Sustainable ecosystems reuse so-called waste in closed loop processes. Scientists are now applying this principle to human manufacturing: making flowers from shoes, meat from sewage, and on the space shuttle, water from pee.
NASA’s New Bag Turns Urine Into Sports Drink http://idle.slashdot.org/story/11/07/07/1152221/NASAs-New-Bag-Turns-Urine-Into-Sports-Drink “NASA’s Atlantis shuttle is set to launch this Friday, and its crew will be testing an innovative device that can recycle human urine into a sugary sports drink. The bag uses forward osmosis technology and features a semi-permeable membrane capable of isolating water from virtually any liquid. Recycling urine in this way has a significant effect on a ship’s payload, and considering that a single pound adds $10,000 of cost, that slight weight difference can translate to serious savings.”
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 7:20 PM Japanese Scientist Creates Meat Substitute From Sewage http://idle.slashdot.org/story/11/06/15/219200/Japanese-Scientist-Creates-Meat-Substitute-From-Sewage “Hold on to your hamburgers — Japanese scientist Mitsyuki Ikeda at the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama has invented an artificial meat substitute made from human feces. The unseemly meal is made by extracting protein and lipids from ‘sewage mud.’ The lipids are then combined with a reaction enhancer and whipped into ‘meat’ in an exploder. Ikeda makes the ‘meat’ more palatable by adding things like soy protein.”
Biodegradable Sneakers Sprout Flowers When Planted http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/02/23/2133202/Biodegradable-Sneakers-Sprout-Flowers-When-Planted “People may joke about their dirty old sneakers turning into science projects or mini ecosystems, but once OAT Shoes’ compostable sneakers become commercially available within the next several weeks … let’s just say, those same people may no longer be joking when they make those kind of statements. Made using hemp, cork, bio-cotton, certified biodegradable plastics, chlorine-free bleach and other nontoxic materials, the shoes are designed to completely break down when buried in the ground – the first batch will even come with seeds in their tongues, so that wildflowers will sprout up in commemoration of users’ planted, expired kicks.”