The Slatest

College Students Urge Classmates to Pee in the Shower, to Save the Environment, Obviously


REUTERS/Marko Djurica

We all need to do our part. Every little bit counts. You know the slogans. You also know you’ve done it before. Pee in the shower, that is. Now, according to a new student campaign at a university in England, that timesaving habit also makes you a bit of an environmentalist. So, go on, multitask—save the planet.

That’s the idea behind the “Go with the Flow” campaign at the University of East Anglia that, as the BBC delicately describes it, urges “the university’s 15,000 students to take their first wee of the day while having their morning shower.” The shower-cum-loo initiative is the work of two of the university’s students, Debs Torr and Chris Dobson. Here’s what they say is the upside of what has heretofore been considered a cohabitating no-no, via the BBC:


Mr Dobson said: “We’ve done the maths, and this project stands to have a phenomenal impact. With 15,000 students at UEA, over a year we would save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times over. Imagine how big an impact it could have if we could get everyone in East Anglia, or even the UK, to change their morning habits.”

“The campaign has been really divisive - people either seem to love it or hate it,” added Mr Dobson. “We’re trying to challenge conventional behaviour, to start a debate on a resource that we largely take for granted.”

If the social risk of being an environmental pioneer of this sort is surmountable for your average freshman, what of potential health risks?  “As long as the water is flowing there is no hygiene risk as urine is sterile but we would encourage that every person using the same shower consents to the challenge and if not that they don’t take part,” Dobson told the BBC.

When asked about the campaign, the university sounded like a trying-to-be-proud parent at their kid’s very first pie-eating competition. “A [university] spokeswoman said the university supported ‘students in their efforts in these initiatives and encouraged all forms of enterprising, entrepreneurial and employability activity,’” according to the BBC.