Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pee-cycling: join the party!

Golden Showers Garden PartyStill not convinced about the Golden Showers Party? Think I'm just a kook? Well, you may be right about that last part.

But, either way, here's an article on Pee-cycling from the New Scientist that might help convince you to join the party.

Excerpt:

You recycle your household waste. You buy locally grown food, fit low-energy light bulbs and try not to use the car unnecessarily. Maybe you even irrigate the garden with your bath water. But you've still got an environmental monster in your house. Your toilet is wrecking the planet.

Before you point to the brick you've put in the cistern, it's not about the water - well, not entirely. The big problem is pee. Your pee. Do you flush it away without a second thought? Tsk, tsk. Lose the green halo.

...

One day we may look back at our habit of flushing pee away with drinking water as staggeringly wasteful. "Water and waste are two of the greatest challenges the world faces at the moment," says Jacob Tompkins, director of Waterwise, a London-based water efficiency campaigning group. "Anything that looks at our low-efficiency way of dealing with the waste stream is extremely important."

Keeping urine out of the waste stream any way you can pays dividends. So what are you waiting for? Next time you need to take a leak, give the bathroom a miss and head straight for the flower beds. Then you can replace your green halo.

From the New Scientist articleIn Carol Steinfeld's book, Liquid Gold, she suggests to simply separate your urine yourself using either low-tech (bottle) or high-tech (urine separating toilet) and then use it around your property as a fertilizer. In healthy individuals urine is essentially sterile.

On her website, I found out that last year's Pee on Earth Day was on June 21st. How about that? The same day as Crunchy Chicken's hosted Golden Showers Garden Party. Now, that, is weird.

Anyway, sign up already. Your green halo is waiting for you.

38 comments:

Burbanmom said...

Well, piss on it, I guess if everybody else can do it, I can to.

I'll use the girl's pee, since she still goes in a "baby potty" and I have to dump it anyhow. 10:1 mixture with water, right?

Damn, Crunchy, is there ANYTHING you can't get us to try?!?!?!

TheCrone said...

I've just told my family that it's pee in a bucket here from now on; no more flushy at Wit's End!

Matt said...

You can also dump it on your compost at full strength to keep the nitrogen high and turbo charge it's composting.

Wendy said...

I wonder ... I've seen a lot of information about waste disposal, and how, well, wasteful it is, but my question is, are the statistics specific to municipal waste removal systems? I have a septic system - a tank and a leech field in my front yard. The "waste" goes into the tank from my house. The solid wastes drop to the bottom of the tank, where bacteria break it all down into a sludge that's pumped out on even years (gotta call the Blow Bros. - seriously, that's their name). The liquid is pumped out into the leech field where it flows through some layers of gravel and sand and stuff, which filters it before it goes into the ground water.

So, I guess, since my stuff is already, kind of, going into the lawn, is it considered "waste"?

Oh, and when the Blow Bros come and do the pumping, they take the sludge to a composting facility. I don't do it myself, and I don't use it on my own garden (because I don't know where, exactly, it goes), but it is composted and used somewhere.

Can I get a green cookie for having a septic system? :)

eco 'burban mom said...

Maybe my boys will be down with it... peeing on the garden and giving it a quick rinse with the garden hose is as scientific as a 10:1 ratio, right?? At least my garden will get watered on the 21st without me having to nag them!

scifichick said...

I don't have a garden, I just have some flowers in pots. Would 10:1 be OK for that too? And, would it smell in a house? I read that you can use Feline Pine kitty litter on flower beds, so I put some on my flowers at some point... That was not the brightest idea! It really smelled, and cat kept sniffing at it. I kept waiting for her to somehow get on top of the pot and do her business there instead of in the litter box. The smell finally went away after several waterings and after I kind of buried it in the pot. So, just wondering about the smell if you are indoors.

Anonymous said...

Okay I just came in on this one. But what about all the drugs people take today does that not get pee'd out? and the well absorbed by whatever your growing?

EcoDea said...

20 years ago my dad used to do that in our yard and everyone thought he was crazy... He even tried to get an article published about it, and a few months ago while going through his stuff I fould all these rejection slips from environmental magazines at the time saying it was "too much" for their readers...
I'm not that far yet, but my two boys (husband and son) always pee in the back yard!

Chile said...

I really want to do my part, so I commit to drinking an extra cup of coffee each day to increase my output.

Wendy, check the Humanure book for details on wastefulness of flushing it all away.

