Environmentally? Not really. Urine contains a lot of nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium, the main macronutrients plants need. When properly diluted, it’s frequently used as a fertilizer, but the pure stuff may burn the roots of certain plants. Of course, a diet high in salt can lead to salty urine, which will destroy any plants nearby.
Socially, I’d say unless you’re camping, try to find a toilet.
If you’re talking in terms of the urine having an impact on the environment you are urinating on, ultimately probably not. Healthy urine (coming from an infection-free bladder) is sterile, and does not usually have any bacteria, viruses, or fungi in it. Urine is only make up of fluids, salts, and waste products, which isn’t terrible for the environment. If you were taking some kind of medication that shows up in trace amounts in your urine, it probably shouldn’t be introduced to the environment, and the amount of salt and other materials may have some harmful effects directly on the area urinated on. Overall, it probably won’t have a major damaging effect except in the area you peed on.
Depends on the ground I suppose. Pee in in the dirt, away from civilization, with no one watching, is safe for the environment. Peeing in public in some areas is branded as public exposure or lewdness and can be punished.
About the only living thing that can make it through a healthy kidney is a virus, and viruses die quickly outside of their hosts. So unless someone eats the soil you peed on, it shouldn’t hurt anything.
It’s actually much better to pee into soil than into water. Nitrogen is quickly absorbed in a soil ecosystem, but can wreak havoc in aquatic ecosystems, where some of it breaks down into nitrites, which are toxic to fish. Excess nitrogen–most of it from fertilizer runoff from farms, or leachate from manure pits in factory farms, but some of it from humans via sewage treatment plants–contributes to ocean dead zones at the mouths of rivers.
Because – as others have stated above – urine is high in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphates, it can be a viable substitute for chemical fertilizers. So, no, it is not always “bad” to deposit urine outside, however, it is not healthy for grass and shrubbery when you urinate directly on the ground. Because the nitrogen content is so high, urine will “burn” the roots and stems of plants it is directly applied to. When diluted with water, however, at a ratio of 1:9 (that’s 9 parts water for every 1 part urine), urine has been shown to effectively stimulate plant growth.
“In one year, the average human being produces enough urine to fertilize 6,300 tomato plants which would produce 2.41 tons of tomato fruits in just one season.” – ABC News Technology & Science column, Sept 9, 2009
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