Wastewater from Cheese is Generating Electricity in Wisconsin

As the country's largest producer of cheese, Wisconsin is also the country's largest producer of cheese waste. But why think of that as a bad thing? In the hands of some enterprising Wisconsinites, what was once wastewater is now electricity. This is, after all, the same state that's using salty cheese brine to de-ice… » 1/30/14 10:00am 1/30/14 10:00am

A California Walnut Farm That Costs Peanuts to Run

If the midwest is America's breadbox, California is its orchard. The Golden State produces nearly half of America's fruits, vegetables and nuts—more than 400 varieties—an output valued at more than $43.5 billion each year. But the energy needed to grow, harvest, process, and ship this bounty is no small sum. That's why … » 8/16/13 11:30am 8/16/13 11:30am

Using Algorithmic Modeling to “Print” Smarter Fields

Combination planting—where certain crops are planted together to stave off pests or enhance taste—is as old as farming itself. But up until recently, it’s been difficult to be precise about where and how different crops can benefit from each other. Benedikt Groß, a UK-based interaction designer, is using algorithmic… » 7/05/13 3:01pm 7/05/13 3:01pm

Street Lights in India Powered By Poop

Yes, you read it correctly: The street lights in the Indian town of Thiruneermalai are run on digested curry. As National Geographic describes it, the human waste from an area housing complex collects in a sump, where the methane gas produced by the "sludge" is used to operate a generator. This biogas produces 3,000… » 12/11/07 4:20pm 12/11/07 4:20pm