Month: May 2011

On Permaculture

On Permaculture

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.  Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect […]

My Yogurt Cup

My Yogurt Cup

This past year while living in Haiti and India, I didn’t take any showers.  Daily I would “take a bucket” as this was the only source for washing myself in both countries.  In the picture to the left there is a large blue barrel into […]

Rain Water Harvesting

Rain Water Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulating and storing, of rainwater for reuse, before it reaches the aquifer. It has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation, as well as other typical uses given to water. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, can make an important contribution to the availability of drinking water. Water collected from the ground, sometimes from areas which are especially prepared for this purpose, is called Stormwater harvesting. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater harvesting systems can be simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater can’t be of good quality and may require treatment before consumption. As rainwater rushes from your roof it may carry pollutants in it such as the tiniest bit of mercury from coal burning buildings to bird or dog feces. Although some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that is harmful to human health, it can be useful in flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering the garden and washing cars; these uses alone halve the amount of water used by a typical home. Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200 mm (7.9 in) per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992). Overflow from rainwater harvesting tank systems can be used to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge, though this is a related process, it must not be confused with Rainwater harvesting.

Recyclable Energy

Recyclable Energy

Among permaculture projects in Haiti, I worked on renewable energy within two communities for whom the cost of cooking fuel was either too expensive or unavailable for many leaving these communities the only option they had traditionally used: charcoal.  The problems with charcoal use are […]

Animal Rights Today

Animal Rights Today

Published in 1975, Animal Liberation has been cited as a formative influence on leaders of the modern animal liberation movement. The central argument of the book is an expansion of the utilitarian idea that “the greatest good of the greatest number” is the only measure […]

Monsanto

Monsanto

This man photographed in the picture sells seeds in Kenscoff, just outside Port-au-Prince.  The seeds cost pennies, all are imported from abroad.