The Problem is the Solution

A few years ago I did a Permaculture Design Course. It was a two-week intensive course, and I vividly remember another student telling me how naive I was. I still believed I could fix the world… Years on, a lot of hard lessons learned, I’m just as naive, and I still think I can fix the world. I have to, because otherwise there would be no point in trying.

I often find that the biggest hurdles are societies stigmas and taboos. I feel that my job is to constantly push those social boundaries, and hope that I can inspire. A beautiful and very funny video that demonstrates this, was posted on a blog by my permaculture teacher, Aranya. In the video, a man at a festival is doing a very funky dance all on his own, without a care in the world about what other people think of him. Another guy joins him in his funky dance. Gradually, more people get the guts to dance, until you see crowds of people racing to join in. I feel like I am in that crowd, and it is growing rapidly.

In my last blog, Why Wee could be good for the Economy, I said that my dad, whom I recently moved in with, was complaining about the aroma I was leaving by not flushing his toilet. This was a big problem. I can’t get into thermostat wars with my dad over the 23 degrees he keeps his house at, but this is my urine, and I don’t want to flush it. The problem was the solution – It was the push I needed to buy a luggable loo (a bucket with toilet seat on it). Now, I can pee in a bucket, and then water my dad’s garden every morning. Not only this, but when I move into my new home in Devon, sometime in the hopefully very near future, I can install an upstairs bathroom at no extra cost! This is better than letting it mellow if it’s yellow, and flushing with a bucket of rain water, because I am creating a positive use from my waste. Less energy is being used to process my sewage, less clean water is being wasted, and more nutrition is being added to the soil.

Just to quote the government quickly:

“Sewage treatment, that is, the physical, chemical and biological processes used to clean industrial and domestic wastewater, has improved significantly over the past 20 years, with approximately
75% of UK rivers now of good biological and chemical quality. However, the energy required to treat sewage to this standard is high; the water industry is the fourth most energy intensive sector in the UK. Further tightening of water quality standards suggest energy costs will increase.”

I know of one person who wrote to me to tell me that I had inspired them with my last blog. Any more? A crowd building?


About thehouseofjam

I am a Trustee/Director of the Permaculture Association of Britain, and I make jam with wild food. Lots of it!
This entry was posted in Earth care, Gardening, Low Impact living, Minimum Effort for Maximum Effect, Multiple functions, Organic, Permaculture, philosophy, Produce no waste, Self Sufficiency, The Problem is the solution and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Problem is the Solution

  1. Joey says:

    I shall join you.

    Let the quest for permacation begin!

  2. Rachel says:

    Well, I hadn’t heard of this luggable loo (how luggable is it once a full five litres have been harvested?) I’ve got a compost heap in my tiny garden, and I reckon I could wee in a bucket! I’m in!
    Also : I politely lectured the produce manager in sainsbury’s today about the importance of local (i.e UK) provenance of spinach leaves.

    • Lol! That’s great! So far, my experience of my luggable loo is that you wouldn’t come close to filling it with 5 litres before you would want to empty it. I have only been weeing in it, because my dad would probably kick me out if I tried to despose of anything else in his garden! I have been emptying it every other day, which isn’t that much to carry downstairs at all. It doesn’t smell generally, because of the lid, but I do stop breathing for a minute while I am peeing….I don’t know – it’s a small sacrifice really. Apparently, urine is really good for getting your compoist heap going!

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