Abraham Noe-Hays '00 is co-founder of Vermont's <a href="http://richearthinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Rich Earth Institute</a>, whose mission is to advance the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility.Abraham Noe-Hays '00 is co-founder of Vermont's Rich Earth Institute, whose mission is to advance the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility. Credit: Betty Jenewin/Rich Earth Institute

How many times did you flush a toilet today?

It’s a query most of us never consider. Going to the bathroom is a frequent enough exercise that it tends to be void of any distinguishing memory. But it’s a surprisingly important question for two important reasons: Water is a natural resource that is being rapidly depleted, and nutrients that are flushed down the toilet contribute to water pollution.

Abraham Noe-Hays and Kim Nace are co-founders of the Rich Earth Institute, a pioneer in developing ways to convert human urine into plant fertilizer. The Institute runs the country’s first community-scale urine-diversion-to-soil-fertilizer program.

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