Keeping "Poo-Miles" to a Minimum with Composting Porta-Potties

Mobile composting toilets present an environmentally friendlier alternative to the standard Porta-Potty.

The outdoor concert is one of summer's most delightful events, but also one of its grosser experiences from an environmental perspective. Drawbacks include the mountains of trash and disposable cups, the abundance of fast food, the absence of public transportation for getting to remote festival locations, and last but not least, the ubiquity of chemical-fueled Porta Potties. As Treehugger pointed out, festivals have recently tried to address some of these problems: Coachella offered a train in 2008 to convey passengers to the festival grounds while the Danish festival Roskilde installed "P-Trees" (a makeshift urinal strapped to a tree which drains urine into the ground; see the video below).

But we're most excited about another recent addition to the festival circuit: the Thunderbox, a mobile composting toilet that they've been using at the Shambala Festival in the UK for a few years now. The Thunderbox Collective, a company based in Tiverton, England, constructs these "port-a-loos" from locally harvested sustainable timber.

The collective presents the Thunderbox as an alternative to the water- and chemical-intensive plastic Porta-Potty, which "requires specialist smelly disposal, employing large vehicles generating high 'Poo-miles.'" according to it's website. (We're pretty sure they coined the term "poo-miles.")

A single-stall Thunderbox will set you back around $2,200, while a double costs around $2,600. If you'd like to rent one for your next event, you're out of luck unless you happen to live in Southwest England. The Thunderbox Collective is keeping their rental business hyperlocal for now, to keep poo-miles to a minimum.



Image via the Shambala Festival's Flickr stream

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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