Earth Day and the crisis you've never heard of

Earth Day got its start when Wisconsin Senator Nelson Gaylord called on US university students to organize Vietnam style demonstrations and teach-ins to bring attention to environmental degradation and push a new policy agenda.  It worked.
Grassroots organizing brought together 20 million Americans in Earth Day events that first year – 1970.   In 1990 Earth Day went global and now is brings together a half billion people of every stripe- feel good folks, do gooders, deep ecologists, radical enviros  While April 22 is still refreshingly grassroots as in City Repair’s passionate, ragtag, informative day in a Portland park, the US Administration has hopped on the bandwagon with Joe Biden announcement of $452 million in Recovery Act funding for energy efficient building retrofits, including $20 million for Stumptown.
The Earth Day news that has gotten our attention is the launch of the Sustainable Phosphorus Initiative by a group of US researchers picking up on the labors of colleagues in Sweden and AustraliaPeak Phosphorus – expected in 40 years at the latest – is called – “The gravest natural resource shortage you’ve never heard of”  The parallel with Peak Oil goes only so far because humankind can get along with out oil but all living things need phosphorus to grow.
As the world’s few phosphate mines are emptied, as phosphorus in fertilizer runs off the land, as the runoff creates great dead zones in the ocean, global food supplies will decrease. Yet, sustainable sources of essential nutrients are found in the human waste we flush down the drain.  It’s time to close the loop.
At our PHLUSH event on Tuesday, April 27 (5 pm at 203 NW 2nd – everyone is welcome) we’ll report on our participation at the World Toilet Summit, our new awareness of Peak P and steps being taken by Portlanders who rightly consider urine and feces not waste, but valuable resources.

This Tuesday: Composting Toilets & Supporting Codes and Policies

With the support of PHLUSH, the Jefferson County Sanitation HAT has been hard at work this year strengthening community relationships, surveying local residents on sanitation needs and educational interests, and collaborating with local and regional experts to address rural sanitation challenges.  A Housing+Sanitation Learning Series kicked off this fall, starting…


Can ecological sanitation help increase the supply of affordable housing?

December 28, 2021   As the cost of housing skyrockets across the United States, we’ve been wondering about the potential of water reuse and low-water toilet technologies to augment the affordable housing supply. Now, housing advocates, local officials, and residents in rural Jefferson County, Washington, have asked PHLUSH to find…


Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day!

Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day, and PHLUSH realizes that menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and health can be improved with adequate access to restrooms. We are beginning to dive into the intersection of restroom advocacy and MHM -- learn more by hearing our board President, Genevieve Schutzius, speak on the intersection…