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Liquid Gold

The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants
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Paperback Book
New Society
April, 2007
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Banyen's Description: 

Every day, each person urinates away enough nutrients to grow enough food to sustain one human being for a full day. In fact, most of the nutrients in domestic wastewater come from human urine—nutrients that end up in wastewater treatment plants, surface waters and groundwater. That’s a lot of potential fertilizer discarded every day.

Liquid Gold starts with a humorous short history of urine use. Tobacco leaves were soaked in young women’s urine to make Cuban cigars, Native Americans made “Chinook olives” by dipping acorns in it, and it played a role in the cheese factories of Germany. Urine also has a long and colourful history as a remedy or antidote for a variety of maladies.

Today, using urine (usually sterile in a healthy population) to fertilize plants is a scientifically proven solution. In Sweden, housing communities use special urine-diverting toilets to collect urine, treat it, and use it to amend soil that grows animal feed crops. For individuals and small property owners, Steinfeld shows  how urine can safely be used to grow food, fuel, fibre and beautiful landscapes while protecting the environment and providing free and safe fertilizer. Several advocates of urine diversion and their urine-fertilized gardens are profiled, showing that this practice is feasible, safe and cost-saving.

Humorous drawings by Malcolm Wells throughout the book make this a must-read for every bathroom, and an enlightening problem-solver for environmental planners dealing with the nutrient pollution of our waters.

Also by Carol Steinfeld is The Composting Toilet System Book.

Publisher’s Description: 

A humorous guide to fertilizing your plants for free!Nitrogen pollution of lakes, rivers and oceans by human urine is a growing problem. Liquid Gold shows how urine can safely be used to grow food, fuel, fiber and beautiful landscapes while protecting the environment and providing free and safe fertilizer. Featuring a short history of urine use -- from ritual to medicinal and even culinary -- and many whimsical illustrations, this great bathroom reader is an ideal gift for irreverent gardeners, homeowners, campers, environmentalists and anyone who urinates.

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