Silly Science Series

What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is energy that comes naturally from the earth. Examples of renewable energy are from the sun (solar), wind, rain, ocean waves and hot water from the ground (geothermal).  Another example of renewable energy comes from animal waste as shown in this book. You can convert, or change animal waste or even rotting garbage (read article about converting garbage)  into methane. Methane is a gas that can be used as electricity.

True Stories & Real People

Poop to Power at Straus Family Creamery
Straus Family Creamery is a dairy farm in Northern California that produces milk, yogurt and ice cream. They put their cow’s poop into a “methane digester” which then creates methane gas, just like Tag’s farting hut! The farm saves up to $50,000 each year since the methane from its cow manure helps generate all electricity to power the dairy. Trapping the methane gas also helps save the environment by stopping it from going into the air and not causing pollution.  This is a great example of recycling energy, or renewable energy.

Cows from Argentina with Methane Backpacks
Researchers in Argentina (a country in South America) are putting special backpacks on cows to trap their methane gas. Cows can generate up to 80 gallons of gas per day. Each backpack of methane gas can produce enough electricity to power a refrigerator for one day. Argentina is famous for their cattle ranches, so if this research is successful, we will see cows with fart backpacks all over the world.