Thursday, August 13, 2009
We in the western world have always had an aversion to our own bodily fluids. We seem to take the attitude that if it leaves our body we must dispose of it with the same care and disgust as we would toxic waste.
If only we were so careful about what we allow into our bodies. Or, possibly, realizing what we put in, we are loathe to deal with anything that comes out.
There has been a grassroots movement for many years that takes the slogan:
"If it's yellow - let it mellow. If it's brown - flush it down."
I can hear you all going "eeewwwww" at the thought of not flushing after every urination; but, urine is sterile even after exiting the body. There are no health hazards to not flushing after every urination and every flush saved is 3.5 gallons of water that can be used elsewhere. Due to the world-wide shortage of water, it is our duty to be responsible with the water we have.
Don't forget that the treated water that comes out of our taps for drinking is the same treated water that is diverted to your toilet. We have no ability to separate drinking water from toilet water; and as a result, treat many billions gallons of water that could be used for cooking and drinking flushing them literally down the toilet.
However, a similar type of conservationism is being promoted by a Brazilian environmental group.
The spots urge citizens to save water — by urinating in the shower.
The group, SOS Mata Atlantica, estimates that each household in Brazil could conserve 1,157 gallons of water annually by avoiding one flush a day. The total population of Brazil is 188 million. The potential water savings here is enormous.
The humorous spots, which are narrated by children, feature cartoon drawings of people from all walks of life — a basketball player, trapeze artist and even an alien — urinating in the shower.
The ads wrap with: "Pee in the shower! Save the Atlantic rainforest!"
Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at St. Louis University says, "It's fine because urine is sterile. We have no bacteria or viruses in our urine, which is why if patients aren't feeling well, we can culture it. Plus, water from the shower and toilet end up in the same sewer line."
The following video shows one of the ads (in Portuguese) with "colour" commentary from the newscaster (in English).
Comments, readers? Thanks to K for the story lead.