Claim: Peeing in the Shower will Help Save the Climate

Too much sustainability in the Shower Cubicle.

Too much sustainability in the Shower Cubicle. By Hardyplants (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Techly, an online publication aimed at Millennials, has advised its audience to save the world by peeing while taking a shower.

Worried about climate change? Do something about it and start peeing in the shower

According to science, you could actively help to save the planet by peeing in the shower. And we have Colbert to back us up.

It’s all about reducing the times you flush. The average flush of a modern toilet takes about six litres of water, and the average adult pees about seven times every day. I suspect that number rises during Oktoberfest, but you get the general idea.

The point is, you’re using 42 litres of water every single day just to flush your pee. Multiply that by however many adults on the planet use a toilet every day and you get a very worrying scenario.

Read more:

The Techly article includes a Brazilian Government video which provides the same advice;

I can’t fault their logic. If you think wasting water is damaging the planet, not flushing up to 15,000 litres every year is a substantial saving.

Skeptics might be concerned that any water saving would be mitigated by confused parents furiously cleansing suddenly very smelly shower cubicles, but it seems unlikely most Millennials would take this possibility into consideration.

267 thoughts on “Claim: Peeing in the Shower will Help Save the Climate

    • Yellow let it mellow…

      My wife followed this advice until the toilet developed lazy flush due to, yes, some very dull yellow precipitate blocking up important tubing of the throne.

      After I used muriatic acid to solve the problem she started to flush again. (Acid=*scary* when you know nothing about chemistry)

      But we do live in a desert. So I’m for conserving water. Just not that *quite stinky* way.

      • Is muriatic acid stronger than that horrible acidic sea water which is rapidly destroying Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?

      • Much stronger. It’s a concentration of hydrochloric acid. One can say it’s part of the acidic seas.

        From Wikipedia:

        Hydrochloric acid is produced in solutions up to 38% HCl (concentrated grade). Higher concentrations up to just over 40% are chemically possible, but the evaporation rate is then so high that storage and handling require extra precautions, such as pressurization and cooling. Bulk industrial-grade is therefore 30% to 35%, optimized to balance transport efficiency and product loss through evaporation. In the United States, solutions of between 20% and 32% are sold as muriatic acid. Solutions for household purposes in the US, mostly cleaning, are typically 10% to 12%, with strong recommendations to dilute before use. In the United Kingdom, where it is sold as “Spirits of Salt” for domestic cleaning, the potency is the same as the US industrial grade.[13]

      • @toorightmate

        Muriatic acid is another name for hydrochloric acid (HCl). It is a strong acid (it completely dissociates in water). So yes much stronger acid than seawater.

      • Reading further of issues with low flush volume commodes. Mine is ~30 y.o. Ifö European with jet eductors that have never failed, and I am a BIG guy.

        HCl disassociates completely to H and Cl components of water H2O and salt NaCl. It’s what is used by the gallon to adjust spa pH down.

      • to toorightmate

        What acidic seawater destroying the GBR? It’s not happening, period. Coral reefs in fact acidify seawater all by themselves, as they release organic waste into the water. They are much more robust than the alarmists want us to think.

        The recent bleaching in the GBR was due to sea level decreases during the last el Nino. Exposure to air and the warmer near surface water is what threw the corals into a bleaching event. Mosts are not dead and will recover just fine after they regain some symbiotic zooanthellae.

      • Your stomach is filled with a solution of 5% hydrochloric acid…that’s why vomit is bad for your carpets.

      • Kip Hansen: Human stomach acid is generally not more acidic than pH of 1.5, which means generally at most around .12% HCl. (.15% hydrochloric acid has a pH close to 1.4.) Most of the “dirty work” done by stomach acid is not by the acid itself, but by digestive enzymes that work in an acid environment. Check the Wikipedia article on gastric acid for a cite on pH being generally 1.5 to 3.5.

      • pH is logarithmic and the strength is governed by the dissociation constant… therefore a pH change from 7 to 8 is a tenfold increase in alkalinity. Strong acids have a larger dissociation constant than weak acids. HCl is a strong acid because it is 99.98% dissociated when in solution.

        The sea has a huge buffering capacity . Carbonic acid formed by the disolution of CO2 in water. Carbonic acid is corrosive to metals at pH less than 7.0 depending on its partial pressure. Partial pressures below 7.0 are not corrosive to metals. Partial pressure = Sytem pressure x % CO2…

        Carbonic acid is a weak acid is one that only partially dissociates into ions. It is also very unstable and likes to form bicarbonates and carbonates.

        The hydration equilibrium constant at 25 °C is called Kh, which in the case of carbonic acid is [H2CO3]/[CO2] ≈ 1.7×10−3 in pure water and ≈ 1.2×10−3 in seawater. Hence, the majority of the carbon dioxide is not converted into carbonic acid, remaining as CO2 molecules.

        In a bottle of champagne a mere 0.003% of the dissolved gas is present in the form of carbonic acid. SO until the atmospheric pressure approaches that inside a bottle of champagne and oceans are bubbling like champagne i would not get excited.

      • @kaliforniakook “Sea water is alkaline – albeit barely.”

        Ah, no. That scale works something like the earthquake scale. A ph of 8.1 is 10 times as basic as a ph of 7.1

    • Now they are literally taking the piss. ; )

      Oh, and they should have made it clear for climate alarmist devotees (and Millennials) that you only do it when you are taking a shower!

    • I live on a 2K USgal holding tank so we’re well practiced with yellow/brown. I also live on an Island of karst fractured limestone, in a town that insists on flushing septic septage to Lake Michigan.

      • Are we to assume they are sending treated sewage into Lake Michigan?? Must be, otherwise the EPA would on them like stink on ……….

        • What is “treated sewage,” please?

          The liquid fraction is separated from the solids. The liquid fraction overflows into the drain field invisibly. The solids are regularly collected and spread on a field.

          You do know how a POWTS works, or a FAST plant?

      • “It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.” T-shirt motto at the shipyard where I worked my career on submarines, which holding tanks must be cleaned annually. It’s nothing compared to cleaning radioactive waste holding tanks.

