Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star

Dearest Poopers, I am so looking forward to tabling at The NEW New York Block Party this Saturday, Oct. 1 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But even more exciting are the FREE giveaways we'll be featuring to help you green your home from your bottom up!

Drumroll please...

Bum Boosa Bamboo toilet paper is one bathroom product your behind can get behind! When toilet paper first came out in the 1860s, it was a total flop. The very idea that people should use a clean, new product reserved specifically for wiping their butts just to dispose of it immediately after was completely foreign to a population used to cleaning themselves with the Sears Catalogue. Seriously. (You can read about that and see many fascinating vintage TP advertisements at the Virtual Toilet Paper Museum.) Still, the idea that we should be cutting down fresh, virgin trees for the same purpose--especially those from the Canadian Boreal Forest, as Kimberly-Clark did until Greenpeace stopped them in 2009--is just as ludicrous. Unfortunately, it's the only way to get the long fibers that make that lusciously soft toilet paper Americans crave.

In those terms, recycled toilet paper is a MUCH better option. However, recycled toilet paper contains all paper types, including thermal papers like receipts, which are loaded with Bisphenol A (or BPA), a known carcinogen, estrogen mimic, and endocrine disruptor. Thus, using recycled toilet paper puts these chemicals directly onto your tender derriere and, when flushed, ushers them into the water system--just one of the many chemicals and pharmaceuticals currently in our drinking stream according to this US Government Accountability Office report (PDF). To quote the Dresden University study (PDF) that first made this issue known:

“Toilet paper was shown to being an important source of xenoestrogen emissions to wastewater. Thermal paper again is estimated being a major source for the contamination of recycled paper with BPA. Thermal paper represents a very small portion of the entire paper production but due to its extremely high BPA content it certainly mainly causes BPA input into the paper cycle...”

Let's file that under bad news. The good news? Bum Boosa bamboo toilet paper!! Unlike traditional paper trees, bamboo grows 2-3 feet each day, and can be harvested sustainably to make all sorts of paper products, including the toilet papers, baby wipes and other environmentally friendly personal products made by Bum Boosa. Interested? See their website to buy online or find a retail location near you, OR stop by our booth at the block party tomorrow and you just might win a squeezably soft, sustainable roll of your own!

Now, I've often written about the amazing fertilizing powers of urine (see The Puru Pees in His Plants), and as a male, it's easy for me to get urine into my watering can. Less so, I'm afraid, for women and trans men. Until now!

Introducing, The pStlye!!

Ever been camping, on a long car trip, faced with sitting on a nasty port-a-pottie seat, or simply wanted to pee standing up? The pStyle is a discreet, reusable funnel that tells women and trans men, "Urine Charge!" with a powerful pee-pee tool. Made by the same mastermind as the reusable menstrual solution, The Diva Cup, the pStyle is incredibly easy to use--and fun!  Just unzip, pull aside your underwear, and maneuver the widest part of the pStyle directly under your urethra. Tilt down and watch the water flow, feeding the plants and flowers with the nitrogen they need to thrive. (Note that you will actually want to dilute your urine with water, especially for home use, as too much nitrogen will burn their tender buds. See Carol Steinfeld's Liquid Gold for complete information.)

Wanna know more? Visit the POOP table at The NEW New York Block Party where we'll be raffling off 2 pStyles, browse the pStyle website for complete usage instructions, or watch their charming promo video below.

(The pStyle presented by afriska.ch from Franziska Neuhaus on Vimeo.)

Till then, may you all tinkle like little stars and enjoy peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Green Your Home from the Bottom Up!

Dearest Poopers, Thanks so much to all those who made it out this past week for our POOP Project events; they're always poopy, but never crappy! We fed our metropolitan minds on the topic of urban farming last Tuesday with visionary ideas from Inger Staggs YanceyAnnie Novak, Dr. Dickson Despommier and surprise guest Alec Baxt in a panel conversation with the Visitor's Center at Newtown Creek. Then Saturday night we ranted, raved and exorcised the demons of shameful shitting at the VENT Performance Festival. And look! I even got my name printed on the wall like a fancy artist!! Mama would be so proud...if only it wasn't about poop.

