The Ultimate Green Gift
Being Poop John the First I tend to think about shit a lot; it kind of goes with the job. Well, thinking about shit coupled with it being about a week before Christmas -- and feeling the pressure of being a procrastinator regarding Christmas shopping -- I came up with a great idea to make next year's shopping experience a whole lot easier. Every year I struggle with finding the perfect gift, one that is heartfelt, personal and fitting for the person I'm shopping for. I hate to buy crap just to buy something for someone. I want it to be useful and meaningful. I also consider myself somewhat of an environmentalist and strive to purchase things that are in some way green, which basically means environmentally friendly.
Since one of my hobbies is gardening, many of my friends also share this interest. Just like me, they are always frequenting local nurseries, in search of the exotic plant or the best green soil amendment or fertilizer to make their flowers burst with beauty and their vegetables tantalizingly delicious to eat. Every year we all experiment with new things.
Lately I've been thinking about our sanitation system and researching the feasibility of implementing the principles of ecological sanitation in this country. If you're not familiar with ecological sanitation, let me briefly fill you in on the concept. Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.
China has been using human feces as a fertilizer for years. In fact, the Chinese are probably the most comfortable with their shit -- they know its value. China’s use of night soil, as they rightly call a manure that is picked up at night, is probably the reason that its fields and paddies are still healthy after four millennia of intensive agriculture.
So my idea is to give humanure: an excellent soil amendment for use in the garden to all my gardening friends. I've already started the collection process. I plan to shit in a five-gallon container, and then I will let it sit for one year to compost. I will end up with a pile of humanure. I will then gift wrap small amounts to give as presents for Christmas next year to all my gardening friends.
Of course I will send a card to accompany each gift. Written on the card will be something like this:
Custom made especially for you!
Since you always accuse me of giving you shit throughout the year, I decided to put real truth into that statement. This gift was painstakingly produced by me, especially for you. Don't say I never gave you shit! Merry Christmas!
Cool idea, don't you think?