Category: Waste Systems & Recycling

Composting Toilets in Thailand

Newly completed composting toilet This is an analysis of a humanure composting toilet designed and built at the Panya Project in Mae Taeng, Thailand. Humanure toilets are a very effective, easy, cheap method of creating a resource out of what our conventional society views as waste. A humanure composting toilet allows feces to break down into soil by adding sawdust to the chambers after each ‘use’. After six months of […]

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Permaculture Around Latin America – Urban Agriculture in Haiti

With the fourth installment of ‘Permaculture in Latin America’, I invite you to take a look at a video on urban gardening in Haiti, and consider such initiatives in the context of the natural disasters that have besieged it constantly since 2010. One of the first things I asked my PDC teacher about was if there was some sort of permaculture disaster relief program or group, since it seemed to […]

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Community Action at Earthship Building Workshops

People are ditching mortgages and finding community through earthship building The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in accessible earthship building and sustainable lifestyle workshops across Australia and Internationally. The basic message for participants is empowerment through action and networking which provides the opportunity for communities and individuals to develop skills and community support for building and other types of projects that rely upon voluntary labour — similar […]

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Building the Chicken Tractor on Steroids

Building the Chicken Tractor on Steroids

"Who can weld?" Geoff asks. Keen to impress, my hand goes up. “I will see you at the shed after dinner tonight then”, a twinkle of excitement in his eye. This is the story of the chicken tractor on steroids from concept to birth. The story goes that after Geoff’s visit to go see Karl Hammer at Vermont Compost, he couldn’t stop thinking about the outstanding quality of the compost, […]

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Solar Water Bottle Bulbs

Alfredo Moser with his solar water bottle bulbs Introduction Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his electric bulb in the nineteenth century. In this century it is the solar bottle bulbs of Alfredo Moser which are illuminating thousands of houses of under-privileged people in many countries. This simple invention of the Brazilian mechanic is going viral and is been implemented in remote villages throughout the world. This article […]

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Creating the Alternative: Inside Look into the SolTrekker

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Sorry for the hiatus, but would you believe we came across a few bumps in the road? Just like with any worthwhile quest, unexpected challenges emerged. Now that we’ve had some time to address them, we are excited to share our struggles as well as our findings. When we began the Creating the Alternative Tour we were determined to design a regenerative lifestyle while […]

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How to: Making Eco-Bricks (Costa Rica)

Finished bottles. Remember, one’s trash is another’s treasure! Last year I worked on making cob walls for a chicken coop, after attending a natural building course over a weekend which taught me about bahareque, the Central American equivalent of cob, if you will, which is adapted for tropical climates and for heavily seismic areas. The teacher, Eduardo Valverde, who is a Costa Rican green architect well versed in natural, indigenous […]

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Can Earth Building Scale Up to the Mainstream? Robert Alcock on the Power of Keeping It Small

Rob Hopkins: Our recent post about Kevin McCabe’s ‘cob citadel’ and what we might learn from it about ‘scaling up’ generated a lot of debate and discussion. Robert Alcock, a cob self-builder living in Spain commented that “the really great thing about cob is that it is an inherently anti-mainstream material”. Intrigued, and wanting to hear more of his own story, I asked him if he might share his thoughts […]

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Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

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Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a mostly Palestinian refugee-populated village. When we first started working on the site local farmers thought […]

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Funding for Small Scale Anaerobic Digesters in England

UK government starts mining agricultural wastes for renewable energy as municipal and household wastes are becoming scarce. by Dr Mae Wan Ho On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund The UK government has set up the On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund to help farmers in England install small scale anaerobic digesters on site [1, 2]. The scheme, formally launched 12 October 2013 by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary […]

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