Planes, Grains, and Peeing on Meals

Next time you flush the toilet, think about all the CO2 you are releasing into the atmosphere.

No, you are not personally releasing gases into the atmosphere when you tug down on that handle and see the water spinning, but we could offset about half of total airline carbon emissions if we used urine to make fertilizer instead of petro chemicals, says Treehugger.

Historically, human excrements were used to fertilize soil in China, Korea, and Japan. Now, with the invention of toilets, humans are flushing these valuable nutrients away into rivers and oceans where they cannot be used for creating rich soil, says Treehugger.  Instead the wastes are wasted, making water undrinkable and killing off sea creatures, says Low Tech Magazine.

Humans and livestock together produce 166 million tons of Nitrogen and 72 million tons of phosphates, which is almost all wasted when flushed down into sewage systems. In the meantime, "factories produce 99.9 million tons of artificial Nitrogen fertilizer and 37 million tons of phosphates," says Low Tech Magazine.
And the demand for fertilizer and human waste can only get worse with population growth. Kris De Decker from Low Tech Magazine says that suburbia may be a notion of the past, and that spreading out the population over space is the best answer.

Some other options are: decentralized composting toilets, vacuum sewer systems, spreading sewage sludge, or even physically peeing on compost piles!

Of course there is opposition to fertilizing food with human waste. But if everyone considered alternatives to the current waste processing system, then we could really reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for fertilizer.

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