This brilliant video comes from the Brazilian environmental group, SOS Mata Atlantica, who are encouraging local citizens to save around 4,380 litres (1,157 gallons) of water per household per year simply by having a pee in the shower. It’s such a straightforward concept but the environmental impact is immense and I truly believe that this easy to implement eco-tip should be followed by everyone, no matter where you happen to live in the world.
Even here in the soggy UK it’s so very important to use our water wisely. If you were ever wondering about why we need to save water when it seems to fall so abundantly then take a look at the following facts.
- Due to the size of the UK (fairly small) and the size of the population here (really quite large and growing) the lack of space for reservoirs means there is less water available per person in the UK than in countries such as sunny Spain & Portugal
- When water in the reservoirs is running low we “borrow” water from the surrounding rivers, lakes & wetlandS. This causes the water levels to fall meaning there’s less food for the fish, less room for them to swim in and most vitally, less oxygen for them to breathe – so the fish die. Numbers of freshwater fish worldwide have almost halved since 1970, purely because of our increased demand for water.
- Diminished wetlands means that there are not only fewer fish, but fewer water dwelling insects too, meaning there’s less food and natural habitats for a whole range of birds and water dwelling animals such as otters and voles. Life and death situations happen every day, all because we are so wasteful with our resources.
Water is vital for our existence. We can live for weeks with no food, but only a couple of days with no water. That being said, we actually need very little water in order to get by. All it takes is a couple of litres a day to keep us going. To maintain hygiene as well that number increases to around 25 litres per person per day, yet in developed countries we actually use around 500-800 litres of precious water every single day.
What makes this even more stupid is that here in the UK all of the water that is piped into our houses is treated before and after it’s used in the home, whether we are drinking it or flushing it down the loo. And we pay (fairly extortionate) rates for that to happen! So it makes sense to cut back on what we use just for the selfish reason of saving money.
You don’t just have to pee in the shower; urine can be used all over the place. Why not have a wee around your plants of an evening? Not only can this help to keep the neighbourhood cats out of your begonias, but the high levels of phosphate and nitrogen in urine act as an important fertilizer and will actually help your plants grow. Ideally you should dilute it with water at a ratio of 1:10 to avoid burning your plants. You can pee on your compost heap to help the process of decomposition along or around your chicken coop to keep the foxes away. The New York Times has even cited “Yellow as the new Green” with calls for wide-spread use of “urine-diversion” toilets to stop this precious resource from being flushed away.
Urine is sterile and can be used to treat wounds, bites and stings. It has even been used as a rudimentary gas-mask during World War 1. During a gas attack men would put urine soaked cloths over their faces as the ammonia in the urine counteracts the effects of the chlorine in the gas. It doesn’t stop there. New technology is being developed that could see urine being used as a way to generate fuel for hydrogen powered cars. It’s a peeing revolution!
Oh, and if this is all a bit much for you, maybe you think peeing in the shower or anywhere else is “DISGUSTING!” Just remember – If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. Simple.