Aid Projects, Building, Conservation, Irrigation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Robert Cork May 14, 2012
A finished tyre tank stand
You may remember reading about the work of FoodWaterShelter to develop a sustainable home for vulnerable women and children in Tanzania. And you may recall their innovative approach to water storage. Well here’s another innovative use for old tyres — and one that may alleviate some potential concerns of unwittingly contaminating the environment through alternative uses of tyres.Comments (1)
Compost, Conservation, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 30, 2012
Photos © Craig Mackintosh
You’ve heard the Zaytuna Farm composting loo story before, but since this is the first time I’ve personally seen ‘the great chamber changeover’ take place myself, during one of my own visits, I thought I’d share the tale once more.Comments (18)
Consumerism, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Gabriela Vazquez April 21, 2012
Wood ash can be obtained by sieving the remains of burnt, non-treated wood. The composition and amount of the ash will depend on the type of combustion (higher temperatures will lead to fewer ash residues). Normally, remaining ash will represent 0.43 — 1.82% of the initial wood weight.
Although poor in nitrogen, wood ash is a source of calcium carbonate (30-40%) and potash (10%), so they have long been used in agricultural soil and composting as a liming and deacidifying agent.
But wood ash has a number of other possible uses at home. Some of them are:Comments (9)
Animal Forage, Biological Cleaning, Land, Plant Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Mark Feineigle March 22, 2012
Effluent processing all over the world requires large amounts of energy and/or chemicals to treat the waste water, or the waste water is improperly filtered before being returned to the environment. There are a number of solutions to lessen the waste water load while at the same time producing a net benefit. Systems that include the collection of urine to be used as fertilizer and methane digesters that create fuel from feces [see 'Biogas' section at bottom of the just-linked article] are a couple of such solutions. Another solution — constructed wetland filtration systems for homes, communities, and industrial sectors — are efficient in both processing ability and energy requirements.
These artificial wetlands provide a near zero energy input way to treat local effluent with no negative side effects. The process is free of both chemicals and odours, provides habitat for wildlife, increases the diversity and aesthetics of any site, and, depending on the toxicity of the inflowing effluent, can potentially create a yield, such as fodder for livestock.Comments (2)
Eco-Villages, Land, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Keveen Gabet March 21, 2012
Filling tyres with trash bricks
We recently spent a month volunteering in Indonesia, on the beautiful and luxurious island of Samosir. We lent our hands to a small but emerging eco-village situated right on the shore of Lake Toba. At Eco-Village Samosir there are many projects underway, from mulching around the 3,000 newly planted trees to creating a food forest to feed the growing number of volunteers.
During our visit, we noticed that a major cause for action in Silimalombu (population: 200) was waste management and recycling. Granted this is a national issue, world wide even, but I guess for us it was more an in-your-face issue to tackle as the image of an eco-village doesn’t usually exist with a litter mentality. The community decided to ‘cope’ with the myriads of plastic bags and other garbage by supplying each home with waste bins and adding receptacles here and there in which they later burn their trash. So although the quaint village appears clean and tidy, the kids, dogs and local fishermen pay the price by inhaling toxic fumes twice a week. Not everyone has adopted the ‘dump and burn’ approach; some simply hide all their trash on the slopes of the lake, where, to this day, few people can see.Comments (17)
Energy Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 15, 2012
I’m far from being an engineer, but to my untrained eye this looks interesting. "In a matter of months" the invention featured in the video below, created by Bulgarian scientists, might be in production — a household-scaled incinerator that can turn most household waste into usable gas. I’d hate to see people turning their waste biomass into gas (as you see in the video), but it’d be interesting to watch progress on this development for taking care of other household waste. More info here.Comments (1)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Dan Palmer March 13, 2012
Two days ago Dan and Will returned to a large VEG permaculture design and implementation project that was completed about five months ago. Via the videos below, take a virtual walk about the front and back yards — warts, ducks, giant silver beet, gorgeous connected multidimensional abundance and all!
You can also check out the design and before, during and after photos of the project here and also in our downloadable portfolio (warning: 38mb PDF!).
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Irrigation, Land, Material, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Robert Cork March 9, 2012
Just outside of Arusha, Tanzania, is ‘Kesho Leo’– a sustainable home for vulnerable women and children operated by FoodWaterShelter. The principles of permaculture underpin the daily lives of the Kesho Leo residents. It is currently the home of seven families, each headed by a Tanzanian mama who cares for up to five children, including orphans. In addition to the daily essentials, Kesho Leo provides the many other aspects that a ‘home’ needs; access to family and social support, access to education and health, and very importantly – access to community.
