Ah, green design at its finest. Here at Inhabitat we pride ourselves in bringing you the freshest eco-friendly innovations, so how could we pass on the merits of this bright pink burp-trapping bovine backpack? It’s more than just a catchy concept – believe it or not there’s real SCIENCE at work here! The methane collecting tanks were utilized by Argentina’s National Institute for Agricultural Technology as part of a a study to determine the atmospheric impact of methane released by cows. The findings were startling, as researcher Guillermo Berro estimated that “30% of Argentina’s total greenhouse gases could be generated by cattle.” Time to seriously consider that poo power plant!
As off-key as it may sound, methane is a potent greenhouse gas and livestock emissions can contribute a significant share to atmospheric pollution. A single cow is capable of producing from 800-1000 liters (25-35 cubic feet) of emissions every day, which adds up quickly when you consider the 55 million cattle that comprise Argentina’s massive livestock industry.
Berro’s study harnessed ten cows with methane-collecting tanks that captured emissions released from their stomachs, allowing researchers to analyze and extrapolate the environmental impact of raising cattle. The study has sparked interest in the issue and follow-up studies are investigating new diets that reduce methane emissions by making it easier for cows to digest food.