Every day, people are flushing away precious resources by pooping in their drinking water. This wastes scarce water supplies (around 10 gallons per person each day), energy (to pump water and treat sewage), hard-earned money, and loads upon loads of fertile feces.
That’s right—our poo is precious. When dropped in a composting toilet (CT), these rich deposits break down to form a safe and nutritious soil amendment. Voilà! Our wastes become food again, and our water stays sparkly fresh.
Amazing, we know. So, then why the heck aren’t we all composting our poo?! Well, it seems our bad potty habits are hard to break. While there are some CT pioneers out there leading the charge, what we really need is a full-on humanure revolution! And that begins with teaching our kids about composting early on, before talking about poo becomes taboo...
Poo to Peaches is a colorful and engaging book that teaches children about composting toilets and the nutrient cycle. Kids learn the basics of proper CT use to transform poo into compost, which gets added to the soil to grow more peaches!
Written in a fun, rhyming style, this book is perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners. We worked with a talented artist, Kim Afinowich, who has created beautiful hand-drawn illustrations that bring the story to life.
The finished 20-page, softcover book will be professionally printed in full color and bound in an attractive 11x8.5 landscape format. We’ve found an awesome sustainable manufacturer to print Poo to Peaches according to Green Press Initiative standards on post-consumer recycled paper. An eco-audit page will be included in the book to inform readers of the resources and energy saved by using environmentally-friendly materials.
We created Poo to Peaches as an educational resource for both kids and parents. Each page in the children’s story will have a complementary page for adults with information on using and maintaining composting toilets. Think of it as “sustainable potty training” for all ages!
The children’s section of Poo to Peaches is already completed. You can download an early draft of the book now to share with your family.
We need your help to finish and publish the book so we can get kids (and adults) everywhere excited about composting! We’ll also be presenting educational programs using Poo to Peaches in schools and libraries throughout the Tucson and Phoenix communities.
Composting toilets can have a huge beneficial impact on the environment. By not flushing the toilet, a family of 3 in Tucson saves:
- 10,950 gallons of water per year (much of it sourced from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project)
- 13 kWh per year & 30 lbs CO2 per year (in sourcing potable water)
- 29-83 kWh per year & 65-186 lbs CO2 per year for treating resulting wastewater
The average person produces 13 gallons of feces each year. If properly composted, this brown gold could fertilize 15-30 sq. ft of crops AND save up to 621 lbs CO2 per year from not importing soil amendments!
Watershed Management Group (WMG) is a nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona that works to connect people with their environment. Water conservation is a key issue for us here in the desert Southwest. We are big proponents of composting toilets to conserve water while reducing energy demand, enriching our soil—and saving money!
Working with designs developed by CT guru David Omick, WMG has installed several site-built barrel composting toilets in Tucson. These affordable, easy-to-construct systems have been permitted under a pilot project with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. So far, we've been getting great results! Samples from the finished compost have been tested by the University of Arizona and graded as “Class A” soil amendment, safe for landscape and agricultural use.
We’re making some exciting progress in opening the eyes, and minds, of government officials and regular folks to the benefits of composting toilets. But to achieve a broad shift in public perception to make composting human waste a more accepted and “normal” idea, we need to get kids excited about it. Poo to Peaches will be a powerful tool to help make this happen!
Risks and challenges
At WMG, we pride ourselves on our “can-do” attitude and ability to take on complex projects, from spearheading public policy initiatives to organizing educational courses and leading on-the-ground workshops. We are confident that our multi-talented, dedicated team will overcome any obstacles to meet our goals. Poo to Peaches will be a fun challenge, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.
We still face the big challenge of completing the adult information pages in the book. Our years of work developing, building, maintaining, and using composting toilets mean that we have much existing material to draw on, making this a straightforward task.
Logistics and time constraints are other potential challenges. Because we are a nonprofit organization, we have full-time staff who are focused on seeing this project through to completion. When it comes time to pack and ship backer rewards, our fabulous volunteers and supporters will be on board to lend a hand.
While this is our first children’s book, WMG regularly publishes high-quality educational materials. We have the skills and resources in place to produce a beautiful and professional book that will be a favorite on your child’s shelf—or as light reading for your trips to the CT!
Thanks so much for checking out our project!
The WMG TeamLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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