“Pipedreams” blows hope into the unexpected place, the toilet

Pipe dream
Chelsea Wald
Avid Reader Press, $ 27

Everyone gets tired of it. But not everyone has a safe and hygienic place to do it. In addition, existing wastewater treatments consume large amounts of water and energy while washing away fertilizers, fuels and other materials that may make products.

“We can do better,” writes science journalist Chelsea Wald. Pipe dreamTalks about how scientists, entrepreneurs and activists are coming up with creative ways to make bathrooms more accessible and sustainable.

About 2 billion people do not have access to proper toilets. Pipe dream Spotlight the organization that is trying to change that. One such non-profit organization is Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), which serves areas of Cap-Haitien in Haiti where sewerage is scarce. The inhabitants there have traditionally relied on pit latrine, which can poison well water. However, SOIL users get a home toilet with a removable plastic bucket. It is collected by SOIL employees on a regular basis and dumped at a nearby composting site.

Pipe dream When Wald plunges into all the weird and unexpected ways in which excrement can be used beyond compost, it’s really true to its title. She describes a South African company that feeds human excrement to Uji. These creatures can be fed to animals or crushed to make oil. In Kenya, she found an organization that makes briquettes from poop — on the stove, they burn better and last longer than charcoal. Pure urine can make fertilizer, but Wald states that it can also make bricks when mixed with sand and bacteria. Inventions like the pink cubicle Rappie’s women’s urinal help users crouch over an oval receptacle to soothe themselves and help collect this pure pee. But peeing with one is a strange experience, and as one woman who used one at an outdoor festival said, “you need to be a little drunk to do that,” Wald said. I will.

Wald may not have been sitting on this particular pink throne, but she has enough experience with new toilet technology to win the nickname “Queen of Root Beer” among her peers. Readers could not seek a more qualified guide to take them on a world tour of next-generation sewage projects. In this book, Wald visits an African facility that cleans portable toilets, enriches his garden with Swiss-made urine-based fertilizers, and sits in toilets that bypass Dutch urine.

After years of immersion in excrement (figuratively), Wald is unaffected by squeaks. Her narration is frank and entertaining, and her familiarity with sewage is special for Joseph Stalin to steal the excrement of world leaders because of the health benefits of her squatting vs. sitting. It allows you to incorporate fascinating scientific and historical details, even rumors of using a sleek toilet.

Pipe dream Leave that the reader knows everything (and perhaps more) that they wanted to know about the toilet, and perhaps encourage them to start giving up more crap about crap. That’s a good thing. As Wald shows, excrement issues relate to social justice and environmental sustainability. “We shouldn’t be content with the inherited toilet,” Wald wrote.After the end Pipe dreamReaders cannot help but hope that someday Loo-topia can be achieved, thanks to the foresight of toilets around the world.

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