Permaculture meeting the needs of the Kesho Leo residents
Revolving around the community and education aspects of Kesho Leo are the permaculture systems that strive to provide all of the food, water and energy needs of the residents. Basic needs of water, sanitation and power are provided through rainwater harvesting, innovative batch compost toilet systems, and solar power.Comments (7)
Compost, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Laura Larumbe March 7, 2012
This is no ordinary worm farm: it is a fun project to do with the kids, it works like the best of farms, it looks fantastic and… it doesn’t cost any money!
Here’s how to make it:
1. Get three polystyrene boxes from your local fish shop / market / green grocer. The boxes should all be of the same size, stackable, in good condition, and preferably white (mine were printed; it wasn’t the end of the world, just required a little extra work). One of them needs to have a lid.Comments (5)
Land, Livestock, Podcasts, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Evan Young March 5, 2012
Zaytuna Farm – Photo © Craig Mackintosh
In the middle of Winter 2011, Trades Hall in Melbourne hosted a debate between the environmental impacts of an omnivorous diet vs. a vegetarian diet. Evan Young, Permaculture Consultant and former Intern and Staff Member of PRI Australia argued in favour of an omnivorous diet, citing many examples both from nature and modern farming techniques that use the natural pattern. These techniques enhance the environment while providing nutritionally dense foods. The debate was recorded by local 3CR Community Radio show "Food Fight" and they later aired some extracts on their programme — the audio of which is below.
Click play to hear the talk!3CR 'Food Fight' Show Excerpts Evan Young on Omnivorous Diet Comments (0)
Biological Cleaning, Compost, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Milkwood Permaculture February 29, 2012
Recently Nick gave a talk at TEDx Canberra. He talked about stewarding nutrients, how we can solve the problem of peak phosphorous (See ‘Phosphorous Matters’ Parts I & II here and here), and about how to grow the best cumquats ever.
Yes, Nick was talking about why taking responsibility for our poo and our wee — our most basic waste streams — is so crucial to our future. For a long time, a mark of superiority in some cultures has been how far you can get your shit away from you. But now, we need it back.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Richard Higgins February 23, 2012
In January 2010 Richard Higgins, founder and CEO of Well End Permaculture International, arrived at the epicentre of the Haiti earthquake in Port au Prince.
We sat the visiting NGOs down to lunch just to the left of this picture
(see next picture, below). Each double pallet contained 1,200 fresh
human wastes and nobody had any idea they were there
After arrival in Haiti I presented my researched technology at various WASH cluster meetings at the UN information site, near the airport. After the third presentation — made before the meetings had started, I was spotted by the regional director for Water and Sanitation for Latin America of the NGO giant CRS (Catholic Relief Services).
One week later I began work in a contracted position to set up a pilot project at the Sainte Marie Community Convent for the remediation of the toilet waste and other refugee camp generated wastes, into fertilizer, for 200 people.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Building, Conservation, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Potable Water, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Mark Feineigle February 8, 2012
Beavers and wasps can build their own homes… — Michael Reynolds
Modern Earthships are shelters built to sustain their occupants by providing energy, water, and waste management through the use of passive systems. They have been designed to meet the rigorous criteria that are found in the building codes of so many western governments. While these modern Earthships are quite pleasing structures, they owe their heritage to a series of evolutions Michael Reynolds developed over a 40+ year period in remote lands surrounding Taos, New Mexico in the United States of America. While experimenting with recycled materials for construction, a design known as “the hut” was born of earth-rammed tires, aluminum cans, cement, and some metal framing. It is an ultra light house in every sense, except physically.Comments (8)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Education, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 16, 2012
Join John Hardy on a tour of the Green School, his off-the-grid school in Bali that teaches kids how to build, garden, create (and get into college). The centerpiece of campus is the spiraling Heart of School, perhaps the world’s largest freestanding bamboo building. — Ted.com
Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Mark Feineigle January 4, 2012
What is it?
Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of nutrients released during decomposition. Hugelkultur, in its infinite variations, has been developed and practiced by key permaculture proponents such as Sepp Holzer and Masanobu Fukuoka for decades.