Photo: Abe Noe-Hays/Rich Earth Institute

You care about the environment, you say. You compost your organic wastes and recycle the rest. But what about your pee? Do you peecycle? No? What kind of a treehugger are you?

Everybody pees. In fact, Americans produce about 30 billion gallons of urine every year. That, according to Kim Nace of Rich Earth Institute, represents a valuable resource that most of us just flush away. Instead, Nace proposed that we recycle our urine and use it as fertilizer as it is a "local, accessible, free, sanitary source of nitrogen and phosphorus."

In other words, if you need a natural fertilizer, urine luck!

But how good is urine as fertilizer anyways? Last year, the Institute carried out an experiment to test it.

Photo: Betty Jenewin/Rich Earth Institute

As reported by National Geographic, that thanks to sixty enthusiastic community members, the Institute collected 600 gallons of urine to fertilize a field of hay in a Brattleboro, Vermont, farm. A 50/50 mix of urine and water was applied to a test strip of land. The result was impressive:

Photo: Abe Noe-Hays/Rich Earth Institute

Rich Earth Institute co-founder and Research Director Abe Noe-Hays said in an interview in the Bennington Banner, "the amount of nutrients in a year's worth of urine from one person is almost all the fertilizer needed to grow food for that person in that span."

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(Sigh!) If soil is deficient in nitrogen, then urine can be a marvelous fertilizer and will not burn. For best results, either have it tested or use a balanced fertilizer (eg. 15-15-15) Spreading unprocessed human waste, even with he best of intentions, is illegal in most places.
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My great grandmother used to grow the BEST tomatoes. When asked how they turned out so wonderful, she responded that she peed on them. Whether she did or not, I don't know, but they were some damn good tomatoes!

PS: She was born in, raised in and died in Vermont.
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I've read that straight urine will burn roots, so I'd dilute it if I was to do this, but I never use fertilizers because they're salts, and my theory is with all the road & side walk salts that have built up over the decades if I put any more salt into the soil, it'll end up like 'Idiocracy'. "It's got electrolytes" = it has salt. I've never had a problem with garden plants needing fertilizer, and I think it's a short term gain vs. a long term turn the world into a desert planet like Mars thing.
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