The use of properly diluted fresh urine as a nutrient source for house and kitchen garden plants is a safe and effective practice that protects human life and promotes a healthy environment.
While all extreme sounding to western culture, this practice has been common place for public works for decades in other countries.
-Urine is not an effective vector for disease (as opposed to solid human waste) which makes it safe and simple to use as fertilizer.
-Urine has pretty much the same salt, mineral and general other constituents as the ubiquitous moist, crystalline, blue houseplant food concentrate.
-Said houseplant food company strip-mines and mountain-top-removal-mines for the same salt and mineral content as human urine.
-The aforementioned mountains are sometimes home to indigenous populations of humans that are then “displaced” in order to access the money, I mean, materials under them.
-Urine is free.
-Urine is plentiful.
-The average American urinates into about 12 gallons of potable water each day, or 4,380 gallons a year, turning 1.25 years worth of drinking water for one human into black water.
-Black water contaminates drinking water sources, lakes, rivers and bays, posing a health risk to humans and suffocating greater ecosystems.
What to do?
-House plants: Mix fresh urine with water 1:9 (e.g. 1 cup urine to 9 cups H2O) and water as usual. Repeat every other time you water your plant(s).
-Herbs and veggies: Mix fresh urine with water 1:5 and water as usual. Repeat every other time you water your garden.
You will need to supplement with iron (compost, worm castings, blood meal, menses) after a year or so. But, you will have to do that with the store bought stuff, too, in most cases.
Happy planting. Remember, the sun will swallow Earth someday so affect change for the better today!
Q: Can I do orchids?
A: Absolutely. Follow ratios above for houseplants (or even half strength), feed only ONCE PER WEEK and make sure to allow nutrient solution to flow through pot as opposed to pooling in roots/media -same would go for any watering of orchids. I put my indoor orchids into the unplugged bathtub and feed to avoid overflows and sogginess.
Q: If I water my veggies with it, like you say, am I eating urine come harvest time?
A: If you rinse, as you would for any produce, you are following best practices and will be safe. You are eating minerals that the plants have extracted from the urine, but just as it would from soil, manure, or petroleum-based nutrient sources; you are what you eat.
Q: What about the smell?
A: (Part 1/2) It will not have a detectable odor any more than that store bought blue house plant food. Having said that, dilution is key with both. Most people look at the directions and think, ‘If a little is good, a lot is better.’ This adage perfectly sums up the fine line between nutrient source and pollution, and more accurate would be, ‘If a little is nutrient, a lot is pollution,’ store bought or homemade.
(Part 2/2) Also, don’t save it up for later. Aside from starting to smell, the precious nitrogen your plants need will escape into the atmosphere if let to sit for more than a few hours. Besides, you will make more pee, I promise.
Q: How best do I “collect” my urine?
A: First thing in the morning is ideal as it’s the most mineral rich, but any ‘time’ is fine. Ladies may find it easiest to use a watering can/plant pitcher with a wide mouth; men, the world is your pee pot oyster.
Q: If I’m on medication/supplements?
A: The one precaution would be to avoid using urine from a course of antibiotics. Wait two weeks before feeding plants again. Antibiotics are basically a nuke bomb on the rich micro-biotic life that is the biome of soil, turning fertile soil into wasteland.
Q: How come dog pee kills lawns if urine is so good for plants?
A: See Smell question/answer above (part 1/2)
Q: First you said that urine isn’t unsafe and then went on to say that it’s a health risk in drinking water; which is it?
A: Both, really. Urine is high in nitrogen and, like any fertilizer, is perfectly fine to consume after having been metabolized by a plant and turned into sugars and carbon. Nitrogen consumed by mammals “uncut” starves hemoglobin (and as a result, the brain) of oxygen. Following that pattern, excess nitrogen in bodies of water causes algal blooms which starve the aquatic ecosystem of oxygen.
Q: Why are you like this?
A: I’m not exactly sure, but I am concerned about the plummeting levels of biodiversity/stability of the ecosystem of the planet as a result of slipping into the anthropocene.
I was pleased to see this fairly recent article which has referenced other sources as well; so, enjoy the rabbit hole of amazing data. https://psmag.com/news/liquid-gold-why-flushing-a-toilet-is-a-colossal-waste