17 July, 2020
Ever thought there was something missing from the breadmaking process? Well, French inventor Louise Raguet did.
The self-proclaimed ‘ecofeminist’ designed these urinals for women, which aim to cut down queues for women needing the loo, the by-product of which is is diluted and used for fertilising wheat to make bread. And she’s not the only inventor of female urinals; the Lapee has been trialled in Toulouse to sit alongside street urinals for men.
The engineer’s goal is to break taboos around toilet habits and create a sustainable food cycle, claiming that the contribution of urine to the circular economy is flushed down the toilet when it is purely seen as waste. Farmers could save 703 tonnes of nitrogen-based artificial fertilisers everyday that can be harmful to insects and the environment by using urine instead as a natural nitrogen-containing fertiliser that gives back to the earth.
In some cultures, farmers having been applying this technique for centuries, and there are even composting toilets if you want to do your bit a home… A combination of urine and compost can decrease the amount of nitrogen lost in the soil, whilst making more carbon available to the plants – a win-win.
So, whether it’s used to meet the needs of society and the environment, or simply an effective way to grow some sweet peppers, it seems that removing toilet taboos could have its benefits.
By Cara McEvoy