All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

The Flush It Blog

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When I started this blog, “All Things Environmental”, I figured it would be a good way to figure out where I really stand on some issues by writing about them. It’s been that, and more, and I’m really pleased I decided to start this; but they were sporadic. So last January my new year’s resolution was to write an average of one post per week – do I have the discipline? Turns out, I did!

But the downside of research and reflection is this: my posts are long and wordy.

So here’s this year’s resolution: learn to write crisp and short. So I started a new blog, which I’ve called the “Flush It Blog”.

All short entries, on a topic that never ceases to fascinate me: poo and other bodily wastes. They fascinate me for two reasons: first, because they are waste when they should be looked upon as a resource; and second, because we are uncomfortable talking about them and this prevents us from discussing what we should do with them.

Here’s what it’s about:

The stuff we flush – pee, poo, and everything else – seldom enter polite conversation. Yet, from the design of toilets to the health of our micro-flora, knowing about our excrements matters. And, of course, our environmental survival will depend on how quickly we will learn to turn what is now a waste into a resource: a fertilizer or a source of energy. So we need to have a serious talk about shit, and I’m hoping this blog can contribute to the conversation.

What is shit, after all? It’s a diagnostic tool, it’s a fuel, it’s a source of fertilizer, it’s an internal ecology of bugs; it’s a source of disease, a public health issue, a source of shame or embarrassment, an urban planning conundrum, an anthropologist’s wonder.

But it doesn’t need to be all heavy stuff. Among the serious discussion of our waste and their polluting impacts, there are many whimsical, fun or silly stuff about shit. Gourmets claim the best coffee is the one made with beans found in civet poo – and animal lovers abhor the practice.
For that matter, excrements and sewers have long been featured in our arts and literature. From the sublime to the ridiculous, let’s get this topic out in the open.

I’ve written about this topic before, including a few book reviews (here and here), a paean to whale shit here, or a look at how the costs of sewers in a sprawling city can be enough to bankrupt it (here).

I even wrote a post once on poo trivia – at the urging (or was she just kidding?) of my friend Diana, the sewage engineer. And doing so, I noticed that there’s no end of poo trivia, serious topic thought it may be. So here’s to our humble excrements: give them some thoughts, reflect about their importance, before you flush. Only then, mindfully flush.

Anyways, do go visit: you’ll see, the posts are waaay shorter. Here on this blog, I just can’t help it but to write at length.



Written by enviropaul

January 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm

One Response

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  1. Brendon

    January 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

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