community used EcoSan toilets and human waste. Mr. Maharjan’s EcoSan toilet was one of those destroyed during the earth quake, but he is so happy with the results from the toilet fertilizer, that he rebuilt it and then built 2 more! He now uses both composted faeces and separately Urine as fertilizer.
The monitoring visit conducted a year ago has shown that the earthquake destroyed many houses and toilets affecting the use of human waste by farmers. However, in many communities of Nepal, human waste continues to be used productively. “
And next to Nepal in the state of Sikkim, India, the region has been rewarded for being 100% organic with the kind of healthy soil, that absorbs more CO2. In 2003, Sikkim began to aggressively phase out pesticide use on every farm in the state. Now, 15 years later, officials say the switch to all-organic agriculture has improved the health of residents, and of the region’s ecosystem. Another benefit? Tourism has skyrocketed.
If I understand the science enough, the more humous in the soil and the longer the roots of plants, the more carbon and CO2 can be absorbed, especially if it is not disturbed, by way of plowing, etc. If this is true, then all the more reason to use organic fertilizers.
Cost Comparison | Organic Vs Chemical
I looked through an article that Mr. Javi Gil, wrote about Organic Vs Chemical price cost comparison. What I understood from it, is that really there is no comparison. You either spend a yearly cost on chemicals for your lawn (a grassland), or you start using organic compost material and soon no cost at all. Mr. Gil, applied organic stuff for 2 years and then ZERO applications for 4 years.
So, how do you compare? It is all very different and includes reduced water use, and other benefits during the organic program.
Synthetic vs. Organic Fertilizers
There are some disadvantages in using organic fertilizers, but the benefits outweigh the limitations of organics, which include:
• The composition never is the same.
• Less nutrient concentration compared to synthetic fertilizers.
• Need more on a large scale operation.
• Messy, and may require more work to apply.
• Slower release of nutrients that rises and falls with soil temperature and composition.
Limitations of chemical fertilizers:
• Little or no micro-nutrients
• Does not support microbiological life in the soil.
• No organic content for the soil.
• Can “burn” plant’s roots, or create toxic concentration of salts.
• May release nutrients too quickly, creating weaker and disease prone plants, with less fruiting.
• Dissolves easily, and releases nutrients faster than plants can use them.
• Excess runs off into rivers. Nothing to hold the fertilizer or the plants in the field. Needs to be applied more often.
In conclusion, Healthy plants require healthy soil that includes the other parts of soil; organic matter, living organisms, moisture, and nutrients for micro-organisms and the plants.
As the price in Solar Cells goes down, maybe we should find ways to lower the price of organic fertiliser, too. But if you live in Africa, it could be that the price of chemical fertiliser is higher than organic..
What would it be like if all human manure was returned to fertilize the ground on planet Earth; restoring soil in crop fields and the grasslands (20 – 40 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial surface). It could lower the prices of organic fertiliser.
There’s a reason the world is urbanising. It’s more efficient. What we need to learn is how to apply this efficiency also in taking care of our environment and our social structures.
“What is the future of sustainable sanitation in medium to high density urban environments?”
But looking at sanitation, if we want to get those resources back from a process engineering perspective, following cleaner production principles, there are two things to do. I originally looked at this from the reactor design perspective for wastewater benefication.
>> Separate the components, get the solids out, and
>> Separate as close to source as possible.
The logical conclusion to me, is dry sanitation.
Dry sanitation has plenty of opportunities for the bio-economy, particularly in these high value products which I believe have higher financial feasibility. I agree the nutrients must go back to the soil, and they still can. The yields of these products are low, the value is high, and the nutrients remain and are still biologically processed through this conversion. To me, that is my end game, that is where I want to go.
Based on the wastewater system of the so-called developed countries, for thousands of years we have been taking from the land and feeding our waters with nutritious stuff. What? Do we want to turn our oceans into land and starve our land of growing things? It would still take a long time to do it, but it would be better to stop!
7 posts on the subject of water-sanitation-toilets, covering the following issues:
#1 Leaky toilets are everyone’s business!
#2 The beginning of Wasted Water.
#3 The natural way to empty our Bowels?
#4 We have 12 years to cool off planet Earth!
#5 Dry Toilet sanitation systems for our growing population
#6 Online Tools to Re-Invent with the Have-Nots.
#7 What is wrong with the Have’s? Plenty!