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OUR BEST SELLING TITLE! OVER 60,000 SOLD. 3rd edition published September 2005, 255 pages, 19 photos, 42 tables and charts, 55 drawings, indexed, and signed by the author! ISBN 978-0-9644258-3-5

Humanure Handbook Awards


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"Just wanted to thank you sooooo very much for your humanure handbook. We got it way back in 2006 .... my husband & I (both retired) have now used this method 6 years (before that it was the good ole outhouse) your method is sooo much better ... not hard once you get into the "swing" of it. We don't "advertise" the fact we do this ... but NO ONE has ever said anything about foul odor nor unsightliness ... not even the building inspector or the health inspector. Again ... thank you so much."

"I was fortunate enough to be loaned a copy of the Humanure Handbook and to be honest, I can't say I was to enthused about reading about poo. However, of all the books I have read, I can honestly say I got through this one very quickly. The book is so well written both from a knowledge point of view and from a humourous point of view too. Some information was completely shocking and has certainly changed the way I view things.

We had not planned to convert to a compost toilet but we do not have a mains water supply and last summer was particularly dry for us in central Portugal with no rain for 10 months. This meant flushing the toilet was a complete waste of water. I reluctantly agreed to my wife's suggestion to convert to a compost toilet system and after reading the handbook and actually using the system, I can say I have been converted.

I built one based on your design and have since built a new one that incorporates a seperate container for the cover material. The original one was transferred to a bedroom when my mother-in-law who is 82 came to visit. She needs the loo at night, but getting to the bathroom can be difficult at night time. But with the loveable loo in her bedroom, she said it was like having an en-suite. So thanks for the information and thanks for a great loo."

"Your book has had such an impact on our self-sufficiency project, it's unbelievable. The amount of water we save a year (we have to use 100% rain water or water trucks where we live) and what this means to our agriculture project (we consume about 360 pounds of cucumber a week!) is huge." [Mexican school and orphanage]

"Hi, I just finished your Humanure Handbook and I just wanted to thank you for writing such an important and truly inspiring book. I have been concerned about the ecological degradation caused by humans ever since I was a teenager and I am soon to turn 48. Yet in all that time, it never occurred to me to consider the pollution and waste caused by our "western" system of bodily discharge treatment and disposal. Rest assured that I will soon start to compost my families discharge and that I will highly recommend your book to and educate anyone who will listen on the importance of your message. Thank you again for caring enough to write such an important book."

"I have wanted to thank you for many years for writing the Humanure Handbook. About 10 years ago, we moved here built our own house. We couldn't afford a septic installation. In our area, on the amount of land we have, you are allowed to use an outhouse. I was going to go by that route, but would have rather composted it. I ran into your book and consumed the contents of it twice in a week! It was the perfect solution to our problem! We put your guidelines into practice and have had no regrets over these last years. So thank you again for the service you have offered to society."

"Thank you for writing the Humanure Handbook. Two years ago our septic system crashed and some of us took the opportunity to instigate a humanure system that has been going strong ever since. Our whole outlook on life is different now we have your book (3rd edition). We tell all our friends about it and will be singing your praises for generations. Thanks you so much for making this book.I can't really tell you how much it means to me."

"I am so so SO glad that you've done this! I've been looking at your site for a few years now and while I wanted to take the leap I never did, until now! The only thing I'm lacking right now is saw dust and I've just found a place locally where I can buy it! Thanks again for doing all the hard work and helping those of us who just didn't have the imagination to make this happen. Hopefully enough people will make the leap soon so we'll be able to look back on this as just a bump in the evolution of our species! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!"

"My husband and I purchased your book a few years ago. We have constructed a humanure composting bin at our cottage using wooden palettes and it is working very well. We have an indoor toilet using the sawdust and it is amazing how well this works. It is so satisfying to know we are contributing to helping save the planet even in this small way. Thank you for your sharing your knowledge on the subject in this book. It continues to be our bible on the topic and a humorous reference."

"Joe – your work on humanure is, hands down, the single most important scientific development for the postindustrial era. As an environmental biologist I can fully appreciate your accomplishments."


"I have read the Humanure Handbook several times and love it.  Thank you so much for gifting it to us. We now have our first compost pile which we made out of bales of straw.  We are putting our humanure in it and am amazed at the whole process.  We have turned our friends on to it, dispelling many of the myths around waste. To me the most amazing thing is how smell free it all is."

