Danish people may be ahead of us, and this new idea is going to demonstrate it again: ‘From piss to pilsner’ is a new project that will collect the urine of festival goers of the Danish music festival Roskilde… the urine will be stored in tanks then ship out to nearby farms in order to fertilize barley, the plant used to make beer of course! So basically the urine produced by beer consumption will be used for beer production, doesn’t this seem perfect? No waste at all and 100% recycling.
On the Danish Agriculture & Food Council website, you can read: ‘If everything turns out as planned, guests at the Roskilde Festival 2017 will be served beer fertilized with their own urine.’
I know what you think, it’s yucky, but it is actually very scientific, research shows that human pee is actually a good fertilizer. Two environmental scientists at the University of Kuopio in Finland have recently demonstrated it: ‘It is totally possible to use human urine as a fertilizer instead of industrial fertilizer,’ declared researcher Heinonen-Tanski. Why not? Urine contains urea, a good source of nitrogen, plus potassium and phosphorus, all needed by plants and found in fertilizers. Plus it is always available, a typical human urinates about 500 liters per year, and about 200 of them must be produced during music festivals! Another advantage? Urine is sterile, very clean when it leaves the body, so if it is stored appropriately, it is bacteria-free. Plus more than 90% of urine is water, and we should not forget this small detail in these times of severe drought.
Of course you have to separate urine from the rest and for this, people will need to pee in a long metal trough, which will be difficult for women! Unless they get a little help: ’female performers and festivalgoers are being encouraged to join in with free cardboard ‘urine directors’ that we’re handing out next to the urinals,’ said Marie Grabow Westergaard from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council. I don’t see this happening in the states though!
‘The huge amount of urine produced at festivals was having a negative impact on the environment and the sewage system,’ said Leif Nielsen from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, ‘but beercycling will turn the urine into a resource. I think most people can see the reason and the fun behind making a personal contribution to beer brewing, and the fact that rock music is involved will help us get our message across.’
Obviously, Roskilde has other eco-friendly initiatives, and this new one shows how the organizers seem dedicated to the cause. I was outraged by the amount of waste left on the field after Glastonbury festival just a week ago, and hopefully we can learn from Danish people!
I just have a problem with the system, with all the drug consumption going on during festivals, and ending, yes, in urine, will this affect the environment?
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