Just returned to Cape Town after a family musical tour around the Eastern Cape. (My husband Jamie Jupiter, played some gigs with singer-songwriter Kathy Raven in the most beautiful places we could find, and we got to go along for the ride.)
(Pictured above are Kathy Raven on guitar with purple pixie hat, Jamie Jupiter on harmonica and special guest David Oldfield on Kagon ( a wooden box drum) playing at Tea in the Trees in Chinstsa- near Morgan bay on the East Coast.
In Morgan bay we stayed with David Oldfield, who’s organization- Finishes of Nature-http://www.finishesofnature.co.za/ is working on building biodigester facilities at schools around the Ciskei and Transkei. They have done brilliant work, not only building biodigesters, but also creating nutritious organic vegetable gardens at very under-privilaged schools in the area, where children often walk to miles to school with nothing in their bellies. Now they can be fed a healthy meal from food grown around the biodigester.
It opened my mind to the untapped potential we have around us. It’s just a matter of thinking about waste matter which one would rather flush away and never think about again! It’s really about thinking back to where all life began. The source of it all. Life on earth began with water and Algae. All life grew out of that great green bog. David showed me the biodigester he has at the local and only food shop in Morgan bay. Waste from both the toilet and organic waste from the kitchen goes into the biodigester outside. The dung from Cattle is an excellent additive. (Imagine if the effluent from those factory farms could be utilized this way… all though I would rather they didn’t exist.) The biodigester creates liquid waste which through its processes, becomes clean water and algae- which goes into the vegetable garden growing abundantly around it. The gas from the biodigester is used to cook on.
At his home where we stayed, David had a biodigester in the garden. He used the gas to cook sustainably, make toast, and even run a gas heater for winter months. All running on nothing but waste that could have just been flushed away.
In nature there is Zero waste. Its time for us humans to grow up and starting cleaning up our act.
Perhaps it starts with facing our shit!
When the shit hits the fan, it may be too late. According Bob Scholes, a researcher on the Council for Scientific Research – who are putting together the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) for the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change- says that unless we move to a low carbon economy as soon as possible – (3 times faster than the current rate) we will be facing some serious discomfort.
Evidence shows that temperatures are getting hotter and people are the dominant cause. According to the study by a panel of of international scientists:-
Oceans have warmed.
The global mean sea-level has risen.
Concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.
Sea levels are rising faster than predicted and will increase by 1 meter this centuary.
In South Africa we face serious heat stress, which is already affecting people, animals and agriculture. Time to wake up and smell coffee cooking on biogas and start utilizing our organic waste to create energy and food. Closing the circle makes so much sense. We are letting all our energy leak away while constantly grasping for more. No wonder we are running out.
- Wasted Energy: Converting Discarded Food into Biofuels Promises Global Energy Boon (scientificamerican.com)
- Food Becoming Fuel For Sacramento City Trucks, Street Sweepers (sacramento.cbslocal.com)
- We must talk about all of the Waste (ianchisnall.wordpress.com)