Lilian Min
December 29, 2015 7:20 pm

As children, we thought about living in effervescent castles built of sunshine and rainbows and populated with Lisa Frank animals. As we got older, our qualifications for finding a great place to live got a little more lax (generally boiling down to, will I actually be able to live after paying rent). But there’s a magical place that satisfies both your childhood and adult living dreams: Albertville, France, a city that runs on cheese.

That’s not a euphemism or a moment of wish fulfillment: Albertville, located in the Beaufort region of France, has built a power plant that runs on whey, a byproduct of the cheese-making process. (And oh, does Beaufort make a lot of cheese.) Through the magical process of ~*science*~ (or rather, capturing the methane gas given out by whey), the city is able to divert some of its electricity production processing to something a little greener and, er, gassier.

The plant’s power-supplying output currently covers about 7% of the population’s power needs, but considering that these types of food-to-fuel enterprises are few and far between (Smithsonian covered a New York yogurt plant that does a similar thing), new movement and implementation of these ideas will hopefully lead to more recycling efforts like Albertville’s. Until then, we’ll be planning a trip to southern France to, uh, help support the local cheese industry’s environmental efforts.

Related reading:

Science explains our addiction to cheese

There’s a campaign to rename American cheese

Image via Shutterstock.

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