While waiting in line at the post office, I noticed these post-consumer waste packaging options. There were many, and in researching them, I also learned how much effort the USPS was putting into sustainability through its website :
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.
Our organization gathers surplus food from all types of food providers in order to tackle food waste and eliminate hunger, contribute to charities in need, and educate and involve communities by increasing awareness about food waste, rescue, and security.
We provide rescued food through our supermarket and band of food trucks, while also directing it to more than 900 charities across Australia. To date, we have delivered over 60 million meals and saved more than 20,000 tonnes of food from ending up in a landfill.
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.
Our septic system is a composting system whereby the water flows into a septic tank, and then to soak a field. These fields are contained in large block vats, lined with several feet of PVC pipe, then covered with earth and banana trees. The banana roots form a dense mat which then absorbs the water and nutrients from the vat, creating a closed system of bio and phyto (plant) remediation (restoring balance). As a result, our land and river are waste free.
Residual materials are sorted at each work station. Here, the organic ones will be composted.
Our camp uses a composting toilet system, which requires very little water and is excellent for soil regeneration. Such a system utilizes decomposition and evaporation to process waste. What is not evaporated, we mix with wood chips. This remains an active process in which aerobic bacteria transform the waste into fertilizing soil.
Due to the important contribution of the bacteria, the final product is non-harmful and safe to use. This is why we spend a great deal of effort to ensure a hospitable and warm environment for the process, especially through our very cold weather.
The lodge houses a variety of features constructed from bamboo, fully exhibiting its extensive range of uses and capabilities. Bamboo is also sustainably grown onsite for construction purposes, and used in some rooms for structural strength. Not only is it found in beautiful outdoor retreat areas, but in walls, furniture, stunning roofs, and for sturdy structural support.
When outside temperatures reach -5 degrees or below, our smart building management system begins to heat the windows of our dining rooms. The gentle heat produced cuts the feeling of cold air that one usually encounters at the window’s edge, and additionally, allows us to heat the room less.
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%.
Our first solar powered buggy from Serenity Eco Guesthouse and Yoga in Bali!
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.
All of our restaurants are fitted with Energy Smart LED lights, with back of house spaces being sensor sensitive so they switch off when there is no one around.
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.
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.