Talea

How Pee will save the world

Don't waste your pee!

Urine is a precious good which is way too valuable for just to be flushed down the toilet. Here are some of the things that show how pee and poo will help save humanity.

Enlarge

Ink in water - Fascinating patterns created by yellow ink mixing with water By: Leonardo Aguiar

1. Indicate Health

How's your pee been looking lately? Urine's colors and smells works as the perfect indicator for all kind of deseases. It can reveal blood disorder, or whether you're dehydrated, a common health issue during summer months. Furthermore, urine is playing a key role in uncovering how environmental toxins like BPA are finding their way into our bodies and, more importantly, how those toxins are impacting our health.

2. Track the Time

For climate scientists, ancient, accumulated, dried-out animal-urine is a goldmine. Studying urine layers can be used to track our changing climate - much like ice cores or tree rings. Within the exploration of the liquid gold, scientists check the urine for pollen, bits of leaves, grasses and gas bubbles. Regarding this matter, some animals-urine is more suitable than others: The urine of the small African mammal Rock Hyrax is especially thick, viscous and dries quickly. Perfect material!

3. Grow our food

Using urine as fertilizer instead of petro-chemicals is a profitable use of an "every-day good" that will make our plants happy. There are numerous reserch studys that show how urine-fertilized plants can outperform their synthetically aided counterparts. That is not everything - using urine to fertilize our fields could save huge amounts - some scientists claim around 180,000,000 tons of CO2 - of carbon emissions! No wonder that peeing on composts and urine-seperating toilets as a remedy for gaining precious phosphorus are totally --on vogue---.

Enlarge

Urine as fertilizer - Experiment: Fertilising basil with urine , source: Wikimedia

4. Feeding ourselves (… and get water!)

This isn't actually Science Fiction, nor coming out of a survival guide for hardened adventurers trying to live on the basic and primitive. On the contrary, it's a big topic in high-tech and the future science! NASA is experimenting with forward osmosis filtering systems to create sugary, flavored energy drinks from astronauts' own waste fluids. This might be useful for the rest of us if climate change continues to disrupt the hydrological cycle. Even if we don't end up in dune-like space suits drinking our own pee, recycling waste water will gain major importance on a municipal-scale. It might even provide further incentives for us to remove the toxins from our environment so we can actually do it safely.