      • You just have to clean it more frequently. Other factors enter—my water is awful and causes yellow crude buildup in a week (due to sulfur content of the water) so I have to clean frequently, whether or not it gets flushed regularly. You could use one of those in-tank cleaners, but many void your warranty on the toilet so my guess is they could be a problem down the road. Living with a septic tank changes things, too.

    • Call me mellow yellow but I have always peed in the shower (not in the bath though, not in the bath!) since I was a kid a) for convenience and b) to save water and I’m a baby boomer (that’s Boom Baby Boom to any millenials out there). So what?

    • In my town, St Petersburg FL, treated sewage liquid is recycled and distributed as “reclaimed water” to be used to water lawns via a dedicated piping infrastructure. The idea is to keep it away from waterways and the ocean where it promotes the growth of algae and other green plant life.

    • The average flush of a modern toilet takes about six litres of water, and the average adult pees about seven times every day.

      So, iffen you take a shower seven (7) times every just for peeing purposes, how much water does that waste each day?

    • “If it’s brown flush it down.”

      We here in Calizuela have been trying to take that advice for many years. He keeps coming back up. Must be those tana leaves…

    • We have a new modern toilet that is designed and equipped presumably to limit the water during flush.

      Only trouble is, after an average dump, it takes at least three flushes to finish the most important part of the operation.

      The world is going insane.



      • But there is a plus side to this insanity. All those lovely virtue-signaling ‘eco stars’ on household goods. They’re very useful indeed.

        Unfortunately, you have to buy the goods with the least number of stars. They’re the ones that actually work!

    • Exactly. We were so poor when I was growing up, that with 6 kids, we did not flush until it became a necessity. At least we has the good sense not to do it in the tub. There are safety features on toilets as opposed to tub drains.

  1. “The average flush of a modern toilet takes about six litres of water”. Mine only uses 4.5 for full flush. 3.0 for small flush. And generally follow the suggestion of Toneb.

    • lee

      We got rid of our replica Victorian, close coupled toilet a few years ago during a bathroom refurb. It had a tank with 6+ litres of water and when it was flushed, nothing remained. It was barely ever necessary to use the toilet brush it was so efficient at its task. In 20 years it never backed up.

      We replaced it with a modern toilet with a 4 litre capacity and variable flush, short and long. Great for urinating, quick short flush and it’s gone. The problem comes when one has a more substantial task; it has on more than one occasion (dozens) backed up because it can’t flush waste and toilet paper down at the same time. The solution is obvious, flush before cleansing (4 litres) flush after cleansing (4 litres) then finally, flush after using the toilet brush, every single time (2 litres).

      Not very environmental, using 10 litres instead of 6 although I guess the savings made on a short flush might make up for the extra used less frequently. However, a simple short flush arrangement on the old Victorian toilet would have saved more water than our modern one can.

      Perhaps ours is a badly designed toilet; but the whole subject is a standing joke in the UK, even mocked on popular radio.

      • Your experience is not unique. We had to have several graphic discussions with our two sons on proper papering and flushing technique to prevent backups. The basic instruction was flush early and often.

        Another astonishingly bad design feature of our low-flush toilets is even with the reduced tank capacity, it is still greater than the bowl volume, which guarantees a backup will leave you with a mess to clean up.

        I have used other low-flush systems that seem to do a much better job clearing out solid waste.

        Years ago I read an article on how one company tests their toilet designs. They had to device synthetic feces which emulated size, shape and consistency of the real thing. As I recall, they based it on tofu.

      • We have the newer ‘low volume’ flush toilets and have the same issue. We have to flush twice and hold the handle down to drain the tank or we get a backup (about once every two weeks or so). I’m not sure how that ‘saves’ water, but, the government mandates the new toilets in order to ‘save’ water so.

      • Low volume toilets and flushing avoidance can cause sewer systems to back up at the municipal level, causing all kinds of efforts to unjam huge pipes. There is a balance between too much water and not enough. Too much for a flush has to be balanced by enough flush for the sewer system.

        “I can’t fault their logic. If you think wasting water is damaging the planet, not flushing up to 15,000 litres every year is a substantial saving.”

        The author does not understand that you are not going to save that 42 L of flushing a day if you, instead, take six showers a day. One would imagine six showers would mean a water use increase. Most people would only take one shower a day and thus only save 6 liters, or 2200 L per year, a far cry from 15,000 L

      • Mine’s variable, a swipe of the handle releases maybe a liter and holding it down releases more . . It originally had a maximum flush that was a bit wimpy, so I extended the overflow tube (?) about an inch with a snug fitting piece of plastic tubing and now the max is plenty much water . .

      • Iffen you or yours are experiencing random “backups” after flushing your commode(s) …… and it is not being caused by the “user” using 1/2 of a roll of toilet paper for wiping up, ……. then the 1st thing one needs to check for is if the commodes “outflow” pipe is vented. (usually via a vent pipe thru the roof)

      • PS ~ I think it’s prolly more like two liters, with one I don’t see taking a route that triggers a syphoning action, and the other refilling the liter or so in the bowl to begin with.

      • Older home sewers were designed with appropriate “fall” to allow waste to float down the pipe to the main using more water than newer toilets.
        Newer toilets may not provide enough water for waste to reach the main and cause buildup and stoppage.

      • Some of them don’t work well here, either. It’s why I always recommend keeping a 5 gallon pail handy 😉

    • I installed a 1-liter urinal in my bathroom. I say it’s for the environment (making it an easier sell to my SO), but it’s really for the cool factor.

      • So when you have female guests are they supposed to do it standing ?
        Just curious – or are you in California where anything goes.

      • the more water used to flush the easier it is to clean the water of sewage. sooner or later more clean water is needed.

      • I have plans to do this with a house I may build (if investments pan out). The ease of aim and the abolition of the ‘seat up/down’ arguments are the main benefits I see. I hadn’t thought of water saving!

    • lee,

      Drop a brick into it and give it a small flush every time.

