Using human urine as fertilizer
Okay, that sounds strange. But scientists in Finland demonstrated that human liquid combined with wood ash promotes the growth of cabbages, cucumbers and tomatoes better than industrial fertilizers.
In fact, organic gardeners in Europe and the US have already started using urine in their own backyard that yields more plentiful produce.
In an experiment, environmental scientists harvested beets that were 10% and 27% bigger using urine and urine-ash mixture, respectively, compared to traditional compost.
Chemical analysis showed that urine contains the same ingredients as mineral fertilizers — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Blind-testing showed that there was not much difference in beet taste using urine-based and common fertilizers.
Further, urine is safer to use than fecal material, which contains pathogens like salmonella organisms and coliforms. Even astronauts drink purified urine in space.
The acceptability of this new finding is encouraged by environmentalists in a recent journal publication. Challenges may arise from remodeling of sewage systems that would collect and transport liquid waste.
Researchers also stress that using urine as fertilizer will strengthen crop production and enhance the hygiene situation in developing countries as well as boost the sustainability of sewage in industrialized countries.
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