Sh*t, also known as; poop, poo, crap, turd, dung, excrement, stool, manure, feces, dookie, or number-two—just to name a few— is now being used as the primary component in an eco-friendly brick called: EcoFaeBrick.
The growing demand for resources is syncronistically growing with the human population. The demand for food and shelter are among the most basic needs and can interestingly be catered to through the manipulation and use of our animals’ very own shit! Farming and agriculture have traditionally used manure for fertilizing gardens however, much of it ends up in our landfills. Cows, in-particular, depending on their weight, milk production, etc. can produce on average between 150-85 lbs of manure per day![i] As long as staples in our diet include dairy and meat products, manure can and will be a rapidly renewable resource for products such as the Eco-Fae Brick.
In Indonesia, students from the Prasetiya Mulya Business School cultivated a new way to replicate local clay bricks that through “modern manufacturing methods, have rendered the production of bricks not only energy intensive, but also environmentally polluting”. [ii] The clay brick plants emit both toxic sulfur/nitrogen oxides and carbon particulates that contribute to our green house gas levels. The Eco-Fae Brick on the other-hand prevents nearly 1,700 tons of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere.
If the thought of using shit-bricks makes you cringe, think again. Comprised of more than 75% cattle manure, the brick is also 20% stronger and lighter than the traditional clay bricks. [iii] They are also processed through a biogas-firing kiln that eliminates any odor, bacteria and micro-organisms that may be unhealthy or undesirable. The demand of the product may also help to alleviate farmer poverty rates in under developed nations through compensation of the raw material.
In many cases, the solutions to our anthropocentric issues are simple. Taking waste and turning it into a easily and rapidly renewable material is a method that can help to alleviate tensions in developing countries. Using cow manure has long been a staple for both fuel and structure in vernacular mud-huts in India and Indonesia. Why is it taking the world so long to realize that our world issues may have already been solved by cultures before us? I can imagine that the process used to manufacture the Eco-Fae Brick can be utilized at the local level, decreasing costs in transportation and production. It would be interesting if the studies challenged the integrity of manure used. Are cows the only capable animal to produce bricks that function as the Eco-Fae Bricks do? What about horse, alpaca, pig, sheep, dog…or even human feces? Would all poo be able to be utilized in this way?
[i] “How much manure does a cow produce in a day? | Answerbag.” Answerbag.com | Ask Questions, Get Answers, Find Information . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2031901>.
[ii] “Another (Eco) Brick in the Wall – 1-800-Recycling.” Find Recycling Locations, Green Living Tips and More – 1-800-Recycling. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. <http://1800recycling.com/2010/06/eco-brick-wall/>.
[iii] “Another (Eco) Brick in the Wall – 1-800-Recycling.” Find Recycling Locations, Green Living Tips and More – 1-800-Recycling. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. <http://1800recycling.com/2010/06/eco-brick-wall/>.