Ecovila Biodigester System

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

Our ecovillage utilizes a biodigester as an excellent solution for sewage treatment. Biodigesters offer the ability to transform waste into usable energy, in the form of methane, and leftover product for fertilizer. Our biosystem consists of a biodigester (left), compensation box (middle), biofilters (right), lake of macrophytes (algae), and root zone (far right). It can be built with relatively low cost and ease, and does not require sophisticated materials or advanced construction knowledge to build.

The biofertilizer produced in the treatment process has no pathogens, due to the anaerobic fermentation it passes through, and is ideal for use in the maintenance of community squares and gardens because it does not pose health risks. It is consolidated as a perfect substitute for chemical fertilizers, which can be more expensive and aggressive to the environment.

The methane gas that is captured in the biodigester is of good quality and can be used in the kitchen of public schools, nurseries and hospitals, or, in large quantities, in thermoelectric plants.

Here in our reserve, initially, we built the biosystem with a focus on sewage treatment. However, the extraction of products from the process far exceeded the expectations foreseen in our planning, and today we have at least two hours of gas daily for consumption in the kitchen and workshop, while biofertilizers are used in the orchard, where we obtained a gain of productivity of at least 50%.

Store Shopping Bag Recycling

Houston AreaUnited States

Kohl’s exhibits extensive efforts toward creating more sustainable operations, company-wide. Our store offers a bin to allow customers to recycle their plastic bags, whether from Kohl’s or other stores (this is mandatory for associates). Customers can also bring other items for recycling, including packaging materials or shipping envelopes. As well, the bags we use in-store are made out of recycled plastic, themselves.

Hotel Smart Blinds for...

PragueCzech Republic

The blinds in our rooms at Mosaic House have sensors and settings that allow them to automatically adjust themselves in response to changing parameters. There are four primary settings which help us to save energy:

1. Active – Occupied (guest is in the room)

   Electricity: ON

   Temperature of Heating : 21 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 6 °C higher than outside temperature (default)

– The blinds are in down position and shut. If the guest comes in the room, the blinds open and stay in  the down position

– In case of strong winds, the blinds adjust to the up position

– In the winter season, the blinds also adjust to the up position on sunny days in order to heat up the room

2. Active – Empty (when guest is leaving the room, from 5 min – 4 hrs)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 19 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 2 °C higher than default setting

– The blinds are shut in the down position. If the guest comes in the room, the blinds are opened and stay in the down position.

3. Low Energy (when guest is not in the room, from 4 – 15 hrs)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 17 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 2 °C higher than default setting

– The blinds are in the Active – Empty setting

4. Checked Out / Hibernation (the guest will not be in the room for longer than 15 hrs, or is checked out)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 16 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: OFF

– The blinds are in the Active – Empty setting

Recycled Cement Aggregate

YepanMicronesia

We gather and crush glass bottles into the size and shapes of sand and gravel, in order to utilize the pieces as an aggregate in cement for paving the resort and other construction purposes. Not only does this serve to recycle materials and save on resources, the glass pieces offer a hint of shine to the concrete.

Restaurant Smart Grill

LondonUnited Kingdom

This grill is extremely energy smart. It has a special sensor that detects when cooking is generating smoke, and turns the fan on. When the smoke goes down, the fan automatically turns itself off.

Recycling Bins for Glass

DenverUnited States

While paper and plastic recycling bins are common in public settings, it’s rare to see glass included. Now the product least likely to break down can be reused & recycled infinitely! 

https://www.peacecorps.gov/educators/resources/timeline-decomposition/

National Plastic Bag Tax...

BogotaColombia

This is one of the nice reusable bags we had received at a local store, after legislation regulating plastic use was enacted in Colombia in 2016. Due to the large amount of plastic waste ending up in surrounding water bodies, Colombia has banned all plastic bags smaller than 30×30 cm, and placed a small charge on others that can still be purchased in stores (with a plan set to increase the tax each year until 2020).

By the middle of 2018, this initiative had served to decrease plastic bag consumption by 35%, and raised around $4 million in taxes [see articles below]. Success from these efforts is spurring other similar initiatives and will hopefully continue to drive progress toward mitigating damage from plastic moving on.

More on Colombia’s Plastic Initiatives:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innovative Reclaimed Shipping Container...

MontgomeryUnited States

The lodge actively takes extraordinary measures toward sustainable and low-impact efforts. Much of the site construction, alone, serves as an exhibition of innovative and deeply thoughtful design. These are the lodge’s primary suites, which are not only beautiful, but use creative structure re-use as well.

Each room is made from a single reclaimed shipping container, which can be seen clearly in the last image. Several other buildings at the lodge can be seen using the same feature, as well as utilizing old blue jean pants within the walls as insulation material.

Rural Lodge Water Sourcing

San FelipeBelize

All of our water is locally-sourced from the Moho River. It is UV triple-filtered for use in our cabanas, main lodge, and garden.

EcoCamp Biofiltration

Puerto NatalesChile

Our camp uses a biofiltration system to allow for the treatment and reuse of wastewater from the bath, including showers and toilets. The system is comprised of a bioreactor and 5 layers set for water filtration, including a layer of California worms. As with our composting toilets, bioreactors use microorganisms to degrade pollutants biologically, and thus release water that is safe to be placed back in the soil.

Ecovillage Zero Waste Methods

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

Our reserve practices a zero waste approach toward all of our operations, and recycling methods are well integrated into each particular area of use. The separation of garbage facilitates both the transport and storage, though we maintain a low overall volume due to the care we take in choosing the products we use. We make sure to look for items that are reusable or have a low ecological impact, and contain smaller amounts of packaging or recyclable packaging.

Most of our waste produced is organic and is directed to composting, transformed into fertilizer, and used in the garden, thus restarting its biological cycle.

Many other materials are otherwise used in our studio, for the creation of artistic products or towards construction efforts, allowing for a good alternative to conventional materials.

Compacted Plastic Bottle Blocks

YepanMicronesia

Our lodge has utilized crushed and compacted plastic bottle blocks as bricks for interior wall construction. The second picture displays the use of approximately 3400 bottles in a 2.84 x 2.70 m wall section.

Temporary Biodegradable Washcloths

MontgomeryUnited States

These washcloths are suitable for several uses, biodegradable, compostable, and made from 100% botanic fibers. In their compressed form, they can fit in the palm of your hand. However, when used with water, they expand to full-sized washcloths.

Urban Solar Parking Canopies

AustinUnited States

These solar canopies for parking lots not only help to provide electricity, but offer shade, rooftop protection, an efficient use of the substantial area allocated for parking space, and the option to introduce and power electric vehicle charging stations directly where they are needed.

Low-Water Raindance Showers

PragueCzech Republic

Our hotel/hostel has installed special Raindance showers, which use up to 60% less water than others. They are designed to limit flow and adjust to differing water pressures, using only 1.5-2 gallons of water per minute, while maintaining a full shower experience.

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