      An Australian brick is about 1.5 litres by volume.

    • A friend believed the propaganda and replaced her old toilet with a “low-flush” version, and only flushes about twice a day. This saved her $50 a year or less on her water bill, but she’s paid out hundreds of dollars a year to clear her drains.

  2. I remember hearing about saving water to prevent world drought while growing up just south of the Great Lakes, with nearby swamplands and artesian wells that necessitated everyone in the neighborhood having sump pumps pumping water into the sewer to keep the basements from flooding. Saving water where it is over-plentiful will not help the “world”.

  3. Typical defective thinking…

    The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute (gpm) (7.9 lpm).

    So assuming it takes you about a minute to pee, you actually use more water by peeing in the shower!

    • I shower bath once a week, traditional Saturday night. Otherwise daily I hot tub that I am – so far – allowed to drain to the environment, and into which we do not P. I am an expert on a 2 minute five gallon shower.

      • You know all that gunk coming off you into the hot tub isn’t going anywhere, right? That’s like bathing in the same bathwater for ever….

        You really should shower before using a hot tub, or even a pool, unless you like wallowing in your own dead skin & sweat.

    • CA has approved a gray water recycling system that flushes with the gray water, so no waste of potable water.
      Those of us in the rural Sierra foothills, on a well and septic, don’t care. All of our water use eventually returns to the water table…true recycling and renewable.!

  4. As a result the waste will be much more concentrated when it enters the purification plant. This will upset the bacteria cultures breaking it down and probably lead to the production of massive quantities of ammmonia and other undesirable and damaging stuff.

  5. Keep in mind that grout is actually porous and absorbs water, so it will absorb pee too. Not a lot, but some. That is why there needs to be a waterproof shower pan under the floor.

    If you’ve ever demo’d a tile shower, the mortar bed never really dries out and is prety nasty.

    If you’re going to pee in a tile shower, aim for the drain, otherwise you’ll wonder why your bathroom smells like pee.

      • Not only were there no mobile phones but landlines were a government (GPO) monopoly (unless you lived in Hull) and it took weeks to get a phone. But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

      • We didn’t even have a shoebox, on account of never buying shoes. Tried living in the bullet boxes we bought instead, but those were a might cramped. You’d wake up smelling like a butcher shop, too, on account of rubbing elbows on brass casings while pinching all those copper pennies. Dad always held out hope that one day he’d be a good enough shot that, like old Davy Crockett, critters would consider themselves shot and fall down at the sight of him, and he’d never have to buy bullets again. Too bad the only thing he ever put holes in was the neighbors’ cardboard shipping box. Rich folks, them neighbors.

    • Much better to pee in the basin if you really want to follow this path. The water from washing your hands provides a flush. (Sink in USA I think but in the UK that’s in the kitchen which I wouldn’t recommend).

      • Thank you kindly Nigel,

        These are the technicalities that often elude me. My friend I mean.

        I’ll also tell him to stop wetting the bed after a heavy night out on the beer. He doesn’t think that’s very ecological anyway. His wife gets awfully irate too.

        PS. Note to self….stop peeing in the kitchen sink….

      • I urinated in the sink the other night but I almost couldn’t because my grotty missus had left it full of dirty dishes.

      • I’m rural enough than I can do the deed outside if I need to. The dog will always sniff around then take a pee himself on the same spot. If anybody complains, I can blame the dog.

      • As a youngster with no indoor plumbing in the farmhouse; when if it was raining, just needed to raise the window a crack and pee thru the crack. The rain would flush it away. (maybe)

  6. I would have thought water is the ultimate in recycled products. Agreed there is no reason to use it where it isn’t necessary but the idea that not flushing the loo will save the planet is ludicrous.

    I remember in the drought of 1976 on a boating holiday on the River Avon (that’s the one that flows through Stratford) remarking to the boatyard owner that I was surprised how much water there was in the river.

    “Don’t worry,” he said. “As long as Coventry exists we won’t be short of water!” Well, it has to go somewhere!

  7. This is bad for the UK. We have had 2 seperate waste water systems for decades, grey water and foul water. Mixing Foul waste with the grey waste is not a recommended idea. I’m sure a UK water expert will pop in to say exactly why, or educate me perhaps,


    • No, there shouldn’t be ‘grey / gray’ water in the surface water sewer at all, that goes straight into the river or sea in many cases. It’s frequently done, connecting into rain water downpipes for instance, but not good practice at all. Grey water systems should be self contained and are usually used for irrigation etc. on site.

      Many parts of London have old combined sewers courtesy of Sir Joseph Bazalgette (his close relative is responsible for the ‘Big Brother’ show, ironically reversing the flow) which are overwhelmed during heavy rainfall and overflow straight into the river.

  8. Many older properties in the UK have one waste water drainage system only, everything goes in it, rainwater, grey water, sewage. So, peeing in the shower is OK for some of us ;0)

    • You should not have any sinks, basins, showers etc. connected into the surface water sewer. If you have you may get a fine some time if you’re unlucky. You shouldn’t even, in theory, have the condensate from your condensing boiler connected to the surface water sewer although that’s an extreme viewpoint.

  9. I am a bit confused. Does this mean I have to take a shower every time I need to pee.
    A better idea is not flushing the toilet every time you pee but say once a day.
    It will boost the sale of environmentally neutral air fresheners and keep visitors away.

  10. Compare sometime the total amount of water spent on toilet flushes and compare it to the total amount of water spent on irrigation. Not even in the same ballgame. You could cut all residential water usage (flushing,bathing, cooking, and drinking) and barely make a dent in total water usage.
    Non-solution to a non-problem

    • I used to work with a guy who kept a pee bottle underneath his desk in his office. He’d dump it out the window when necessary. I laughed thinking about the time he might forget to empty it, and the cleaning lady would find it.

      • How in the world did my comment end up here? lol. This was meant for the carrying around a pee bag comment somewhere.

      • I used to do this while staying on my brother’s boat on the river Cam. It’s one of the only rivers still allowing a ‘bucket and chuck it’ approach to waste. Saved emptying the chemical toilet, which is a major bonus!