But it is about poop. It always is.

And it gives me great pleasure to know that this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11am-5pm, I'll be helping people green their homes from their bottoms up! The POOP Project will be holding court at GreenHomeNYC's NEW New York Block Party, a revolutionary reinterpretation of the traditional street fair that will transform one city block into an urban classroom and bring practical, environmentally-friendly ideas straight to your doorstep. That is, if you happen to live on North 11th Street between Berry and Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, because that's where the event is. Otherwise, I invite you to make that block your temporary doorstep for the day!.

But wait--there's more!

People often say to me: "Puru! I love you. You know so much about poop! Do you want to get married?" And I say, "No. Anyway, not to you." To which they say, "Ouch! Oh, wait. I'm over it! Still, oh great Puru, how can I put some of your wise environmental principles into practice with my very own potty?"

In answer to this query, it brings me even greater pleasure to know that this Saturday I'll be bringing you two--count them--1, 2 ways to put your money where my mouth is. The POOP Project has partnered with two companies that excite me so much I just might tinkle! Which is exactly what they'd want me to do.

So, what are these mystery organizations? It's a mystery!!! That will be revealed over the next few days.

Till then, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Fall Speaker Series Starts Tuesday

Dearest Poopers, Thank you to all those who came out to Club Make and Do's show this past Thursday. It was a smash! And I got a chance to show off my new hat.

But that's old news now. And I know you crave more. More!  MORE!!!

So get your calendars out, because here's what's coming up:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: panel conversation about urban farming at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek
  • Saturday, Sept. 24: performance lecture on the history if shit at the Vent Festival
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: tabling at the NEW New York D-I-Y Block Party
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: The Clap is featured as part of Adult Education
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19: the premiere of Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World at Dixon Place
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: panel conversation about technology for green communities at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: panel conversation about composting at (you guessed it!) the Visitor Center

But it's a Saturday, so for now here's details on just the first two.

The POOP Project is proud to once again play moderator for a series of panel events at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, the city's largest wastewater treatment plant. Join us this Tuesday, September 20th from 6:30-8:30pm for presentations and conversations all about urban farming!

Featuring guest speakers:

Annie Novak, who feeds Greenpoint from the Eagle Street Rooftop Farms and teaches urbanites where their food comes from.

Dr. Dickson Despommier whose vision, The Vertical Farms, would enable cities to feed themselves from skyscrapers.

Inger Staggs Yancey from Brooklyn Greenroof, using thirsty plants to transform city roofs into ecological mega-machines.

For more information about and directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, CLICK HERE or on the poster above.

Now if you've got something to say (and who doesn't?), consider joining me next Saturday for the Vent Festival at Gowanus Studio Space!

The POOP Project is pleased to join the Vent Festival from 6-9pm to fume about The Agony and the Excrement, a humorous performance lecture about the history of sanitation and the social factors that lead to "shameful shitting." If you missed this lecture at Adult Education earlier this year, now's your chance! The line-up will also include Damali AbramsDanielle AbramsAisha Cousins, D'LuxeJason Gaspar and the Rant Van.

PLUS come early (from 3-6pm) to make your own cider with Atom Cianfarani, encounter Nurit Bar-Shai's growing organisms, witness Coral Short's 1000 Sighs and more!

THEN come back the next day for a 1pm performance workshop with veteran performance artist Rob Andrews and a 4pm artist's conversation  featuring Danielle Abrams, Rob Andrews, Coral Short, Aisha Cousins and D'Luxe. Moderated by Maya Suess, the beautiful, brainy and benevolent curator of the whole darned thing.

As a bonus, I'd like to leave you with a video from another project I'm involved in that generates applause for the public good. We call it The Clap because the joy's contagious. You can learn more on the Facebook page.

Wishing you a great weekend and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner