Truth be told, I can hardly even stand to think it …
Pee (wince) cycling.
You did read “pee.”
Oh, merciful milk cows.
Believe it or not, this cringe-worthy concept is for real.
In fact, it may actually indicate that we, the world, are moving in the right direction.
Allow me to elaborate:
In Amsterdam (I know—those, uhm, innovative Dutch), the public powers-that-be are already (you guessed it) collecting … uhm … pee.
Amsterdam’s utility company, Waternet, launched the Green Urine initiative (yes, really) in order to fertilize public gardens and vegetated rooftops around the city.
“It turns out that urine is packed with nitrogen and phosphorus, the two main elements of fertilizer,” explains Justin Gammill of Earth911.com. “So much so, that when wastewater is treated, the nitrogen and phosphorus are purposefully removed because it would cause insane algae growth when the treated water was added back to a standing water source, such as a lake or river.”
Waternet set up multiple urinals in the city that were designed to process the urine in such a way that “struvite” (magnesium ammonium phosphate) is extracted and dried to a powder that can be used to help plants grow.
Photo by alan_adriana via Inhabitat.com
I guess women aren’t yet … contributing … to the effort. But should I ever visit, I could use my female camper’s GO GIRL! FUD (female urinary device) that allows me to stand when, I, uhm, take aim. Along with maybe a portable privacy curtain?????? Good heavens.
Andri Antoniades of TakePart.com writes, “Waternet is just the latest group to jump on the pee-cycling bandwagon. In 2007, researchers in Finland actually did go door-to-door collecting urine from locals. That untreated wastewater was used to successfully fertilize small crops of vegetables such as cucumbers and cabbage—all of which the researchers reported tasting delicious.”
Mmmm … had enough?
Just one more thought—Antoniades also argues, “In addition to making agricultural methods more sustainable, urine-based fertilizer could help boost food production and heighten sanitation in developing countries, particularly in small communities where wastewater treatment simply isn’t available.”
Are you seeing the potential here? (Emphasis on the letter “p”).
Go ahead, let your thoughts flow. Me? I’m going with the flow should the occasion (or peecycling urinal with a DOOR) ever present itself. Now I could stand for that.