    • In many places, you have to pay for the volume of water used so it not a non-problem. I would really not call it an environmental priority, however. Using greywater, roof runoff etc. for irrigation makes economic sense. Peeing in the shower seems stupid when you could just go under your apple tree and provide some fertilizer at the same time. Just tell your neighbors to look the other way or enjoy.

  11. Who honestly doesn’t pee in the shower anyway?

    Who pees in the bath? Anyone going to admit to that one?

    • I dropped the habit of having a leak in the bath when I was five, after a failed attempt to be the ‘human fountain’ to impress my cousins resulted in the squirting fresh uric acid into various facial orifii. Much to the amusement of my cousins*.
      *see the comment further up about bath-with-a-friend; this was standard practice** when staying over at relative’s houses when I was a lad. It was more about saving time getting a gaggle of kids off to bed than about saving water, especially since much of the water ended up splashed on the floor or ceiling when mischievous cousins were sent to the bath together. I never really considered the extra energy expended in mopping/cleaning up after us, so I doubt it did much to save the planet.
      **sharing the bath was standard practice, not do-it-yourself golden showers.

      Personal transgressions aside, my two year old daughter has been known to displace bath water with more substantial anthropogenic extrusions and that practice certainly does not result in any water or energy savings once the subsequent extensive hosing down, bath sanitation and drain clearance efforts are taken into consideration in the water budget.

      • “Why stop with a bath, how about a pool or even the ocean?”

        If trying this in a swimming pool don’t use the high diving board.

      • As I was growing up, my father taught me that the quintessential distinguishing characteristic of a gentleman was that he would not urinate in the shower, even if he was alone.

  12. It should not belong before the same group of thickheads suggests we all get around with a bag – with sufficient volume for a day.

  13. It is VERY important to point out the fallacy here. Even Eric Worrall is falling into it.

    The point is that letting potable water go down the drain is NOT ‘WASTING WATER’.!!! After that action, there is just as much water on the Earth as there was before the action. Indeed, water goes in a hydrological cycle – except for minute amounts in special cases, it is neither created nor destroyed. It can never be lost.

    Now you ARE wasting something when you pour purified water away. What you are ‘wasting’ (I would say ‘using’) is the water company’s time and effort in storing the water, purifying it and delivering it to your home. This time and effort is not a scarce resource – it is the work you pay the water company for. And they are looking to profit from this.

    The water company can make a profit in several ways. It can sell you more water at a fixed price, or it can put that price up and sell you the same amount for more money. Selling more water means investment in more infrastructure as a prerequisite, while upping the price involves no such investment. So they would prefer to do that.

    In fact, what they would prefer to do is to sell LESS water per person, to MORE people, at a higher price. And to do that, they need to find some way of getting everyone to use less water. That way, they can expand their business without any investment at all. The water, after all, will never run out, as we have seen.

    So long as people keep using the term ‘wasting water’, they are playing into the water company’s hands, and enabling them to make increasing profits while lowering the service per head that they provide…

    • AAND- an even MORE important point..

      Most urban and suburban water drains in America lead to Wastewater treatment plants- which clean the water and in many cases send it back into the feeder streams for the regional water supply.

      The only thing used is some chemicals and electricity….

      So yah- you’re drinking recycled pee- no matter if you flushed or showered.

    • My water is supplied by the local municipality. We have had water usage restrictions for years related to the ability to wash your car in the driveway and lawn watering. The excuse for the restrictions was to avoid capital expenditures to expand the supply due to increases in population, not a lack of available sources. As the per home usage dropped, they had to raise the cost per cubic meter because the revenue dropped. Typical government, less for more.

    • The same amount of water remains. The only problem is how much water is available for what purposes. We cannot clean water fast enough at times. Then there’s the enviros insisting water go for bait fish in CA. There’s no water shortage—water remains on the planet in the same volume. It’s a matter of politics, mostly.

    • The water that pours from your tap after having gone through a water treatment plant is basically a very dilute broth of dead bacteria.

  14. Another waste of water is the entire population being forced to wash all its recycling.

    When I was at school we marveled at the films of efficient automatic bulk waste sorting and washing – half a century later this is no longer possible!

  15. I remember the stories my caving friends used to tell about wearing wet suits. You can guess the rest.

    • I never did that when I used to whitewater kayak in the winter, but I know friends did in their dry suits.

  16. Lewandowsky and Mann are right in their shaming of sceptics . Here we have a sensible suggestion, approved by 97% of all climate scientists, and all you deplorable deniers can do is take the p**s.

  17. … the average adult pees about seven times every day.

    I don’t have time to shower seven times a day.

    • That was my thought. At most, 6 litres a day would be saved, not 42. That’s 2190 litres per year. Which is a TINY percentage of water used by most households.

  18. I have already been doing this for years. Women hate it though, so best to be a climate warrior when alone.


  19. “Saving” water has two sides to it. Back in the first decade of this century, the Southeast US had a prolonged drought. Here in Atlanta, GA, the main source of water is the Lake Lanier reservoir, which dropped so much that there were fears the intake pipes would be exposed. The news reports were so persuasive that water usage declined dramatically, so much in fact that the City of Atlanta Water Department had to raise the rates to pay their bills!

  20. “Saving” water has two sides to it. Back in the first decade of this century, the Southeast US had a prolonged drought. Here in Atlanta, GA, the main source of water is the Lake Lanier reservoir, which dropped so much that there were fears the intake pipes would be exposed. The news reports were so persuasive that water usage declined dramatically, so much in fact that the City of Atlanta Water Department had to raise the rates to pay their bills!

  21. So in Michigan, they teach our kids that our state is a peninsula surrounded on 3 sides by huge bodies of fresh water. Then these wonderful public schools teach our kids that they need to “use” less water. Turn off the sink while brushing teeth, shorter showers etc…

    So then I get to explain the truth to the kids that water isn’t used it is still water after it runs off them. We pump it from the ground, either right by the house or several miles away from the house, it runs into the sink or drain and then into the septic tank, a processing plant or something else and back into the ground.

