Solar power? Wind power? Sure. But pee power? Human urine serves as an energy source for Melbourne's pop-up Greenhouse restaurant.
Open March 2 through to the 21st as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Greenhouse is the brainchild of Joost Bakker, a designer who has proven that an entirely waste-free restaurant is indeed possible, and is making its debut in Melbourne after appearing in Sydney last year.
The restaurant contains custom-built lavatory facilities designed to collect patrons' urine. The urine is then diluted and used as canola and soybean plant fertilizer. Nontraditional and maybe a little off-putting to some, pee collection is a surprisingly effective plant fertilising method. According to Bakker, “Urine is incredible for nitrogen, it’s so valuable — you only need the urine of 25 people to provide fertiliser for a hectare of crop.”
Greenhouse boasts other eco-friendly features as well. The building is constructed out of a light gauge steel frame and ECO-ply plywood walls. Held together by glue made entirely of soybeans, the whole structure is 100% recyclable. The restaurant runs on energy generated and fuelled by pure canola oil, and is insulated by locally sourced straw bales, an agricultural by-product.
March 15, 2012 by Anya Krenicki