Sustainable living is a different way of looking at products and their value. We are from a high consumer mindset society and so until a few years ago, we would not really give a second thought to where things came from, who made them, the implications of the packaging and transport and if indeed there were better alternatives out there that could be sought without too much effort. We have been considering these and other related questions and putting some new approaches into practice. It makes us appreciate everything far more. It also helps us to realise that we are the only ones who will make a difference. Governments won’t, not quickly. Big business won’t either, it is not in their interest.
We don't throw out anything
At 5EyesFarm over the past few years that we have been here we have learned to recycle, reuse and reduce in practical ways. We do not have a service that picks up waste from here. We do not burn or bury or throw waste into water-ways or the ocean. And we do not put it in land-fill.
Separating hard waste Converting green-waste
These are the things that typically happen to rubbish both in this developing context and in other parts of the world. Instead, we turn green waste into insect food, ferments and composts. We use it to feed animals, feed soil and create life (microorganisms, worm-farms, BSF, Plankton etc). Hard waste, plastics, metal, synthetics are further divided into recyclable and non-recyclable. We manage these differently using non-recyclable to make everlasting products like bottle bricks for building walls. We sell on the recyclable materials.
Restoring old to new Making new from old
Surprisingly, once systems are established none of this is difficult. And the whole process has changed our view on what is possible and on the great scope of innovation that lies ahead for farming and other aspects of life through sustainable living.
Managing waste creatively
If we separate and sell on the recyclable plastic we are left with all the junk that is hard to manage and usually burned or buried. But we have gotten into the habit of making bottle bricks for building with all this plastic and now we don’t have enough.
Making bottle bricks
Building bottle walls
The Great Green Waste Challenge.
Organic or “green” waste – we use for compost and for breeding insects that we will feed to the animals for their high protein content. This has real potential. We started breeding the insects to feed the animals and between composting, worm farming and feeding the other insects (crickets, meal-worms and black soldier fly) we don’t even have enough green waste on the farm for them all.
Danti feeding the BSF eggs
Worm farms, BSF and fermenting
So we have started collecting extra from shops and local markets each day. As we expand this we have the potential to start a whole series of these small productions in the village.
Making, remaking, restoring
An important, exciting part of creative waste and product management includes making new from old. This is a redesigning challenge. What can I use to make this? What could this be good for? Making also includes using natural resources – bamboo for examole or palm fronds or banana fibre. We make baskets and rope and other useful farm products from natural resources. In addition to making and remaking we restore a lot of already made things and put them to new use. This may be furniture or it could be old wood used for repurposing for example. To restore is often to fix, clean and refinish.This table and chairs have been restored.