    The water is simply relocated not used. I’ve produced vast amounts of additional water in my life by chemical reaction than I’ve broken down. We all have.

    Some areas of earth don’t have enough water to support the lavish lifestyles of the human animals but this isn’t my problem at all. Because we don’t live in an area like that but my son’s left wing idiot teacher drones on and on about conserving water – to save the planet of course.

  22. I really have an issue with “saving water”. Water doesn’t get consumed like gasoline, it just goes down the pipe to somewhere else so you really aren’t “saving” anything.

    If the water source is a lake or river, it typically ends right back there after treatment. The only time it matters is when it is being drawn out of the ground faster than it is being replenished or if the area is arid or in a drought situation.

    In fact in our fair city which uses surface water as a source, the people running the water system were complaining about the low flow toilets not providing enough flow in the sewage system to get the solid waste to the treatment plants. They now have trucks systematically running pigs through the pipes to clear them to prevent backups.

    • Water is the most sustainable, recycled, reused substance on the planet (except, perhaps, for the individual oxygen molecules that make up O2 and O3 in the atmosphere). We drink and bathe in water micturated by our ancestors and dinosaurs.

      The cyclical flow of water on our planet sustains our lives, and it should make every greenie and environmentalist weep for the sheer beauty of it. Then they should realize that carbon dioxide is similarly recycled, and that it may be even more indispensable to life than water, because it is building the much more complex carbon chains that make up our bodies, interacting with the life that makes up the food chain. Thinking of CO2 as pollution makes about as much sense as thinking of a rain cloud as a giant cesspool because it contains water that once got pissed out of someone’s bladder.

      • “…thinking of a rain cloud as a giant cesspool…”

        What a fine way to end a romantic interlude on a summer day. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, reading poetry, then looking up at the clouds and saying, “You see those clouds? People peed all that water.”

  23. When I was plumbing, a guy called me and said, “I gotta leak in my shower!” I said, “ Go ahead… it all ends up in the same place anyway.”

    • I can’t pee in the garden directly because too many people could watch, but I collect it and use it there. The former junkyard/wasteland/thicket has become really fruitful within a few years.
      Real environmentalism would see to it that urine and the rest were collected and used as manure instead of being flushed into the ocean.
      Real environmentalists would see to it that all the deserts, wastelands and worn-out soils were fed carbon and covered with plants, so that the whole world could become a Garden of Eden. All “human-made” CO2 could be put into the ground and all alarmists could turn to useful work or careless play.

    • I stopped to do just this the other day; there I was happily peeing on the lawn until the spectators started moaning and the referee sent me off.

    • Pee turns the grass yellow unless you water the lawn right after. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    • Also, don’t get caught. In most states, it’s literally illegal to take a leak in the woods. Here in SC, SECTION 48-1-90 of the Pollution Control Act of SC states:

      “It is unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to throw, drain, run, allow to seep, or otherwise discharge into the environment of the State organic or inorganic matter, including sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes, except in compliance with a permit issued by the (health) department.”

      Not to mention the fact that you’re likely to be branded as a pervert.

  24. At least millennials will decrease their chance of getting athletes foot, if they pee in the shower. I wonder how many of them know that its not a bad thing to pee on their feet?

    • A urine tax?! Please don’t give the politicians any ideas. They would tax us for breathing if they could get away with it.

  25. I have an excellent and eco-friendly drain cleaner, using stuff you can find at the grocery store.

    1 cup of salt (NaCl)
    1 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, also a good anti-acid if you have stomach issues)
    1/4 cup cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate, baking stabilizer,from making wine)
    Mix it well, divide equally for all the drains in your house.
    Pour 2 (two) cups of boiling water into each drain and let it work.

    You can flush the drains afterwards with more water.

    • As long as one hits the clog ASAP, that works. I do like the idea, but sometimes things get out of hand before I notice (or I engage in wishful thinking that the clog will clear on its own). Then I do have to go chemical. Also, I read that boiling water will help keep the black crud from forming in drains. It does seem to help, but again, you have to keep on top of it. Chemicals may have been introduced because trying to keep on top of everything wasn’t panning out.

    • It makes sense, if you believe more water use make it worse for climate change (as this peeing advice suggest), you won’t plant trees because they will use huge amount of water. I guess.

  26. Piss Poor. Urine was saved by the poor to sell at the tannery soaking the hide in acid helped in
    hair removal. If you were poorer yet u didn’t have a pot to piss in.

    • Yes, it was also used as a mordant in dying and as a ‘fabric softener’ for freshly woven tweed which could explain the peculiar odor certain woolen goods have when they get worn in the rain. It could also be collected and used to produce saltpeter for the manufacture of black powder.

  27. Another use of the fallacy that we “consume” water. We don’t. There is just as much water on Earth after we flush the toilet or don’t.
    You can save the water because it is a way to save your wallet, but it won’t save the planet.

  28. This reminds me of the hotels (in the United States, anyway) that virtue-signal by giving guests the option of either having their towels laundered every day, or reusing them without laundering. A little card in the bathroom explains how we can save the planet by just using our dirty towels over and over.

    There are 5,000,000 hotel rooms in the United States. If all were occupied all of the time, and everyone insisted on clean towels daily, the water use would amount to 37.5 million gallons per day (142.5 million liters.
    A front-loading hotel washing machine can easily handle the towels from 4 rooms, and uses a maximum of 30 gallons per wash.). Similarly, the 315 million people in the US, urinating 7 times daily and consuming 6 liters per flush would use a whopping 13 billion liters (3.5 billion gallons) of water a day. So it sounds pretty dire, right?

    Except that the United States consumes 500 billion gallons (1.9 trillion liters) of fresh water per day. Assuming each person does away with one flush (corresponding to one shower) a day would save 2 billion liters per day, or 0.10% of the country’s consumption. Foregoing clean towels for a day would reduce US water consumption by 0.0075%.

    Given that water flow meter accuracy is typically +/- 1.5%, giving up towel washing and toilet flushing wouldn’t even register in the statistics.

