Could Your Compost Bin Be Your Honey Bucket?


You finally hunkered down and started composting, you’re officially well versed on carbon-to-nitrogen ratios and you’ve even gotten your neighbors to seriously consider installing their own worm bins. But to fully become a composting master, you’ve got one final step to take: peeing outdoors.

Wait, what?

Outdoor peeing is no longer reserved for the backcountry; it might just be the next step in the composting revolution. Your compost bin might not come off as a Honey Bucket, but in England, the National Trust is actually promoting peeing outdoors in order to make the country greener.

At the National Trust’s Wimpole Hall, gardeners installed a three meter long pee bale, where male visitors are highly encouraged to relieve themselves. The action actually helps activate the composting process, producing a free supply of compost and reducing water supply. Less trips to the toilet means more water saves.

You might not be ready to add plein air peeing to your morning chore list, but for this National Trust estate, the male gardeners and workers taking part in the activity is having a positive effect.

“The pee bale is excellent matter to add to our compost heap to stimulate the composting process; and with over 400 acres of gardens and parkland to utilise compost, we need all the help we can get,” says Head Gardener Philip Whaites.

The only question is: what happens in the colder, winter months?

Image: mjmonty

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.