Sunday, October 2, 2011

Turning Poop into Papayas

-Fun Rio Muchacho Fact-

Rio Muchacho composts everything!  There are no garbage cans so (almost) everything used here must be reused or composted.  Even our bathroom waste is composted and reused on the land.  Each day my bathroom reading consists of a page-long explanation tacked to the wall titled, “Turning Your Poop into Papayas.”  Here’s my short synopsis: 

After each time we use the baño we toss the toilet paper and a scoop of sawdust into the receptacle below.  (The kids LOVE this new part of the bathroom routine.)  We were pleasantly surprised by how little smell comes from the toilet.  After some time the contents of the toilets are dumped into a deep hole, where heat, bacteria, nitrogen, and worms breakdown the waste.  The resulting compost is used to enrich the soil around the trees on the property, not in the vegetable garden.  By composting poop this way, the waste does not contaminate fresh water and the compost helps cultivate the trees.  I’m not sure if this would work if we were eating a meat-heavier diet.  I’m guessing the mainly vegetarian meals we eat make it easier to break down to return to the ground.  It is pretty amazing how little goes to waste around here.

Some things to think about the next time you’re on the pot! 

(and Sarah I'm sorry if your family just read this one at the dinner table!)

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