Urine Luck! "Peecycling:" the Next Trend in Sustainability
You’ve heard of recycling, and even upcycling, but there’s a new cycle in town. "Pee-cycling" is the gateway to truly living a sustainable lifestyle. This sterile human waste can be converted into a valuable fertilizer. And 2016 is the year it will happen in the U.S.
The stuff that makes up plant food: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, are all secreted in the average person’s urine. Budget-conscious consumers know that they don’t need to pay top dollar for fertilizer when they can just make it themselves. Plus, since it’s usually sterile, using it as plant food is generally safe: Even the World Health Organization has guidelines for reusing urine in agriculture.
Several wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. have been making and donating biosolids to farmers for years. But the practice has been considered controversial up until now.
Although this trend is just starting to become mainstream (some might still consider it midstream) in the U.S., according to National Geographic, "peecyling" can be documented back to 1867 and is a mainstream notion elsewhere in the world. Nepalese studies have tracked the efficacy of using urine to fertilize sweet peppers and Amsterdam's water facility held public demonstrations to encourage men to use public urinals to collect their urine for use in rooftop gardens.
So think about how you can incorporate pee-cycling into your daily activities, and how can your business capitalize on this upcoming trend.
There's no such thing as waste, only waste of resources.
It All Tastes Like Chicken. We Swear.
In an effort to return back to nature and cut back on carbon footprints, edible pets are on the rise.
Today’s homesteaders and DIYers, proud backyard chicken and goat farmers, have added other high protein animals to their farmettes. From bunnies and ducks to guinea pigs and snakes, these animals are plenty of fun while they’re alive and tasty when they’re on the dinner table.
“The idea of the good life is rapidly changing,” says Suzanne McCoy president of Garden Media. “People are not only concerned about what they’re putting in their gardens, but also about what’s on their plates. They’re taking charge of the entire food chain — even using organic animal droppings to fertilize their gardens.”
With most millennials just being dirt poor, raising and eating pets enables this generation to save on groceries and still feel like they’re splurging on the organic food they crave. The added responsibility of taking care of live animals is a bonus for this generation that’s tired of playing Farmville on their smartphones.
“There used to be this stigma attached to eating your pets,” says millennial Latie Dubow. “But no one cares about that anymore. I’m more concerned about where the food I’m feeding my baby is coming from and there’s no better place than from my backyard. Since you can put practically anything in a stew, we’re raising goats, fish and even some smaller creatures so my daughter can grow up playing and eating all kinds.”
Garden companies can capitalize on this new lifestyle by offering organic pet foods and hosting pot luck events.
Stay tuned in 2016 for our full complement of garden trends.