Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Mother's Earth

In the era of global warming, environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and recycling, teaching ecology takes on a whole new form.  It is hard to argue against the fact that education is paramount in affecting awareness and change.  This year I had the unique opportunity to take my class of Pre-AP Biology students, all 11th graders, to a self-sustaining eco-community located about half an hour outside of Cali.  While many of the ideas and ways of life implimented in this community - which includes about forty families and is governed entirely by women - are a little unrealistic for a contemporary lifestyle, I feel it is important for my students to see how thinking "outside the box" can, indeed, work.

Nashira, named after an indigenous goddess of abundance, uses solar energy for many of its power needs, including all the cooking.  All of the buildings have been constructed using recycled materials to create the "cement" and composting sheds have been set up throughout the commun for equal access for all the individual gardens set up in each family plot.  Each family is assigned and responsible for the opperation of one aspect that the entire community benfits from, for example the raising and collecting of hen and chicken eggs, the maintainence of the compost sheds, organizing the recycled and waste materials in the materials building, to name a few.

One the most ingenious aspects of the community is the main communal bathroom, called a baño seco or "dry bathroom" as it is flushless and requires no traditional plumbing.  This is not your average hole in the ground toilet, however!  The toilet bowl is separated into two sections, for number one and number two, respectively.  After doing number two, all that is needed is a scoop of dirt from the handy dirt container located next to the trash can.  This goes into a recepticle apart from the urine and can be used as fertilizer, along with the toilet paper that is disgarded here as well.

My students had a great day and seemed to be really inspired by human ingenuity.  After taking a guided tour of the community, doing two different workshops on waste disposal and making new paper out of recycled paper, and having a delicious sancocho lunch cooked by solar power, we were all justifiably exhausted but also ready to bring some of these ideas back to school and to Cali. All in all, it was successful trip!

My Pre AP Biology class.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Waste management workshop
Recycled paper-making workshop
 
 


















6 comments:

Whitney said...

That looks like an amazing trip for your students! You're such a great teacher!

Andrea Hamre said...

Very cool, Stetson, keep up the awesome teaching! How inspiring!

ninest123 said...

uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, nike free, nike roshe run, louboutin outlet, louis vuitton, sac longchamp, louis vuitton, christian louboutin outlet, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, nike air max, longchamp, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, burberry, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, louboutin shoes, michael kors, louboutin, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, ralph lauren pas cher, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, air max, prada outlet, nike free, replica watches, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren outlet, gucci outlet, air jordan pas cher

ninest123 said...

timberland, nike air max, mulberry, air force, converse pas cher, new balance pas cher, nike air max, north face, ugg boots, coach outlet, coach purses, ugg boots, nike air max, hogan, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, true religion jeans, lacoste pas cher, ray ban uk, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, north face, nike free run uk, nike blazer, true religion outlet, vanessa bruno, burberry, michael kors outlet, vans pas cher, replica handbags, michael kors, nike roshe, oakley pas cher, michael kors, michael kors, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, lululemon, coach outlet, ralph lauren uk, kate spade handbags, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, hollister pas cher, tn pas cher, michael kors, hermes, sac guess

ninest123 said...

giuseppe zanotti, nike roshe, longchamp, nike trainers, reebok shoes, timberland boots, lancel, abercrombie and fitch, converse outlet, mont blanc, hollister, ferragamo shoes, hollister, ralph lauren, p90x workout, nike air max, babyliss, beats by dre, vans, iphone cases, chi flat iron, nike air max, nfl jerseys, mcm handbags, lululemon, ray ban, wedding dresses, louboutin, valentino shoes, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, herve leger, hollister, celine handbags, nike huarache, asics running shoes, soccer shoes, new balance, oakley, ghd, instyler, gucci, north face outlet, insanity workout, baseball bats, vans shoes, jimmy choo shoes, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, birkin bag

ninest123 said...

pandora jewelry, canada goose uk, canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, ugg boots uk, bottes ugg, replica watches, pandora charms, moncler, links of london, swarovski, hollister, thomas sabo, moncler, barbour jackets, canada goose outlet, barbour, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, toms shoes, canada goose, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, doudoune canada goose, wedding dresses, pandora charms, karen millen, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, moncler, coach outlet, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, moncler, supra shoes, marc jacobs, montre pas cher, moncler, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, swarovski crystal