Melbourne’s Greenhouse restaurant wants your patronage. But more importantly, it wants your pee.
That’s right — this pop-up restaurant, which is open from March 2 through the 21st in honor of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, wants you to get all up in its custom-made toilets. The green eatery is collecting human urine and using it to fertilize soybean and canola crops. The restaurant, which is designed by Joost Bakker who is clearly a maniac, then uses unrefined canola oil to generate electricity for all of its operations.
Urine may seem an unorthodox energy source, but it is actually a great source of fertilizer when diluted. According to Bakker, “Urine is incredible for nitrogen, it’s so valuable — you only need the urine of 25 people to provide fertilizer for a hectare of crop.”
Pee isn’t Greenhouse’s only green feature. The restaurant is also crafted from reclaimed shipping containers and insulated with straw bales, and the magnesium oxide wallboard boasts one-tenth the carbon footprint of traditional fiber cement sheet. Plus, a garden sits on the roof, all kitchen waste is organic and compostable, and the restaurant serves only local, seasonal fare.
So if you find yourself in Melbourne, be sure to stop by for some seasonal eats and sustainable ambiance. Oh, and drink up — Greenhouse is depending on your frequent trips to the can.
Urine-powered restaurant pops up in Melbourne, SmartPlanet.
Get Grist in your inbox