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Question From an ECing Family

Q: I've heard that urine can be used in the garden. Is that unsanitary and won't it kill the plants?

A: Actually, urine from a healthy human is sterile and mostly contains water and nutrients. There are many benefits to using urine to water and fertilize plants including saving money on water and fertilizer, adding extra nutrients to soil and compost, and accelerating the composting process. Children enjoy contributing to the garden and watching an Earth cycle unfold.

Urine is high in nitrates which can damage some plants in its pure form, though. Undiluted urine can be used in the compost pile to help speed the composting process. A 50/50 mixture of urine and water could also be used in the compost bin. If you want to use urine to water plants then it could be diluted with a 10/1 ratio of water to urine, though trees, bushes, and lawns can handle direct application.

For tips on public pottying in the great outdoors, see Strategies For Public Pottying IPT Fall 2006, Questions and Surveys.


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