This I Believe

Ms. - Columbus, New Mexico
Entered on July 17, 2006
Age Group: 65+
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe

I believe we need to be earth-friendly and develop ways of dealing with human waste – such as the Japanese used to use to enrich crops safely. I believe we can use methane to power treatment plants and there are examples around the country that this is happening (Spokane, Washington is one). The newly discovered black earth in the Amazon is an amazing example of an ancient people enriching their environment rather than wasting it and we can learn from this to improve our environment safely.

I really believe in composting toilets. They create compost and help save the environment. We need to consider the humongous amounts of human waste we deal with world-wide and make better use of our diminishing water supplies. I believe we need to seriously consider alternatives, especially in emergencies (I think of all the people stalled on the freeway during the Katrina exodus).

My community has an environmentally approved evaporative lagoon system, so I can believe in my flush toilet. A toilet is something one never thinks about until it is needed. Only then is there a true appreciation for this convenience.

Ill health and financial challenges have hindered construction of my bathroom but last year, I was able to get in the plumbing. This year, I had to have that throne! Although I believe in composting toilets, the composting bucket quickly loses its charm and the composting toilet is out of my price range.

A marvelous neighbor was willing to do the work. He built a cement pedestal especially for my potty, which means the rest of my eventual bathroom floor will be lower than the pedestal, truly making it my throne.

How great to sit in flush comfort! At night, the desert sky is a vision to contemplate!

Despite the fact that I am underground and live in a relatively unpopulated area, I do have neighbors, and out of deference to their sense of decorum, (not to mention for my own privacy), I have had to consider the problem of shielding my throne from unwanted public view in the daytime, and also to protect it from the searing desert sun.

First, I put a ladder over the potty and draped it with blankets. Then our local librarian gave me a plastic camping shower stall that I placed it over the ladder, but the desert wind blew it away, ladder and all! My son-in-law saved the day with a lattice fence. Ah, privacy and comfort. I believe that is something every citizen of this planet should have.