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Examiner
  • Lynn Youngblood: Another way to help the planet

  • The world’s human population has now surpassed seven billion people – quite an astounding number of folks and quite a load for this ol’ planet to carry.



    Now think what is involved for all of those people to be alive on this earth.

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  • The world’s human population has now surpassed seven billion people – quite an astounding number of folks and quite a load for this ol’ planet to carry.
    Now think what is involved for all of those people to be alive on this earth. Obviously, they need the four means of survival – food, clothing, access to fresh water, and enough room for shelter and space to grow. It’s a given that there is also adequate room to, well, poop. With that comes the need to have human waste carried to a place for safe and healthy disposal or conversion.
    Last week I wrote about my visit to the Bronx Zoo. When entering the zoo one of the first things you walk past is the restrooms – the “Eco-Restroom.”
    What is so “eco” about it? Plenty! All of the toilets are composting toilets. Now, I have seen, used and promoted composting toilets before. What is unique about this restroom is that it has more than one composting toilet. Actually, it has at least 12 in the ladies restroom alone. A composting toilet does not use water – it uses foam, so it uses only 1 percent of the water of a regular toilet. Waste does not get flushed to a sewer or septic system. It gets flushed to a composting tank. Much like a septic tank, fungi, and bacteria, and small invertebrates (which are not found in a septic tank) eat the poop and what is left converts into good, reuseable, fertilized soil. Does it smell? Heavens no.
    Even the sinks in this eco-restroom were special. The water goes down the drain and into a “gray water garden” outside the restroom. Benches and handrails were placed around the garden outside, so visitors can admire the flowers and plants while they wait for family and friends inside the restroom.
    Not only is the eco-restroom eco-friendly, it is also educational, entertaining and kid-friendly. Bright, colorful, cartoon people and animals adorn the walls and wayside signs in and around the restroom. Important messages are displayed in engaging ways encouraging folks to explore and learn more.
    Approximately, 2.1 million people visit the Bronx Zoo each year. Imagine if all of those people used the restroom at least once during their visit. That is more people than reside in the entire Kansas City area. Think if every large attraction or business could install such an “eco-restroom” complete with a gray water garden. Not only would it save precious fresh water and space required for sewer treatment plants, but it also would beautify our communities with more enjoyable gardens. Just Imagine.
    Something to think about the next time you need to … poop!
    Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.
     
     
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