Disposable diapers help some moms, but they are full of a super absorbent hydrogel that is damaging to the environment. This poop salvation made up 3.4 million tons of waste, or 2.1 percent of U.S. garbage, in landfills in 1998 -- the last year this information was collected, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Damn you, hydrogel!
Diapers in landfills in underdeveloped countries are especially problematic because they often aren't properly disposed of and excrement leaks into the local water supply.
But one guy has cracked a code and created a formula that could turn this huge toxic waste issue into one that gives back to the environment. He's known as the diaper farmer.
Scientist Willem Van Cotthem, an honorary professor of botany at Ghent University in Belgium, loved diaper technology so much that he wanted to find a way to essentially plant diapers filled with water and allow that water to be released over time in order to grow crops.
He met an engineer who created a non-toxic hydrogel. Van Cotthem was skeptical, but when the man ate some of it and didn't die in a month's time, Van Cotthem believed him, as reported by Popular Science.
They figured out how to not only make the diaper gel non-toxic, but also to make the hydrogel already in them start re-releasing moisture as well, to become functional for agriculture.
With this, he created a "soil conditioner" called TerraCottem, which contains hydrogels and other organic ingredients that slowly release over time to nourish the soil and keep it nourished. He has been so successful that it is literally helping to grow fruit on every single continent in the world except Antarctica. And it's all thanks to diapers. Sort of.
Diapers doing good ... instead of just taking up space in a landfill. That's something I can get behind.
What do you think of this diaper farmer?