Al Gore has put his money where his, uh, urine is. The former VEEP and current environmental leader has invested in waterless urinals as a way to save energy and fresh water. I’ve used them, and I assume that Al tested them before investing as well. It’s something we have in common. These flushless, odor free urinals are a seemingly small step, but a significant one.
A recent article in Christian Science Monitor lays out the benefits of passing water without passing it through water. We all know that fresh water is a strained resource all over the world. Every drop counts. According to a report for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, a waterless urinal saves one to three gallons of fresh water per flush, compared with a normal model. Take a big office building or university campus with 10,000 men in it, peeing several times daily. That represents a savings of nearly 16 million gallons a year.
Waterless urinals have been installed everywhere from ballparks in the USA to the Taj Mahal in India. Still, less than 1% of the world’s urinals are waterless. With fresh water resources stressed all over the globe, pardon the pun, that should piss you off.
Some people think the idea of waterless urinals is gross. But they are well designed to let the stream flow, so to speak, while using special sealants and designs to keep odors out. Regular urinals, which are wet all the time, actually grow biofilms of growing organisms. And flushing creates a spray that lands on the rim, floor and as I can attest, sometimes the user, creating a breeding ground for bugs and germs.
Human urine is sterile and can be captured and made into fertilizer – it’s full of nitrogen. This waste to resource approach saves dollars and avoids petroleum based fertilizers, as well as avoids flushing nitrogen rich water into streams and oceans where they create algal blooms that suck the oxygen out of the water killing fish. And you thought peeing on your mother’s bushes was a killer.
A green-product company Ecovita in New Bedford, Mass has a urine diverting toilet and a waterless urinal that can be directed to a self-contained planter. This waterless urinal can also be used by women and is available on their website. Ornamental plants use the nitrogen in the urine- don’t tell the neighbors why the flowers are so fragrant!
Al Gore’s investment, Falcon Water Free Technologies has models that come in several styles and true to “guy stuff”, come with snappy names, from the F-1000 on the left, to the slimmer F-7000 and the sleek stainless F-9000SS! Why pee in an old plodding urinal when you can use one of these sleek models named like a jet plane?
The Benefits of a waterless urinal:
Cheaper to buy than flush urinals
Cheaper to maintain – no moving parts to break or leak
No water costs to operate
No more teenage boys stopping them up and flooding the men’s room
Water savings – one urinal can save up to 40,000 gallons of fresh water annually
Energy savings from water that does not need to be pumped, piped, or treated
So men, stand up for waterless urinals! I mean, you’re standing anyway, right? Take matters in hand, so to speak, and hold your water until there’s no more water in your urinal! Ok, enough for now. All this writing and drinking coffee has gotten to me. I gotta go “water the garden.” And when you gotta go, you gotta go. Here, watch this video until I get back.
Related Greenopolis posts:The Old Man and…the Urinal?
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