Solutions journalism is news about how communities and organizations are responding to social and environmental problems. This collection contains solutions stories about how communities around the world are currently utilizing biogas to not only provide for their energy needs but also improve their local economies. One project, in Rwanda uses biogas created from the school's bathrooms to provide energy for cooking students' food, reducing the school's energy bill by two-thirds. Alappuzha, a city in India, responded to the existential threat trash posed to its tourist industry by becoming the cleanest city in India, in part through the use of community recycling and regional biogas generators. Finally, we learn how hog farms in the US are helping Duke University reach its goal of zero emissions, and how University of Notre Dame is using their food scraps to power local homes.
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Methane is 34 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, making it a significant threat to the atmosphere. If not dealt with carefully, organic waste emits methane gas as it decomposes. In order to regulate this production of methane, sealed tanks called methane or anaerobic digesters have been created to trap the methane released which can then be used as energy in the form of biogas. The solids left over from this process, which are extremely nutrient rich, are an excellent fertilizer. Using biogas as an energy source reduces the demand for wood and coal as sources of fuel, limiting their harmful impact on the planet and human health, leading Project Drawdown to list methane digesters as a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Join the Earth Month Ecochallenge to learn more and take action on this climate solution.