    • Maybe washin’ them thar towels and peein’ ought to be done down at the crick. Just be sure you be peeing down stream of the washin’ spot.

    • Not just the US, all Asia and Australia too.

      I always want to cross out ‘the planet’ and replace it with ‘money’ on those cards asking you to not get sheets or towels changed daily. The amount I get charged, I’m gonna have clean sheets and towels daily that I don’t have to wash myself for once!

  29. Have they calculated how much extra water you use while in the shower standing around taking a piss?
    Bet its more than a flush.

  30. 6 liters/flush x 1 flush/day x 365 days/yr = 2,190 liters/yr

    unless you shower multiple times per day or shower just to pee, which would defeat the purpose.

  31. @ HotScot
    Also depends on the height of the water tank, the old Victorian reservoirs were usually up at five foot above the seat
    Potential energy = m g h (mass x grvty.const x height)
    When flushed potential energy is converted to kinetic energy = 1/2 m v^2 (one half of mass x velocity square)
    Victorian sanitary engineers did their science (look up Joseph_Bazalgette )
    London is multi-million city, all our brown and yellow stuff ends under this august edifice
    The Crossness Pumping Station was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of the capital’s new sewage system

  32. Climate “Dear Abby” science has reached a new low. It’s like the Khrushchev Russian claim all over again of Americans taking showers too frequently and shortening their life span—while Russian life expectancy actually did fall.

  33. Since a shower uses more water than a toilet flush, peeing in the shower doesn’t save any water. Besides, a shower is the one opportunity to wash my feet, and I prefer soapy water to diluted urine for that purpose! Yuck!

    • Pee can get rid of athlete’s foot. It’s also sterile, and harmless when washed away.

      Victorian era people created a learned disgust for bodily waste that was unknown before. It did help us combat things like cholera, so it helped.

  34. Meanwhile back on planet Earth, saving or wasting water has absolutely nothing to do with climate change, and farck-all about “saving the planet”. Greeny delusions sometimes get very weird. Creepy, even.

    • But the creepy ones need the most public exposure to dilute and diminish the messengers and the message.

  35. How many liters are wasted standing there peeing in the shower? It’s not like people are going to multi-task and shampoo their hair as they pee.

    There are common-sense means to conserve water, and this one is iffy.

    And conserving household water use has NO impact on “climate change.” What idiots.

    • The idea is to pee when you have a shower, not have a shower every time you need to pee! Most people probably do both first thing in the morning, so it makes sense. I do it to save water which I would have to buy (and because I’m lazy).

    • The water at my house runs too cold to stand under the water until it warms up. I stand just outside the spray… and spray. I run out long before the water gets warm. This option may disappear when I install a tank-less water heater nest to the shower.
      This has been a funny thread. I didn’t realize so many people here had a sense of humor (albeit potty humor). Had to read some of the comments to my wife.
      Thanks for the laughs to Eric – and the commenters!

  36. All this “water saving” advice… guess when we flush, the water just disappears off the planet, lost forever… and here I thought that adding relatively clean water to the sewage system would actually benefit the waster water treatment facility.

    Disclosure: we do follow the “yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down” mantra… keeps our monthly water bill reasonable.

    • In the case of septic systems, the water eventually winds up in the water table, available for use again.

      • With septic tanks, insufficient water turns the tank into a brick, too much water floods the leach field and creates a swamp. People on septic tanks either learn about proper water usage quickly or pay out a lot of money for repairs.

      • It doesn’t take long, and our water is in the garden where it would have been if not captured from our roof. It’s just handy to keep it in a tank for the times it doesn’t rain (sometimes months).

        It’s just a microcosm of the way cities work, in fact.

  37. The most entertaining string of posts I’ve seen in a long time. Millennial Green-Yellow warriors are soooo, funny!

  38. I don’t want to break any bubbles here, but in The Netherlands water companies add water, because people do not flush enough. To much pee per liter of water.

    Just flush the damn toilet when you had a go.

  39. This whole issue depends on where you live and on the source of your fresh water.

    On our boat, we live on collected rain water and tanks of water filled from marina supplies, sometimes by dragging 5 gallon jerry cans of fresh water out to the boat by dinghy.

    Toilets are flushed with raw water (whatever the boat is floating in — salt, brackish, fresh).

    At out home (yes, I have a home now — part of one anyway) in the Central Hudson Valley of New York, our water comes from a stream-filled reservoir which has never run dry, always water over the dam, even in drought years. What water doesn’t go into the municipal supply flows into the Hudson River. What goes into the municipal supply comes out our faucets, goes down the drain, goes through the water treatment plant that sits at the bottom of our hill and flows out into the Hudson River. The same is true for the toilets.

    There is no “wasted” water — it gets diverted, used for some purpose and put back where it belongs — in the river.

    I suppose some might be used to water the garden — then is settles into the water table and then flows into the Hudson River — some evaporates into the air and falls as rain and then flows into the Hudson River.

    The situation was entirely different in my childhood home in Los Angeles, California, which in the dry Mediterranean climate of Southern California. The lack of reservoirs in the LA Basin itself means that the occasional torrential rains all flow into the massive storm drain system and out into the Pacific Ocean. Dependable fresh water has to be imported from far away mountains in aqueducts. In LA, most of the available fresh water is wasted on frivolous things like lawns, golf courses, car washes, swimming pools, etc.

    Installation of a nuclear power plant to make electricity would also provide heat for desalinating the ocean water to supply LA with fresh water.

    So many of the radical green agenda points depend on where you are.

