Sunday, 4 March 2012

Guinea pig power

Gaia Vince, who writes the blog Wandering Gaia,  finished a very long globetrot last year. Here’s her video celebrating guinea-pig poo power.  The enterprising people featured are from Pachacamac, Peru and they run a cuy (guinea pig) farm.  Peruvians like to eat cuys but, as anyone who has kept guinea pigs knows, they create (for their size) a lot of waste matter. What on earth could one do with it all?
Gaia interviews the splendidly named (and hatted) Ulises (pronounced Ulysses) Moreno about their methane producing biodigester unit which produces gas for cooking and lighting.

Of course, it’s not just guinea-pig waste that can be used to anaerobically generate methane for cooking, lighting or electricity. Almost any organic material will do, from lawn clippings to last night’s chips. Here’s a video about a Nebraskan farmer who raises pigs and soy beans, generates electricity from the biogas then finally feeds the digested material back into the land as free fertiliser. What is stopping Jersey cattle farmers from doing something similar? Not a lot, apart from the up-front cost of the equipment and the necessary can-do spirit. Perhaps, if our Finance/Economic Development Ministers are looking for a sustainable economic project to invest in Planet Jersey’s future, they might consider something like this.
Nebraska soybean Checkoff farmers

Biodigesters are really simple and there are tons of Youtube videos of people who have made their own domestic devices to get a lot of benefit from their organic waste. Here’s a link below to just one but don’t just click on the play button – instead double click on the YouTube logo in the bottom right of the window to go directly to the relevant YouTube page. Click on the multiple links on the right hand side for many more devices and approaches.




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