100 gallons of urine generated annually per person could grow more than 300 pounds of wheat

June 14, 2013

 

100 gallons of urine generated annually per person could be used to grow more than 300 pounds of wheat, which is enough wheat for one person for an entire year.Quote:"Each year, Americans produce 31 billion gallons of prime fertilizer: water-soluable nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. "We excrete the same quantity of elemental nutrients as we eat, and that's the same amount plants need to grow," says Abraham Noe-Hays, research director at the Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. The 100 gallons of urine each of us generates annually, he says, could be used to grow more than 300 pounds of wheat - enough to keep a person in bread for a year. This year the institute is conducting a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded test in which 3,000 gallons of donated urine will be sprayed on a Vermont hay field. In a smaller trial last year, a treated field yielded 5.8 times more hay than an untreated one. "We're creating sustainable fertilizer out of something that pollutes rivers and streams," Noe-Hays says. "We're closing a loop that has been broken" (page 20).

 

Amber Waves, "The Next Big Thing: In the future, will pee solve all our problems?" Sierra Magazine, 98, no. 5 (2013), 20

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