    • Depends on where you live, I guess. In Kalifornia, very little planning for the future is done. Admittedly, we are building a bullet train (which will be the slowest bullet train in the world, between WhoGivesA$#!t and WhereThe%^&*IsThat. But we don’t bother with maintaining dams (Oroville) until they break, we build windmills and sun power plants (because we can always buy power from other states), we don’t trim the forests like we did to limit forest fires, and we don’t build reservoirs because that would detract from the Sierra Club’s range. So, we learned how to conserve water, with the help of tiered pricing, and later, because we learned so well, and demand dropped so much, additional increases to cover lower distribution inefficiencies. Lawns and trees died. People complained. So we built desalination plants (Sierra Club doesn’t go to the beach, thank God). They’re sitting idle starting with the year they were ready to go on-line, because of all the flooding.
      I’ve said “We”, but Hallelujah, as of May I am no longer a Kalifornian!
      Now if we could only build a wall between Kalifornia and Nevada. Hm. I need to fire off a letter to Trump. He’ll understand.

  40. From the article: “I can’t fault their logic. If you think wasting water is damaging the planet, not flushing up to 15,000 litres every year is a substantial saving.”

    Yeah, but by substituting seven trips to the toilet, with taking seven showers a day, you would use even more water. I don’t see how this helps. 🙂

  41. The aptly named former Australian senator Larissa Waters proposed that a law be passed forcing people to take a shower when they have the urge. I wrote her a polite note asking how much water she would propose to use in the shower instead of the toilet, and since the dams are full where she intended to ‘save’ this water? Being a Green, she did not know how to respond.

  42. Another great way to save water (and save the planet too, win-win), is to skip the shower altogether; wait until the sprinkler is on, or turn it on to get the grass watered, lather up, then run through the sprinkler. Of course it’ll be cold, and of course you’ll holler, that’s part of the fun. For even more fun, invite the neighbors too.
    Who says “saving the planet” can’t be fun?

  43. Place I work at went whole-hog on water savings some ten, fifteen years back. Waterless urinals, low-flow automatic toilet flushers, motion-activated faucets…

    They replaced the waterless urinals about six months ago, along with a fair bit of the plumbing downstream from them. They got rid of the motion-activated faucets about two years back. As the auto-flushers go bad, they’re replaced with regular flushing mechanisms.

    And the maintenance folk out here have removed pretty much all the flow limiters in the faucets. Admittedly, our plumbing is rather… ancient, but it WAS designed to work around a certain volume of water daily. And there’s a lot fewer people employed here than when it was made over 45 years ago.

    If you don’t get a proper throughput, apparently plumbing systems develop problems. Who knew?

  44. I laugh at these save water save the planet idiots. I just ask them where does the water go when you flush, etc. They usually know and admit it goes into the sewer system. Then i ask, does it disappear there? They admit it comes out the other end clean and returns to nature and some evaporated.. I use that to explain by flushing they are helping to recycle. We pay for our water and sanitation systems and some energy is used to clean and deliver and remove and reclean our water. That is part of the price of living in a modern civilization. Unless it’s dumped into a deep underground fault all our water recycles infinitely.

  45. How does this action “save” the chimate? We have always had some sort of climate and we always will no matter what we do.

  46. It won’t make your shower smelly. If you pee on your feet, you can also get rid of athlete’s foot, btw.

    I do this, but I don’t save water for the planet’s sake, I do it for my wallet because we don’t have mains water.

    • Madonna believes in pee as a treatment for athlete’s foot. Do you believe Madonna knows anything about medicine? Hint: There’s a reason people don’t call her “Dr. Madonna.”

      • Umm, sounds like Climate Science ™ logic:

        I believe something.

        Madonna believes something.

        Ergo sum I believe Madonna is an expert doctor?

        No. I believe it because I’ve done it and twice killed of athlete’s foot that normal powders wouldn’t budge (from days of going to public gyms, no more thank the gods).

  47. The average pH of the ocean at the surface varies around about 8.1, (7.0 = neutral) which makes the ocean rather basic not acidic; Peeing in the oceans is not going to make any measurable difference to the fish. Water is part of a great recycling system that keeps the Earth functioning.

  48. A friends father once said “You know what class is? Climbing out of the shower to take a pee, now that’s class.” That got me thinking. And many people do get out just to pee,

    I’m a bit surprised no one has mentioned you don’t need to pee in the shower (though I do) to avoid flushing. I never pee in the toilet (unless I’m more than just peeing.) I pee into a plastic 16-oz Gatorade bottle I keep near the bathroom sink, dump it down the sink, run about 1/4 cup of water into the bottle, swish it around, dump again, then run about a cup of water into the sink to rinse it as well.

    • Wow! And I thought Kalifornia was bad. You should mention what desert you’re from, buddy, when you tell these stories. I know you’re not from downtown L.A.

    • That sounds seriously nasty. Why don’t you just pee in the sink? Oh wait, we have a toilet for that! Sheesh! There is a reason we had outhouses once!

      • Peeing in the sink splatters outside the sink. Urine all around to wipe up. Side benefit to the bottle: I can monitor the quantity of urine. I never knew until now just how much my aging bladder can store up while sleeping without discomfort.

  49. I’d heard a long time ago that the cure for poison ivy was to pee on it. (Something about the body producing natural antihistamines that are in the pee.)
    Never been desperate enough to try it.

    I also remember hearing that the cure for athletes foot was to wiggle you toes in fresh cow manure. (Critters in the manure feeding on the critters that causes athletes foot.)
    Again, never been desperate enough to try it.
    (Also, not many cows in my neighborhood. 😎

    • I grew up on a farm. There were far better reasons to wiggle your toes in cow manure – it just feels good squishing up between your toes! Admittedly, I preferred waiting until it was no longer warm. Summer time, the coolness was delightful! (Cow manure is the only manure that works this way.)
      Grandma never let me in the house until I washed my feet. I didn’t completely understand that then. After all, it had already worn off the bottom of my feet before I got to the house.
      Strange, I wouldn’t even think of doing that now, 50-60 years later.

      • That’s pretty unusual to say the least. I grew up next to a farm, and never once had that urge.

        I have done it here in Oz, the mango season is also the wet season, and cows next door like to shelter under the best mango tree around. The 10cm of manure below it may be the main reason it’s the best. So I’ve been ankle deep in it picking mangoes, and have no problem, but to do it voluntarily for no reason seems a bit strange!

      • “Jer0me December 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

        That’s pretty unusual to say the least.”

