Ecovila Sustainable Craft Shop

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

Based on the reuse of materials, we use and develop various art techniques in our workshop. Currently much of the creation is focused on mosaics, diverse products of molten glass, and natural fibers. The products coming from the atelier are displayed for sale in our store of sustainable products, and are also used in the decoration and functional parts of the inn, making each environment unique and full of personality. 

A new space has also been creatively built with recycled and reused materials that combines mosaics, bottle walls, and demolition pieces integrated into the rustic and cozy ambiance. The mosaic is an organic part of the El Nagual Reserve, practiced as a strategy of recycling in the construction. Today it is possible to find several mosaics in all corners of our facilities, in the same way a great variety of products are made with equally diverse techniques.

Rural Lodge Gardening and...

San FelipeBelize

Most of the vegetables and fruits we eat at the lodge are harvested in the garden by our gardeners. SHI (Sustainable Harvest International) also provides workshops in this garden, and guests can volunteer if they choose to. We have some animals, two horses that substitute as lawn mowers, and pigs that help with composting.

Lodge Reclaimed Construction Materials

MontgomeryUnited States

This lodge uses an extraordinary amount of reclaimed materials in its construction. Seen here are some of the sample builds, displaying the incorporation of reclaimed barn wood and tin roofs into the base designs. As with many of the other site features, this provides for a wonderfully rustic and raw accent to the grounds.

EcoCamp Renewable Energy Sources

Puerto NatalesChile

Our camp creates energy where it can, utilizing both solar and hydro sources. Using solar panels, we are able to provide around 30% of our power needs. However, the other 70% is made available through a micro-hydro turbine, powering our appliances and lighting. The flow of the river is able to provide a steady 800 W to us, with an input of 5 liters per second and high net pressure.

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

Glass Reuse in Artful...

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

We actively unite sustainable ventures with artful creation around many areas of our reserve. These are some of our bottle walls, which not only serve to repurpose glass bottles, but offer a beautiful array of colors to the rooms when reflecting the incoming natural light.

Lodge Sustainable Gardening Methods

TabananIndonesia

We grow food in our organic gardens, using organic fertilizers and homemade seaweed concentrate. We focus on cooking local traditional dishes, and continuously plant in order to stimulate the bird and butterfly population.

Urban Hotel Rooftop Solar...

PragueCzech Republic

The solar panel installation at our hotel can be seen at the center right of the image, and utilizes the sunlight as a source of energy to heat running water. The temperature of the working fluid can rise up to 80°C. Thanks to our Pontos, cooling, and boiler systems, the running water is then cooled to 55°C by the end of the whole process.

In the summer season, there is no need to activate the Pontos or boiler systems, as the solar panels absorb enough sun energy (up to 240 kW) to warm up the running water.

More information on the Mosaic House Pontos system may be read in another post:

Hotel Grey Water System with Heat Recuperation

Restaurant Roof Gardening

Ville de QuebecCanada

During the summer, we grow fresh herbs on the roof of the restaurant. Among other items, we grow basil, mint, edible flowers, and tomatoes which, picked the same day, will probably be found in the dish or cocktail you order!

Restaurant LED Lighting

Ville de QuebecCanada

We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.

Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.

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%.

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.

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Urban Roof Beekeeping

Ville de QuebecCanada

On another section of our roof, two beehives are installed that house over 40,000 small employees. During the summer, they help to produce about 80 kg of honey for the restaurant.

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