Who knew cows loved the salty taste of seaweed?

Based in the UK, a team of students have developed a cow feed that uses seaweed to reduce the amount of methane entering the atmosphere, and facilitating an environmentally friendly dairy industry.

Poppy Newly-Bayliss and her fellow Ecologeco team members never imagined they’d be spending so much time focusing on cows when they started their studies at the University of Nottingham. However, today the team are using their STEM skills to transform the environmental impact of dairy farming.

Ecologeco is a team of eleven students who are building a business concept that will reduce the amount of methane entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. And around 40% of annual methane production comes from the 1.4 billion cows in the world, making cattle farming a key factor in global warming.

The team was formed from Enactus UK, a youth entrepreneurship non-profit, with the ambition to create a cow feed that reduces methane gases from livestock. Through research and product development, the team of students have now developed a seaweed-based eco feed that could reduce cow-based methane by up to 99%.

And who knew cows loved the salty taste of seaweed?!

The group are hopeful their business can facilitate an environmentally friendly range of dairy products - with a major supermarket and dairy producer already keen to stock their produce. The team are using their STEM skills to innovate change that will allow consumers to enjoy good quality dairy with little environmental impact.

Ecologeco Logo

Poppy Newly–Bayliss, from Ecologeco, said: “STEM, in general, is so important to everyday life, especially the problems we currently face. We need STEM and knowledge of science to be able to think of ideas to tackle these challenges. It is also something that as women we are passionate about because on our team we have 50% gender representation and this project is a great way for everyone to get involved in STEM and learn.”

Fellow team-mate Izzaty Abdulla added: “I love the combination of innovation and business. We need environmental scientists to develop the product and business and finance specialists to commercialise the concept. We have a diverse range of backgrounds and we all learn from each other, bounce ideas off each other and that’s the part I enjoy most about working on Ecologeco.”

UN Sustainable Development Goals

13: Climate Action
15: Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the goals