Plan now for Pee-on-Earth Day 2024

In just two days, it’s time for everyone’s favorite holiday — Pee-on-Earth Day!

When you flush your urine down the toilet, you use a gallon or more of drinking water. From there, your urine enters the stream of wastewater, typically joining human feces to be processed in a wastewater treatment plant or a septic system. By treating urine like feces, our society wastes clean water and energy (energy to purify the drinking water, and energy to run the wastewater treatment plant).

Here in the northern hemisphere, human urine doesn’t spread pathogens. And human urine actually makes a pretty good fertilizer, for plants that want a lot of nitrogen. So instead of flushing urine away, you can spread it directly on plants, although urine is such a concentrated fertilizer you probably will want to dilute it so you don’t give the plants fertilizer burn.

Pee-on-earth bumper sticker. Image (c) Carol Steinfeld, used by permission.

The one problem with human urine as a fertilizer is that First World humans tend to eat way too much salt, and excess salt gets processed out of our bodies through our urine. There are a number of ways to deal with this problem. First, you could eat less salt, which would be good for your health. Alternatively, you can spread urine on a compost pile; some salt will leach out during composting, plus the addition of other compostables will lessen the concentration of the remaining salt significantly. Composting is probably the best alternative, because when you compost urine you can adjust the inputs to the compost to balance the high nitrogen content of the urine.

My spouse, Carol, who writes about ecological pollution prevention strategies, invented the term “peecycling” to describe recycling urine as a fertilizer. She peecycles year round, using urine collection bottles made of used plastic juice bottles (thus turning a single-use plastic bottle into a multiple-use peecycling jug). We’re apartment dwellers, but we have a tiny side yard where we have a compost pile. Then we use the compost to fertilize our tiny eight foot square garden.

However, not everyone can peecycle year round. That’s why Carol has declared June 21, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, as Pee-on-Earth Day. Everyone can save at least some of their urine and return it to the earth on Pee-on-Earth Day. Find or make a peecycling jug now, so you’re ready for June 21!

Learn more in Carol’s book, Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine To Grow Plants. Order her book online here. UPDATE: Carol’s webhosting service has bonked her website — if you want a copy of the book, leave a comment or email me and I’ll make sure you get one. (If you order it through Amazon, Carol gets almost nothing from the sale, so if possible please order direct from her.)

(By the way, I’m the one who coined the phrase “liquid gold” to describe reusing urine, some thirty years ago. It’s my one claim to literary fame.)

Emblem saying "Urine Charge — Take Life Full Circle!"

Pee-on-earth Day is June 21!

It’s that time of year again — if you’re in the northern hemisphere, get ready to pee on the earth! June 21 is annual Pee-on-earth Day, a day to urinate outside.

By urinating outside, you don’t have to use water for flushing. As climate change gets weirder we’re going to have more droughts, so why waste drinking water to flush your pee? Besides, it’s fun to pee outdoors. At least, as long as no one can see you. And if someone can see you, just pee in a bottle and then spread your pee on some needy plant outdoors. Urine makes good high-nitrogen fertilizer, though you might want to dilute it first.

You can learn more about Pee-on-earth Day from its originator, Carol Steinfeld (she’s my spouse) here. She even wrote a book about it titled Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine To Grow Plants. If you want to order a copy, leave me a comment and I’ll try to get you a deal….

Pee on Earth Day 2014

Pee on Earth Day is an annual holiday designed to remind us that we are an integral part of the water cycle. Pee on Earth Day is celebrated on the first day of summer (June 21 for the northern hemisphere), since it is likely to be warmest then, and we don’t want to freeze any delicate bits.

I just celebrated Pee on Earth Day. It is somewhat challenging to do so in an urban setting. Let’s just say I waited until dark, and now there is a very happy plum tree.

Conclusion of youth service trip

Here’s the rest of the story about the youth service trip….

We finished up with Habitat for Humanity on Thursday, June 20. From there, we drove to the Big Oak Canyon site of Earthroots Field School, in Silverado Canyon east of Los Angeles. We worked there on Friday, June 21, helping prune and rehabilitate an abandoned orchard, and doing some trail maintenance. We camped at Big Oak Canyon — half of us slept outside under the stars. (Since June 21 was Pee on Earth Day, several of us celebrated the day by avoiding the portapotty when possible.) Then on Saturday, June 22, we drove back up to Palo Alto.

Starting tomorrow — Sunday, June 23 — Carol and I start driving across the country to visit family.

(Posted on July 1, and backdated.)

Pee on Earth Day is June 21

Don’t forget that Pee on Earth Day is June 21 in the northern hemisphere. According to Carol, clean water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity in many parts of the world, so flushing urine (which is basically sterile) down the drain with a couple of gallons of perfectly good drinking water doesn’t make sense. Make a political statement tomorrow, and promote pee on earth.

More information, including proper urine/water dilution ratio for plants, can be found here.