        Some remote tribes in Africa encourage such activity, even to the point where parents smear it over their children. Believe it or not It bolsters their immune system.

      • Wife: “I just got stung by a jellyfish! Quick, pee on it!”

        Husband: *peeing on jellyfish*” Take that! That’s for stinging my wife!”

        Fortunately we have little bollards with green crosses at the edge of beaches in the Australian tropics. I wondered what they were. Turns out they are full of bottles of vinegar. Australians are wonderful people!

      • “Jer0me December 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm

        Turns out they are full of bottles of vinegar.”

        Surely that would be something containing enough ammonia to do the job? Never heard of vinegar dealing with stings.

        “Australians are wonderful people!”

        Except politicians like Turnbull who sold us down the ETS river.

      • Vinegar seems to be the best treatment for box jellyfish stings.

        As for aussies, please don’t judge ’em by the politicians. FFS, Aboot has publicly chomped on unpeeled raw onions three times now, and he was pm.

        Nothing about Australian politicians gives me any confidence at all since Howard, and I never ever thought I’d hold him in high regard. I despair, but I can’t see any national leader these days I’d want running my household expenses, let alone a country.

    • It probably helps poison ivy because it’s acidic, like it helps jellyfish stings.

      As a kid in the country we used to rub dock leaves on stinging nettle stings. I wonder if peeing on it would’ve been better? Dock leaves were probably more hygienic, though…

  50. I am going to go do a load of laundry consisting of one tee shirt, then run the dishwasher only 1/4 full, while I let the shower run while I brush my teeath at the sink, also with water running the whole time.
    Then, just to make sure the shower is plenty steamy enough, I will go put on a kettle of water for my tea, making sure to empty the water from the kettle first for no reason at all.
    Then I am going to turn on my sprinklers even though it is going to rain tonight and tomorrow.
    What was this article about?
    I was too busy wasting water to read it.

    • making sure to empty the water from the kettle first for no reason at all.

      For good reason imo. Twice-boiled water makes worse tea. It’s something to do with the oxygen content I’m told. Boiling redues it each time. This is also why you should turn off the kettle just before it boils for the best tea.

      I like my tea.

      • I find myself skeptical of that twice boiled water reduces oxygen more and more each time.
        I would wager that by the time water is boiled, it has the same O2 as it is going to have each subsequent time.
        But I am guessing, although I would make that bet anyway.
        However…my water comes from a well on my property…how much oxygen is in it to begin with?

      • I understand there’s quite a bit in water. Fish kinda need it 🙂

        You may be right about boiling it once removes most oxygen, which is why the advice is not to let it boil.

        Try tasting before & after a good boil, the water tastes different. Tip: let it cool first! 🙂

        As for tea, a good darjeeling with a dash of honey & some lemon. Mmmmmmm… Nice cold on a hot day, and cold brewed in the fridge overnight, too.

      • My water comes from the sky.

        When it doesn’t, I have to pay for tankers of it. I could pump it from a bore, but it’s way more in electricity these days tgan a tanker, or even being on the mains (go figure, eh).

  51. Almost every state in the US has rivers running to the ocean and dumping millions of gallons an hour into the sea, unused.
    Every year there are numerous floods during which more water is flushed into the ocean that the whole country uses in a year.
    We live on the frickin’ PLANET water!
    Who are these numbskulls who think we will “run out of water”?

    • Approx only 1% of all water on this rock is fresh and naturally occurring. If you look at all the great civilisations that rose and fell, Incas and Romans for instance, they relied on collecting, moving and storing vast amounts of fresh water.

  52. The low flush toilets have become a great boon to plumbers. They result in plugged drain lines which usually requires a plumber.
    I did my own plumbing so I gave the drain lines double the required slope and have had no problem with clogging.

    • My plumber told me pouring a gallon of 5% acidic white vinegar down the tub drain every month would keep tree roots from choking the sewer line. Two years so far.

    • Too much slope will cause the liquid to run ahead of the solids causing clogs. The issue becomes how much is too much.

  53. Some student at East Anglia Uni got themselves n local news with this suggestion a few years ago. 🙂 🙂

  54. Well it’s a lot less wasteful than you think to flush. The same water gets re-used many times. For the xample if you live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, your pee flush gets reused in Toronto, Montreal and hundreds of communities on both sides of the border along the St Lawrence Seaway. Minneapolis? Same deal along the Mississippi! Happy drinking!

  55. “The Techly article includes a Brazilian Government video which provides the same advice”
    well that was mentioned here in 2009

    Ken August 26, 2009 at 10:57 am
    Just wait until these girls link up with the “pee in the shower” campaign they’re running in Brazil. Now *that* will be an interesting video.

  56. They claim this is sound science
    but it’s not ..well until the parents have inspected the shower stalls

    Only then can you say it’s been … “pee reviewed”

  57. Where does the ‘used’ water go after you flush the toilet? A parallel universe? This is what comes from indoctrinating two generations of children with “environmentalism” instead of real science and critical thinking.

  58. Nothing against peeing in the shower (as long as you are showering and it washes down instead of getting trapped in the trap), but the whole idea that it is beneficial to flush less is very wrongheaded. Sewer systems work better with more water in them. The less water that goes down with the solids the sludgier the whole system becomes. Just ask San Francisco, where the sewer system is breaking down from not enough water. The pipes are rotting from the more acidic content and they are clogging. Whotta mess.

  59. National Geographic run a moronic adverts telling you to save water because other people on the planet dont have running water…. so if I smell bad and have rotten teeth how does this help? Takes a lot of energy to produce clean water… the solution…. coal, gas? Go to india sometime and check out any pedestrian bridge at your peril…. be careful where you tread… peeing in the shower… non-issue… allegedly its good for removing dead skin from the feet if you like to paddle in it!!

  60. You can do even more for the environment by showering and peeing together with a mate. If you have none, russian women can be hired for that pupose, I am told.

    Happy golden showering…

  61. I’ve been peeing in the shower for so many years that I’ve saved the planet several times over.

    Do I get a medal?

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