Funny Business with Jane Wells

A Really Green Idea

The promise of green jobs has wilted. The New York Times reports that, in some places, green employment is actually shrinking.

Don't lose heart. More of us may soon be forced to go green.


Unemployment in California rose to 12 percent in July. As a friend noted wryly this weekend, "Pretty soon there won't be any real jobs, so people will have to grow their own food."

That's green.

Food is especially on the minds of consumers in Los Angeles, as food could be harder to buy if grocery workers make good on their threat to go on strike (even though plenty of unemployed Angelenos are already applying to take their jobs).

Adam Katzman is way ahead of us in being self-sustaining. This unusual inventor has created his own sewage treatment plant in the Big Apple.

Here's the scoop: in Katzman's waste treatment system, there is no waste. The sewage is treated with bacteria and filtered through rocks and plants, and the remaining water eventually evaporates. His, er, stuff, doesn't even stink.

One catch, it floats. Not the sewage. The toilet. Katzman's creation is an outhouse on the water.


Is this really forward progress? Is this what our ancestors worked so hard for, a society that returns to outdoor plumbing? Katzman admits his creation faces challenges.


Here's a more modern green idea, modern because it wastes money, not resources. It's the Cedes Toothpaste Squeezer, which can even accommodate large tubes of toothpaste, squeezing them through an Italian contraption made of hand-crafted chrome with "a Perspex support base."

The squeezer retails for $295. I know, it's a lot. But think of all the tubes of toothpaste you'll keep out of the landfill by extracting every last bit of fluoride! Also, consider this an investment in your future poverty. If you do lose your job (assuming you haven't already), that $295 toothpaste squeezer will help you squeeze more from your toothpaste budget, which could be helpful if you're also eventually forced to use a floating outdoor toilet.

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