Employees of PAWS, Inc., have created a lovely office-side
retreat: fish-filled ponds with bulrushes and tropical flowers. And
they keep it alive every time they flush. Jim Davis, the boss and
creator of Garfield, the cartoon cat, ordained this sewage disposal
system after finding conventional systems ecologically unacceptable
for his rural Indiana Garfield HQ, reports Harrowsmith Country
Life. Inspired by the pioneering work of John Todd and others
at the New Alchemy Institute, the solar-aquatic filtration system
uses snails, water hyacinths, and bacteria to digest wastes and
transform 8,500 gallons of wastewater into wetlands fuel every
Davis isn’t alone. Individual homeowners, neighborhoods, and
large municipalities are adopting the technique. In Arcata,
California, sewage is treated through a wetlands system that
doubles as a public park and salmon hatchery. This chemical-free
approach is also considerably cheaper to build and maintain than
Perhaps these enticing economics will divert sewage from another
controversial conventional treatment. Many municipalities sell
sewage sludge??or ‘biosolids’??as fertilizer without warning buyers
that they probably contain hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, and
human pathogens, notes In These Times. Abby Rockefeller and
others advocate nipping sludge in the bud with options like
HARROWSMITH COUNTRY LIFE ($18/yr. 6 issues) available from
Box 52863, Boulder, CO 80322-2863.
IN THESE TIMES ($36.95/yr. 26 issues) available from Box
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Old Hollywood’s Forgotten Filmmaker
Take a closer look at James Stuart Blackton, a revolutionary filmmaker in old Hollywood who has received little credit.
The Elimination of Fires in the United States
Follow the history of fire suppression in the United States and see how it became the norm in a country where periodic fires were common.
Structural Roots of Food System Inequalities
Take a look into the past, how the food pathways were carved out and the after effects consumers are still facing.