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Published on August 14th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz


First Manure-Powered Carnival Ride Makes Its Debut

August 14th, 2008 by  


Last week, I wrote about a farm in China that will power itself entirely with chicken manure. Now poop power has made it to mainstream America with an announcement that the California State Fair will play host to the first known amusement ride powered by cow manure.

The Barnyard Animal Train will use excrement from California dairy cows to create renewable biogas. Kids taking a ride on the train will also have the opportunity to learn about renewable energy— and of course, will get to experience it firsthand.

At first glance, this may not seem like a big deal. But state fairs around the United States are joining the alternative energy wagon, albeit not always by using cow manure.

The Minnesota State Fair will feature a wind energy center, the Wisconsin State Fair will contain an energy park, and the North Carolina State Fair will play host to a model “green home”.

I remember most of my state and county fair experiences from when I was a kid—so if the exhibits at these state fairs are any indication, today’s children will have their eye on renewables for a long time to come.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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