"Your Humanure Handbook has changed our lives so much for the better. My wife and I live in rural Northern Michigan and have relegated our failing septic to greywater only thanks to your ingeniously simple bucket system. Not only have we saved many thousands from frequent pump outs, a new septic or a commercial composting toilet, we also expect to see a savings from running the electric well pump 1/3 less. Not to mention the reduction of pollution and the unending gift of fertile compost which we always can use more of. My heartfelt thanks for freely sharing your proven approach, it has been a revelation for us. What used to cause us stress and uncertainty has been replaced with a feeling of independence and satisfaction." R.M. MI

"I stumbled across the Humanure Handbook around 2001 while wearing heels and working for an investment firm in an Atlanta skyscraper.  Instead of printing off statistics that day, I printed out the handbook. It changed my life for many reasons. And my shoes (traded the heels for sandals.  Forever.) Thank you that you share your experience, stumbles, science and wisdom so graciously." J.V., WI

"Just thought I'd send you a quick note to say how fantastic the 'Humanure Handbook' is, you have made me an instant convert!! I've just spent all day making the walls to my compost bins. You would think that much more people would be doing this sort of thing if the word was out there more! I have a brother in law that is doing research on water desalination plants to help with the current water crisis in Australia. I told him about your method and he was fascinated. Isn't it amazing that there's hardly any freshwater left in this country, and what is left is being polluted and flushed away by the bucketload!" G.R. Australia

"We have your book and have constructed the humanure bucket toilet according to your directions in our mountain home in Oaxaca, Mexico, where we live in an indigenous village.  We love it and want to promote this, along with other "eco-techniques" we are using in our work with the people here."  K.D., Mexico

"I'm a humanure convert, and thrilled to be one. (I even wrote about it in a recent blog — hopefully a few more folks will join in.) I find the whole process easy, clean, definitely un-smelly, and it makes me feel downright virtuous about living more sustainably in this important way. The old potty is now the plant shelf and bookcase of the bathroom. We will soon be transforming our guest bathroom into a collection area, complete with a copy of your book." C.G., NY

"I think your Humanure Handbook is the greatest and I've become something of a compost fanatic, humanure or not." 

"We recently got a book from the library called The Humanure Handbook, by J.C. Jenkins and found it one of the most informative, comprehensive books on the topic of composting human 'manure'."

“Your discovery of the proper small scale of the operation is world shaking.” F. A., DE

“I enjoyed the book immensely, but my mother is appalled. Pleasing me and irritating my mother - you score big in my two favorite categories.” K. L., IN

“Your book is pure gold, just what I needed to give to my County Health Department.” M. T., MO

“If this short sentence (“We are defecating in our drinking water.”) was put in front of our eyes frequently enough, more and more people would realize that this absurd behavior can’t go on much longer.” S. A., Austria

“Your book was carefully handed to me in a brown paper bag at church last spring. Great research, clear writing and terrific humor.” L. U., WV

“I showed a review of your book to my dad and he almost gagged! Would you mail me one in a plain wrapper? I live with my parents.” M. C., CO

“If you could claim credit for engineering the thermophilic decomposers, you would probably win the Nobel Peace Prize.” T. C., AZ

“We started using our ‘system’ the day after receiving the book. It took about two hours to put together. I wish more problems that at first seemed complicated and expensive could be solved as simply as this.” J. F., NY

“I’ve been composting and using my own waste for the past 20 years. Most of my friends think it odd. I counter that not even barbarians piss and shit in their drinking water!” E. S., WA

“Fascinating! We are indebted to you for your book Humanure Handbook.” R. L., NY

“I’m sure you’ve probably heard it all before, but I really appreciate the fact that someone finally did their research and put it together in a pleasant readable form.” S. C., WI

“For 22 years I have used scarab beetle/larvae . . . they eat my shit in five minutes flat.” C. M., SC

“This wonderful book fits right into my compost/redemption religious philosophy. You have answered questions I have held open since childhood.” R., MA

“I’m wracking my brain, trying to find a compelling way to tell you how great I think your book is.” K. W., WI

“Thank you for taking on the work and expense of sharing your experience with those of us who want to leave small or no footprint on our Mother Earth.” C. M., AZ

“I’ve spent my whole life recycling, reducing, reusing everything but my own shit and I’m ecstatically grateful to have your directions reach my lap.” W., ME

“I found your book entertaining, informative, and a great motivating force compelling us to start recycling our “humanure” immediately.” B. W., TX

“I liked your book. Putting back nutrients after taking them away makes sense as well as the image of dropping a turd in a 5 gallon toilet filled with pure drinking water seems crazy.” T. O., NH

“Thank you for putting the time, energy, money into creating this unique, needed book. Your wit, wisdom, factual references and above all, your personal experience make it a great and encouraging work.” C. L.

