Yes poop. 💩
Here are two ways poop came in handy this year:
In Japan: “Professor Poo bestseller brings scatology-based study to Japan” (from the Guardian). This book is helping kids learn to write kanji characters, and the term うんこ漢字ドリル(Poop Kanji Drills is the name of the book) was one of this year’s Words of the Year in Japan. (“The Japanese words that perfectly sum up how the country felt this year” from Quartz)
Read more about the workbook at Spoon and Tamago.
In the US: turning cow poop into electricity
Read more about this “methane digester” at the Strauss Family Creamery in California.