What if H.O.W. (household organic waste) was commonly seen as a renewable resource? H.O.W. would then be valuable, it would be an object of desire in a world of scarce resources. It wouldn't be thrown away just like that. We'd all benefit from it: we'd crowdsource H.O.W.
A design-science collaboration
Everybody produces H.O.W. (household organic waste). Let's imagine that H.O.W. is commonly seen as a valuable renewable resource (which it actually is, by the way). And let's imagine we all crowdsource it. In this scenario we have to rethink our relationship and behaviours around it. The moment H.O.W. begins to have trade value, it also begins to have social and political weight.
This design-science study makes a social biotech proposition: to use H.O.W. as social catalyst and empower sustainable behaviour. H.O.W. is proposed to be bioconverted into a renewable material. People can obtain it themselves and use it on their own. To create this material, H.O.W. needs to undergo controlled bioprocesses just as much as it needs a new meaning in our minds. Empirical laboratory experiments and a survey explore this possibility. While the survey gathers data on what H.O.W. looks like in people's bins, the experiments assess what adapting biotechnological H.O.W. treatments to everyday life could be like. About 50 resulting samples of material obtained in different ways offer a first glimpse of what a participatory H.O.W. material could look like.