Hold onto your horses because the word “horse” is about to have a completely different meaning after this. This one is giving value to our food scraps!

There’s a big push in innovation these days to find different ways to make the energy we need to fuel the world we’ve created. And a startup in Seattle, Washington, United States is tackling this challenge by teaming our table scraps up with microbes! So let’s find out how this HORSE works.

Image: Food waste from a market

Source: Taz // Flickr

You’ve heard about composting before, but this system goes even further. The HORSE from Impact Bioenergy transforms table scraps into electricity and biofertilizer with zero waste involved!

Restaurants, grocery stores, breweries, and farms all have a lot of organic waste, so just think about all of the resources that could be saved if more people are able to adopt innovations like this! No trucking the materials to the compost facility or a landfill. Just clean energy that brings the food full circle and helps a new generation thrive.

This portable system (yes, food trucks and festivals could definitely use it!) combines the scraps with microbes that get to work breaking down the organic material, generating energy as they do that we can then harness.

Katie Herzog from PBS ReInventors visited one of these HORSE’s to show us how it works and give us a better idea of the impact that this system can have.

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

There’s a lot that can happen when we find ways to reuse our waste materials.

Nature has already come up with ways to balance out everything. Wherever you look, waste is turned into fuel. Decaying remains and plant matter fertilize, feed, and support up and coming organisms. From vultures to fungi to kelp and mussels in the ocean, there are robust and effective systems in place to clean up and recycle the planet’s natural litter.

And microbes and bacteria? Well, they’re basically masters at it.

Just think of what could happen if we focus on establishing more systems that mimic what’s already happening to clean up the natural world.

15 minutes

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You can learn more about the HORSE and the other amazing innovations from Impact Bioenergy by visiting their website!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

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  1. “How to Turn Leftovers into Electricity | ReInventors.” YouTube, PBS ReInventors, 20 June 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t56pxAcj8c. Accessed 25 Sept. 2018.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.