Hit Pay Dirt said...

As my husband likes to remind me, isn't every day Pee On Earth day???

Well, I guess I've just lost that battle with him. :P

Gillian

rachel, pe said...

Already earned my green halo yesterday. Just need to find out how often I should be fertilizing my garden with liquid gold, as I pee a LOT.

RC said...

I think your challenges are getting better and better Crunchy. This is my favorite one so far.

katecontinued said...

I'm with Rachel. It was a hoot to 'place' the 'night water' into a bucket and in the morning add the water for a 10:1 ratio. But, the raised garden bed, and potted plants didn't need to be watered. I covered the pot and waited until evening.

I go more than my garden needs. I feel I can't haul it to the community gardens. Hell, several were freaked out at my 'shower with a buddy' or use a bucket when you shower idea. Honestly, one guy thought it was so gross. *sigh*

Chad said...

My Grandfather (God rest his soul) used to piss in a jug and save it up to dump around the garden to keep the deer away.

As a man, I firmly believe that peeing outside on a tree, behind the barn or off the back deck is a God given right shared by all men, throughout time. Peeing while standing tall and proud is a gift. A gift we accepted rather than brains, common sense, communication skills, tact, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, appreciation or fashion sense.

Chile said...

Well, goodness gracious, Kate, don't tell them that you can even pee in your shower bucket to save time! They'd probably faint dead away.

arduous said...

Crunch, you've almost convinced me, and if I had a garden, or even a plant, or SOMETHING I'd do it. Is there an apartment dweller's alternative I'm not thinking of?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Arduous (and other apartment dwellers) - I'm not too sure about the houseplants. I would be concerned about the, uh, aroma. But, I'm sure your apartment grounds have some sort of vegetation on them, no? Any favorite plants that are looking dry or saggy?

There are really two parts to the whole pee-cycling:

1. adding nitrogen, etc. back to your plants/crops instead of buying soil amendments
2. keeping it out of the wastestream and saving drinking water from being flushed

So, under the spirit of #2, I think that spreading some liquid gold (surreptitiously if need be) on the parking median or whatever you have certainly would constitute joining the partay! Think of it as a guerilla movement - do it at night if you want.

In other words, think outside of the food crops box. It can go on anything vegetative.

Going Green Mama said...

Sorry, I just can't. For one thing, it just gives me bad flashbacks of the 24-hour tests I had while pregnant, and I just can't imagine eating my strawberries with it's, um, added boost.

Right now, I'll stick to scrubbing off coffee grounds from the local Starbucks.

Janice in GA said...

I'm in! I've got an empty sherbet container that works pretty well for me to pee into. Then it goes out into the yard and into the watering bucket.

Once I got over the "you want me to do WHAT????" aspect, it started to make sense.

Using it on the compost sounds like a good idea too.

arduous said...

Well, I'll think on it Crazy Chicken. But if I get arrested, I'm totally blaming you!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Arduous - well, let me know if you decide to turn to a life (or evening) of pee terrorism.

Just don't be sloshing down the hallway with a big bucket o' asparagus laden pee. That might cause a few raised eyebrows. And someone might call in the National Guard.

blondeoverboard said...

"It can go on anything vegetative."
or anyone?
ohh... innapropriate thought, innapropriate thought!!

the way the routine goes in our neck of the suburbs; the boys have their own detergent bottles with screw caps and girlchild and i share one (she's 4 still needs supervising so as not to try to fll the bottle like the boys) after each contribution, a plastic cup full of water gets added to the bottle. by morning we have 3 bottles to empty. it goes on the ornamental bed in the front yard, around the perimeter of the house in the back and, if necessary, in the neighbors bushes when her back is turned. once you get used to it, it's so simple it's almost silly. as for the medication question.... if you take medications (like prozac) that are excreted in urine you should not dump your pee on anything edible (although i hear fruit and nut trees are acceptible). it's fine for ornamentals.(i wouldn't put it in compost that was going to be used on edibles) it also helps to keep the drugs out of the water system. www.drugs.com is an informative site if you want to see if your pharmacuticals are compatible with your rhubarb

Nature Deva said...

I see nothing wrong with doing this. It's part of the whole cycle of life. We lived the whole process from the Humanure Handbook for 3 years when we lived in a yurt in the mountains. It all works well.

