The amount of fecal waste we excrete each day can rival the size of a small chihuahua. Have you ever considered how all of that poop affects the environment?
Poop isn’t a big topic in the battle for reducing our environmental impact, but the way you handle your number twos can make small, but important changes if you put in some effort. Here are a few ways your poop can become more eco-friendly.
Compost human poo. Perhaps the most eco-friendly thing to do with your poo is to compost it and allow it to fertilize new life. If you’ve ever been camping, you may have pooped in a Clevis Multrum composting toilet. It’s not pretty, per se. But all our nasty excrement gets to serve a higher purpose. If you invest in a composting toilet in your own home, you have the power to turn human waste into plant fuel.
By nourishing your soil with the nutrients and microbes from your composted poop (rather than letting it flow in freshwater to the treatment plant) you are doing your part to perpetuate nature’s natural and intricate circle of life support. All life comes from good soil, after all, and soil health across the country is suffering. The downside: composting your waste does require that you become a little more up close and personal with your poop.
Clean up your diet. Theoretically, if you keep your diet clean, your gut bacteria will be healthier, which means your poo will have a healthier spectrum of microbiota. It also will be full of good nutrients. If you’re composting your waste, healthier poop can mean healthier, richer soil.
Just like us, plants need bacteria and minerals to survive and thrive. If we treat our digestive systems right, human compost can help other plants to flourish. Eat lots of organic, local produce, limit red meat consumption (and always eat grass-fed when you do), drink plenty of water and eat complex carbs like root veggies, seeds, nuts and grains (if tolerated). Eating resistant starch, found in tigernuts and cooked-then-chilled potatoes or rice, promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria the compost of your digestive system. And, above all, take probiotics before, after and during any bout of prescription antibiotics you must take, which can decimate your system. If our waste is more diverse and balanced, it makes for a healthier earth in the long run.
Use green toilet paper. Always opt for 100 percent recycled and unbleached. Need I say more?
Keep your pup’s poop green, too. Have you considered how eco-friendly it is to clean up your dog’s poop? Biodegradable bags can actually take anywhere between 10 to 1,000 years to decompose. They really aren’t the best option, although buying high quality ones is the best way to go.
Other options for your pup’s poo include using flushable bags made of PVA that will dissolve in water (make sure your water treatment center can handle dog pathogens, as some cannot) or composting. There are plenty of options out there for dog compost that don’t involve burying your dog’s poop daily or keeping smelly, unsightly piles all over your yard. Try dog composting tanks if you have plenty of yard space, and toss all your pal’s plops in there. Mainly, just don’t leave black, non-biodegradable baggies strewn about in nature, and you will be well on your way to becoming the owner of a dog with green poop.
Sure, maybe poop isn’t at the forefront of the sustainability movement, but it’s something to be aware of. After all, our poop is an indicator of our internal health and can help to fuel the cycle of life on our planet. If you live in a rural area where it would be feasible, would you ever consider composting your poop? Share your thoughts below.