Urine. For some reason, it always seems to make the 15-year-old boy in all of us laugh. But researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are hoping it does more than that.

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They're Putting the 'Pee' in Peonies

Nancy Love and Krista Wigginton are environmental engineers at the university. They tell the Associated Press that they've been applying urine-based fertilizer to peony beds at the school's Nichols Arboretum.

They say the idea has gotten a few laughs but most people think the idea is golden. (They didn't say "golden." I made that up because I'm a 15-year-old boy at heart.)

“At first, we thought people might be hesitant. You know, this might be weird. But we’ve really experienced very little of that attitude,” Wigginton said. “In general, people think it’s funny at first, but then they understand why we’re doing it and they support it.”


It's Good for the Environment

Professor Love co-authored a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal. The study concluded that using 'urine diversion and recycling' resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Visitors Cannon Pee on the Peonies

The professors say there's been a bit of confusion at the arboretum, which has caused them to alter the way they explain it to visitors.

“We have used the term, ‘pee on the peonies.’ And then it grabs people’s attention and then we can talk to them about nutrient flows and nutrient efficiency in our communities and how to be more sustainable,“ Love said. ”It turns out some people thought that that was permission to drop their drawers and pee on the peonies.

They've since begun wording it "pee for the peonies" in order to alleviate confusion.

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