When I was in Herbalist school 13 years ago one of my teachers told us to save our menstrual blood in a mason jar that had some water in it(I was using a sea sponge and cloth pads so I let them soak in the water then ring out) to make a "blood tea" and to pour that around your flowers. She said her light pink hollyhocks turned blood red after a while of doing this. I did this for years in my flower beds and they loved it. I didn't try it on the garden, though.

I stopped doing this when I had a child bec. it was extra work but now I'm thinking it'd be super easy to do with a diva cup so I may try again.

Robj98168 said...

Good I went up to the upper level of the back yard and peed on my compostmaker. I done good today!

bham meg said...

I'm still wanting to know if I should do this since I'm on the pill. Yea or nay? Did that ever get answered?

Rosa said...

bham, this is just a guess, but I would think using your pee on the ground is going to be better environmentally than putting all that estrogen directly into the water supply.

Water treatment plants don't remove hormones, so so your pill pee is going directly to local fish and amphibians. At least on the ground there is a chance it will be filtered out in the soil.

Plants don't take up hormones the way animals do, so I don't see how it would be a problem...but if you're worried, put it on the flowers.

Oldnovice said...

The lower leaves on my (new this year) raspberry bushes were turning yellow, so I looked to the internets to find a homemade cure. Insufficient nitrogen, I read, cure: urea.

So, I filled an old, empty, margarine tub, carried it outside and watered my two bushes with it. Just in case it MIGHT have been too strong (which I doubted because I drink water constantly all day), I watered the base of both bushes the next day.

My husband watched me take the tub out to the bushes, but today he asked why a margarine tub was in the bathtub of the guest bathroom. After I told him, he said, "I knew there'd be a good reason."

Anonymous said...

Fine, I'll do it. It's a little sad how much influence you have over me. Please remember to always use your power for good....

melanietai said...

sign me up! i am an apartment dweller with a balcony container garden. too much pee for only them. in the woods behind the property are blueberries, raspberries and chokecherries, i'm sharing the love.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Anonymous - what do you want me to refer to you as? I can keep it as anonymous, but that somehow seems like cheating :)

Sue in the Western Great Basin said...

I'm in -- I've been doing this for the last few weeks anyway. First I put it on the potted seedlings (diluted, of course). Just did that once, that seemed like enough for a while. Then I started just pouring it straight on the compost pile or into garden beds that hadn't been planted yet. But I was adding more pee to the compost than anything else! I decided perhaps that was too much. I was at a loss as to how not to waste this wonderful resource, when I realized that I'm going to all these efforts to make my garden deer-proof, and I need all the help I can get for that! So now each day's output gets poured along part of the garden fence perimeter. Every now and then I'll put it in the compost instead (or dilute it to put on the garden directly, which I will do on the 21st).

eco 'burban mom said...

I forgot to mention that the 21st is my youngest son's 4th birthday. Yep, he's a summer solstic baby! Does he get special birthday peeing priveledges? Like a special festive bowl with balloons? Anything?!? :o) Just being allowed to pee outside might be present enough for him!!

Riana Lagarde said...

pee ice cubes. in the pitcher of greywater. summertime! refreshing! ok just an image to ponder.

i posted about our liquid gold (great book btw)on flickr, got a good response
http://www.flickr.com/photos/81951381@N00/2569339569/

Leila said...

I get chemotherapy three times a month. It occurs to me that I should *not* be peeing in my yard at all because God only knows what the drugs will do to the garden. Crunchy, you have some experience with this lifestyle (all chemo, all the time) - what do you think?

Andy in San Diego said...

Wow! My tomatoes are much happier now.

Chile said...

Got a slogan for ya, Crunchy.

"Miracle-Flo - it's better than the corporate fertilizers and the packaging is all natural."

homebrewlibrarian said...

I'm going to have to get creative with where to dispense all this fine fertilizer! And I'm only doing collecting first thing in the morning! So far the corn plants, prinsepia shrubs, currant plants and blueberries have been recipients. Tomorrow my tomato starts. The compost has gotten a couple of drenchings as well. Sheesh. Once I get more stuff in the ground, that will help but not today!

I almost wish we had a deer problem - well, we do but in the winter. Moose tend to forage through my neighborhood in the winter and human urine doesn't even slow them down. Peeing along the perimeter won't accomplish much except a whole lot of very happy grass!

Kerri in AK

Freth said...

have you already covered the commentary from the HUMANURE book?
http://www.josephjenkins.com/books_humanure.html

or read it online at:
http://weblife.org/humanure/default.html

This really saves on wasted water ... and the costs of cleaning it up so it can be re-used.

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