Like most people who grew up after April 22, 1970, I think it is important to be as environmentally responsible as possible. Like many I fail miserably much of the time, but at least I feel guilty about it. Recycling offers the opportunity to feel good about my environmental impact with little effort, since the garbage collection infrastructure in Portland makes recycling easy.
Some products are best extensively reprocessed before reused. Urine, as an example. There are proponents of topical and/or drinking urine as a treatment/cure for nearly any illnesses. The kidneys are mostly responsible for fluid and electrolyte balance and I realize that normal urine is mostly water, salts, urea and a smattering of other very dilute molecules. I have the urine tox screen to prove it. Urine is not a particularly noxious body fluid, but it is not high on my list of liquids to drink under normal circumstances.
Urine is mostly water but not an optimal source of water if it is your only source for fluids. Urine drinkers love to mention the occasional trapped earthquake victim who survives, in part, from drinking their own urine. For the first several days the urine would be dilute enough to keep people reasonably hydrated, as humans cannot concentrate urine as well as, say, a camel. So I can see where consuming urine for a short period of time would delay progressive dehydration and death. A couple days of drinking urine neat, shaken not stirred, would be harmless and, if there were no alternative sources of water, beneficial. I do suffer from the societal taboo that piss is icky, and for aesthetic reasons urine is not something I would want to consume, even when it is referred to as its more common designation ‘Coors Light’. (more…)