Anybody that lives with pets will be familiar with animal lavatorial habits. Cats and dogs –often gravitate to plants in a yard to use as their potty. There’s comfort in familiarity for our furry friends, and as a bonus, they get to claim territory. What you may not know is that doing the same may bolster the growth of your garden greenery.
According to the Rich Earth Institute, a year of human urine offers enough fertilizer to feed an adult for the same period. That’s right – you should consider tossing your chemical fertilizer in the recycling and skipping out on flushing the toilet. Instead, embrace nature and take a wild pee. You’ll be doing the environment a world of good.
The science behind this, admittedly unsavory-sounding, practice is thus. Over a year, the average adult passes up to 150 gallons of water. In doing so, nitrogen (9 lbs), potassium (2 lbs), and phosphorous (1 lb) are unleashed into the atmosphere.
Combined, these macro-nutrients are known as “NPK,” with the name stemming from their symbols on the period table of elements.
150 gallons of urine contains enough NPK to fertilize grains to grow 365 loaves of bread per year. That may not sound too appealing – even if we ignore the origin of the fertilizer, nobody wants to eat bread daily. As the fertilizer creates grain, however, the options for eventual foodstuffs are legion. All it takes are a few additional ingredients.
Perhaps best of all, we should not be squeamish about the idea of using urine as a fertilizer. Presently, commercial fertilizers that you would pick up from a store are created using gas.
Fracking is often required to capture these gases, making them an environmental disaster. In addition, other ingredients are obtained through mining – and becoming increasingly rare.
By making use of urine, we recycle vitamins and minerals from the human body. Such an approach negates the need to disturb Mother Earth in the quest for fertilizer.
Now, before you place a lock on your toilet door, there are a few things you should know. If you’re using urine to fertilize garden growth, dilute it with 90% tap water.
An excess of pure, concentrated urine can provide too many nutrients, causing more harm than good in the longer term. If this sounds like a lot of work, build a compost pile. Undiluted urine speeds up the composting process. Whichever way you adopt this practice, consider doing so. The planet will thank you for it.