Books of Note: The Wastewater Gardener – Preserving the Planet One Flush at a Time

June 9, 2014

“As ecologists say, everything is connected to everything, and how we manage and mismanage our shit, is a crucial part of the global challenge of our times,” writes Mark Nelson, author of The Wastewater Gardener.

Since we at Green Building Elements write considerably about water, waste, and Wastewater-Gardner-Cover-400x514.jpg


Nelson brings a considerable background to the table. He is an ecosystem engineer and researcher, and one of the original “Biospherians.” Holder of PhD, he is chairman, CEO, and a founding director of the Institute of Ecotechnics, a UK and US nonprofit organization consulting on several demonstration projects working in challenging biomes around the world. He is head of the Biospheric Design Division, Global Ecotechnics Corporation. Founder and director of Wastewater Gardens International, he designs and implements sewage treatment and recycling systems using constructed wetlands.

“There are several modern symbols of ecological crisis,” states environmentalist Tony Juniper, in writing the this book’s foreword “Gas-guzzling vehicles, airliners, coal-fired power stations and landfill sites are among them. While few people would add flush toilets to the list, there is increasingly good reason to see why that might be the case.”

For those interested in this book – and I hope there are many – the Table of Contents should be enough to pique interest:

  1. A Brief History of How We Got Into This Mess 1
  2. Flower Power at Synergia Ranch 13
  3. Recycling in a Small World: Biosphere 2 31
  4. My Love Affair with Wetlands 49
  5. Magic in Mexico 75
  6. Composting Toilets: A Drier Alternative 92
  7. Piled Higher and Deeper – Path to a PhD 96
  8. Doing Business on the Riviera Maya 103
  9. Outback Yarns and the Nitty-Gritty of Building Wastewater Gardens 119
  10. Travelin’ Man: On the Scent of Solutions Around the World 147
  11. Preserving the Planet, One Flush at a Time! 179

The Wastewater Gardener ($23.95) has been published by Synergetic Press.



Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.