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.
It’s an idea for a 30 Day Challenge. See how little trash you can produce in one month and how many of the changes you make to your daily life are sustainable for you.
It’s also a good research project theme: how much trash and food waste do Japanese businesses produce, and how easy would it be to change policy in ways to encourage them to produce less waste? A lot of supermarkets now charge ¥2 or ¥5 or ¥10 for plastic bags, but convenience stores don’t. Should they?
Chie Hitotsuyama is a “contemporary art trailblazer” who uses recycled newspapers to create sculptures of wild animals: monkeys, rabbits, walruses, sea turtles, iguanas, and more.
“Their exuberant expressions convey the strength needed for survival in unforgiving nature.”
Read more about the artist and her work at the Kokusai Pulp & Paper Company.
This man takes discarded wood from old buildings in New York City and makes guitars from it.
See some of the guitars on the Carmine Street Guitars site.
Two longer articles about Mr. Kelly and his guitars: