Farming for gold: Using plant crops to remediate soil, remove contaminants, harvest gold, and keep ex-miners employed (UPDATED)

I love stories like this one at the Christian Science Monitor about Chris Anderson, a New Zealand scientist using crops to clean up contaminated mines. (Thanks Z+Partners for the link.)

In one fell swoop, he has come up with a process to improve the environment (both by having plants around and by having the plants decontaminate the soil), make money (enough to pay for the process AND make a profit), and also keep small artisan miners in business, although now they are watching over crops instead of pouring chemicals into the old mines.

UPDATE: Closer to home, Matt brought my attention to a successful joint effort between Teck-Cominco, Western Bioresources Consulting, and Celgar Pulp Mill. Thanks Matt!

These are great examples of triple-bottom-line thinking.