A Sustainable Way of Life Becomes the Curriculum! Part 5

Imagine. An elementary school and the surrounding neighborhoods joining  together to become  a sustainable community with the school at its heart.

Living machine

Biologies on the roots, detoxify water!

Science Rules! Tapping into the Power of Biologies; Community Composting and Recycling Water – Part 5

Throughout the neighborhood, attached greenhouses provide essential composting, soil studies and crop production opportunities. The solar recharged neighborhood electric cart collection service gives teens an opportunity to make money by driving household food scraps to the community composting bins.

“Living Machines,” water recycling tanks, demonstrate how bacteria and microorganisms purify water.

Living Machines, invented by Dr. John Todd, use plants and microbes to clean water instead of chemicals. They can handle household waste, and easily tackle industrial wastes, turning 600 to 750,000 gallons of waste per day into hyacinths and snails… Dr. Todd (a student of Bucky Fuller BTW), has been working with Living Machines for decades has found that there are certain plants or small animals that love certain kinds of waste. What he does is let the water run through a series of cisterns with different plants in each. What one plant likes to eat, it turns into other forms of waste, so in the next cistern he has the plant that considers that waste food. By the time the water comes out, it’s 5 times cleaner than traditional waste water treatment….

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3 Part 4  Part 5   
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BioChar-Carbon Sequestration and Soil Fertility

Black Soil, biochar, a special kind of charcoal, has been discovered in the Amazon jungles, as well as in Japan.  Tierra Preta,  as it is also called in Brazil, has amazing properties.  In the midst of large amounts of rainfall, where large quantities of biochar have been introduced into the soil, the soil’s fertility has lasted for centuries. This special kind of charcoal retains nutrients for plants and creates a most hospitable environment for microorganisms and has provided fertile soils for large populations in the Brazilian jungles for several thousand years.

As the “charcoal” withstands being broken down for long periods of time, modern soil scientists and farmers have realized Biochar could be the most effective way to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere, while adding to a soil’s fertility.  Most any material that contains carbon can be “cooked” to not only create a charcoal like product, but also the gases released during cooking process, pyrolysis, can be used as a substitute for fossil fuel. These two together have raised the specter that creating biochar out of waste carbonaceous material (agricultural wastes, etc) could be a major part of a long term solution to global warming, while adding to a soil’s fertility… READ MORE >>

Recycling… because trash isn’t really trash!

I just moved all my stuff out of my office, as we had a broken water pipe next door and my flooring warped. All my stuff is boxed and stacked under the front portal (porch). As I was packing up all the books and collected cool stuff, I started feeling oppressed by all my stuff.  It’s like my stuff has me, rather than I have stuff.

I have a lot of good books and magazines about sustainability. I want to  start a library, a sustainability center reading room; share all my good stuff. Well, maybe I’ll keep my cool collected stuff. It’s amazing how much stuff we have….I bet all the storage units in the US combined would cover Texas!

Have you seen The Story of Stuff? It’s a real eye opener, it’s incredible at how much waste is created as our stuff gets mined, manufactured, and transported. Something like 6% stuff, 94% waste!!!!

Enough about stuff… what about recycling?…  READ MORE >>

Sustainable Fiber-Industrial Hemp-Get over it!

It grows in marginal soils. It’s fibers are really tough. 19th century sailing vessels made their sails and rope with industrial hemp. I’ve heard blue jeans made of hemp don’t wear out, they wear in.

The excuses we are using to not grow hemp, are bogus! It’s time we stop being run by emotional boogie men and wise up. The herbicides and pesticides used to grow cotton destroy a soil’s fertility. Paper mills use dioxin in the processing of paper pulp. Dioxin is the most toxic man-made organic chemical known to man,  second in toxicity only to radioactive waste.

The healthy omega oils in hemp are sorely needed in our diets. Our ocean based Omega oil sources are getting polluted and over fished. When all the externalities associated with all the products that can be created by this amazing plant, are compared to externalities from fossil fuel based products, we will gratefully embrace industrial hemp. Our sustainable future needs renewable, non polluting fiber and food sources! Our farmers need the profitable crop. It’s time America, to make  sustainable real!

Share your ideas, links to resources, and recommendations for renewable fibers here!READ MORE >>

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