Solve pollution. Save lives. Protect the planet.

December 14, 2009

I was going to write about Copenhagen and “climategate” today … but then I came across a curious piece of news about potty training pigs! It seems a farmer in Taiwan has trained his pigs to use a litter box, like cats. The result – less pollution resulting in cleaner rivers! I love this simple idea. That’s one farmer thinking outside the box and making a big difference. And that, to me, is the essence of pollution cleanup in much of the developing world today. We are always looking for innovative, cheap methods that can be easily replicated because cost is almost always the biggest factor.

In India, we are using worms to literally “eat” toxins out of polluted soil. In Philippines, we are using a local mineral to absorb pollutants out of industrial waste and sludge that would otherwise pollute rivers and waterways. In Indonesia, we are encourging the use of a simple retort that can be easily built for just $5 to recapture toxic mercury released during the gold mining process. At other sites we are using cow dung and molasses to clean up pollution.

As you can see, we already have a multitude of simple solutions at hand to fight various forms of pollution. All we need is the resources and commitment to implement them.

In Taiwan, authorities are encouraging other pig farmers to follow suit. I am guessing that any resources committed to teaching farmers this pig potty training skill will offer a return much bigger than the investment.

— Richard

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