“As parasites attached to the earth, it would seem that the only conscious thing we do that isn’t killing the host, is manuring in the woods, fields or a compost toilet.” D. G., MN

“Two things you might be interested in: A more natural way to eliminate is in the squatting position. [and] Urine is not a waste product. Taking urine internally has been going on for some time (1000’s of years) and by many is considered a wonderful medicine. I take my first urine daily. Also, urine is used today in ear wax removal, hand creams, and other. Now is that full of crap . . . or is it?” W. E., OH

“Your book (Humanure) saved my butt at a town council meeting yesterday. Thank you for writing it.” D. W., CO

“My 74 year old father thinks human waste should not be used in a garden, and I want to prove him wrong.” A. M., WA

“I had to call my dear heart long distance immediately to read her what may be the most hopeful environmental news I’ve read in my 35 years, that something can transmute horrible toxins. Why aren’t all the environmentalists raving about this?” C., VT

“In the past month I’ve made two humanure converts, both single women (living separately), both organic gardeners, both professional cooks. The biggest lure for them was the quality of my garden, and the opportunity to avoid purchasing fertilizer and soil amendments. Now they’re hooked, preaching to their friends. Could be the start of a Big Movement.” L.

“The potential of the ideas in “Humanure” is so great in problems such as hollow food, landfill capacities, population densities, etc. that I feel rather evangelical about the book and hope others will also.” R. S., OH

“The reason I’m writing is because I believe worm-egg phobia is overblown. I’ve been a pig farmer for decades, had probably literally tons of pig manure dumped on me over the years, have had pig manure get inside open bleeding wounds, have had it “splash” into my mouth, and I can say that I’ve never gotten ill from it nor have I had any intestinal problems except when I got my divorce (ulcer). But I can say quite accurately that I’ve gotten ill a few times from eating in restaurants. I ask you, which is more dangerous, restaurant food or hog manure?” R. T., WI

“I love the book and it makes a great contribution to taking seriously a low-tech, simple alternative to flushing everything into water, tanks, and leach fields.” B. W., MA

“I live and work in an international youth hostel and we’re using your sawdust toilets. At the hostel your book has made it to “the shelf of recommended literature.” On this shelf we display books we recommend our guests to read. Your book is placed between Thoreau’s Walden and The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.” J. M., GA

“I’m so glad you wrote this book - one lady told us it should be required reading for everyone on the planet!” D.W., PA

“Thank you so much for your book. I believe it is one of the most important books ever written.” S. U., ME

“It is the shittiest book I’ve ever read, but it’s great!” D. H., WY

“You have done the world a great service, and I thank you from the bottom of my (f)heart!!” B. F., NV

“Well, you’ve really outdone it! What an outrageously “perfect” book!! And we’ve been looking for it for years!!” B. L., WA

“May I join the chorus, too? The most exciting book I’ve read in a long,long time is yours. What a gem! Fun!” V. .L., FL

“I should have written this letter sooner. I would like to say that it is relatively rare to read a book of the calibre of The Humanure Handbook. A book that is enjoyable to read, empowering, hilarious, and has eye-candy pictures throughout.” J. D., CA

“Terrific. It definitely goes on a shelf next to How to keep Your Volkswagen Alive and a few other “anybody can do this” type treasures. You’ve got me convinced. I’m part way through building a new house and I’ve penciled in where the bucket will go. I think I’ll even convert the outhouse we’ve been using.” D. B., MN

“My budget is limited, so I don’t buy many books. This one, however, I really had to have for my personal library. I borrowed your book via inter-library loan and have already read it twice, but I want one to keep.” L. M., NJ

“After having finished your book The Humanure Handbook, I’m more convinced than ever that those in charge of our society have no idea what the hell they’re doing.” J.R., ME

“I have just finished your book and I’m still wiping the tears off my face from laughing so hard. I never thought a book about human excrement could be so humorous, as well as very informative!” A. R., OH

“Again, thank you for all the years and time you and your family have spent experimenting and actively composting! Your work has been a great asset to our path of a simpler, sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle. We believe we are the keys to changing the dominant paradigm and healing the earth.” B. C. and J. S., AK

“ I knew nothing about this topic and by chance I purchased your book. Before reading I felt a little reluctance. However, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. You are doing a great service to humanity by having the courage to publish your book. It is said that example is the best teacher.” B. E., Belgium

“We live in Mexico in the high desert of San Miguel de Allende where the water is precious and the soil is lousy. You’ve solved two of our biggest problems.” L., Mexico

“It occurred to me that desertification doesn’t only happen on land - it happens on the sea bed too, when sewage outfall is piped out to a “safe” distance from shore. Never mind that it engulfs whole coral reefs and suffocates them, desertifying whole marine habitats.” J. M., England

“Humanure and the potential for large-scale . . . even a city size composting collection (apartment building toilets into a central collection dumpster), along with the crimes of the so-called “septic system,” has become one of my most favored topics of conversation and promotion, often through direct exposition at our farm. Many thanks for your noble work of art and contribution to this stinky species of ape.” R. T., CT

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