Taking recycling to a whole new level, the Peepoo bag allows you to, well, pee and poo in a bag, which can then be planted to help your garden grow. For slums in the developing world where human waste is an unregulated nightmare and flying toilets are common practice, the bag provides a means of waterless sewage disposal and organic fertilizer all in one easy, biodegradable step.
The bag is lined with Urea, a common fertilizer that breaks down urine and feces into ammonia and carbonate. Pathogens in the waste, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, are killed within anywhere from a matter of hours to several weeks.
Anyone who’s seen Slumdog Millionaire knows the sorry state of sanitation in many of the world’s biggest slums. And with sewage contaminating more waterways and public spaces every day, the need for effective sanitation measures is dire. To bring the point home, here’s a stat for you: Only 16 percent of people in Cambodia have access to some sort of latrine or toilet, and five million people around the world die from waterborne illnesses every year.
Slums are all the rage these days, though for the millions living in them, the reality is less about entertainment than survival. But as part of a youth group based in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, several ex-cons have started the region’s first organic farm.
With an estimated one million people living in an area smaller than Central Park, Kibera makes headlines more often for things like flying toilets—people using plastic bags, and sometimes throwing them out the window, when latrines are unavailable—than for the availability of fresh produce.
But in the midst of the instability following the election in Kenya last year, Victor Matioli and his 36-member Youth Reform Group met with Su Kahumbu from Green Dreams, an organic produce company, to discuss the possibility of starting a farm in the slum.
In order to avoid putting pesticides and other additional chemicals into the soil, Kahumbu decided to teach the group organic, rather than conventional, farming methods.