Indonesian Village Uses Tofu to Save the Environment

December 23, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. tofu / ˈtoʊ fu / (n.) – white, soft food made from soy beans
Example: The town is known for making tofu.

2. pilot / ˈpaɪ lət / (v.) – to test out something
Example: The company will pilot their new product at a small village.

3. dispose / dɪˈspoʊz / (v.) – to throw away
Example: There are rules as to where factories should dispose their trash.

4. local / ˈloʊ kəl / (n.) – a resident of a particular area
Example: The locals are taught how to use their natural resources.

5. waste / weɪst / (n.) – something that is thrown away
Example: There are many initiatives that focus on reducing wastes.


Read the text below.
An Indonesian village has found a way to use tofu to save the environment.

Indonesia's Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) is piloting a project in a village called Kalisari. This initiative enables the residents of the village to turn the waste water produced from tofu factories into biogas, rather than just disposing them in the river.

This is achieved by using methane gas to treat the waste water, which produces biogas and waste that is almost without the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) pollutant. The biogas is then used to produce electricity for household use, while the waste is thrown into paddy fields or rivers.

BPPT has predicted that the project can help reduce pollution in the country by 26% by 2020. The head of the village says that about 24,500 liters of biogas can be produced by the Kalisari village, which is more than what they need on a daily basis. On average, their village consumes 91 liters of biogas in one day.

Aside from its environmental benefits, biogas is cheaper to use compared to other energy sources, such as LPG. This has lessened the locals’ cost of living by a significant level.

On the other side of the world, an international agency is looking into another form of waste that could be turned into biogas—human waste. The United Nations University branch in Canada reported that human waste could be converted into fuel that can be used like charcoal. This will not only lessen the production of carbon dioxide but also save trees.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think were the adjustments done by the village when this project began?
·         Would re-using water waste work in your country? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What type of waste would you want to reuse for something useful? Why?
·         How would you convince people in your country to reuse or recycle?

December 23, 2015