Compost & Biogas – Notes From the Field With Yair Teller
HomeBiogas Co-Founder Yair Teller takes us through his exciting week strengthening the environmental impact of the system; following up on life-changing projects in the field; and meeting fascinating new clients…
Sunday I met with our new intern, Malcolm, who joined us from Singapore to support our R&D department. We’ve been testing ecological methods to recycle one of our filters back into the earth. On Sunday we also collected data on a new, more efficient heating device that will enable people in cooler climates to use HomeBiogas.
Monday I traveled to Jericho, in the Palestinian Authority to meet with our Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian partners from organizations, such as the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies to discuss updates and next-steps of a collaborative USAID project. Highlights included a socio-economic report that concluded that all of the HomeBiogas systems were working perfectly, and that more people in the community are interested in acquiring systems. I am also particularly excited to move forward on our composting project- where we will evaluate the income-generating potential of locals selling compost enriched with HomeBiogas fertilizer to farmers. We will also begin a comparative study of enriched compost versus regular compost on a variety of plant species. We are all very excited to move forward on these projects!
Tuesday & Wednesday I traveled with our new customer support director Alon to get to know our customer’s better, and help answer any of their questions along the way. Its such a pleasure getting to know our customer’s and hearing their personal stories. One of our customers has built a community center called the Solar Garden, full of permaculture principles, low-tech ecological gadgets, and other tools to teach adults and kids alike about the joys of living with sustainable systems.
Thursday I began preparations for my trip to Rwanda. Last month we began a pilot program to bring biogas technology to city-dwellers for the first time. Until now, biogas has only been available to those with two cows, which leaves out massive segments of the population- especially urban dwellers with plenty of food scraps. Rwandans are spending on average $30 a month on charcoal brought in from 100 kilometers away. Unhealthy cooking conditions is responsible for chronic illnesses and fatalities (over 4.3 million people worldwide die prematurely from the smoke every year) particularly women and children. Using primary biomass for energy also leads to massive deforestation. We are looking forward to continuing our pilot program, and making biogas accessible to urban populations in Rwanda.
Thanks for joining me on this week’s adventure! Stay tuned for more updates…