The Eco Evangelist: Amir Elrom
Cooking on Biogas Amir, 52, is an urban agriculture professional and sustainability evangelist. His partner Dorit is a pastry chef, undergoing a career shift into sustainability education. Amir and Dorit used to live in Vancouver, Canada, where they were very involved in the local green community. “I always had the green germ in me” he says, “the people and authorities in Vancouver were so aware of sustainability issues and challenges. I began small, by ditching plastic bags, and ended up an environmental professional.” Back in Israel, Amir works as a sustainability consultant for urban agricultural, hydroponics projects, developing edible forests, rehabilitating rivers, and other community projects. Amir's HomeBiogas Amir was one of the first people who purchased the HomeBiogas systems in Israel. “I met Oshik (the CEO) when he was still working on the prototype and asked to buy it as soon as it would be out on the market. We cook family meals on our homemade biogas every day. Sometimes I bring kitchen scraps from friends in a doggy bag, because I don’t want it to go into the landfills. I will freeze it and feed the system with it the next day.” Amir says his children (ages 13 and 18) also love the HomeBiogas system and show it off to friends who visit. Plans for the future Amir is planning to launch his own eco center in his backyard. “We want to teach the community how to live a more green life, even in the middle a big city. HomeBiogas will help influence many people about reducing food waste and creating renewable energy.”
The Promising Future Of Composting
Do you compost? Are you thinking about buying a composter? Composting is a good step in the right direction, but with HomeBiogas, you can get more out of your waste. Unsure about why HomeBiogas is the future of waste composting? Let us take you through our logic: Using a composter The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that each American throws away up to of 1.5 lbs (or 0.7 kgs) of food scraps daily. This personal food waste makes up almost a quarter of the waste that fills-up municipal landfills. Composting organic waste at home is a triple win: You produce quality organic fertilizer for your garden That fertilizer is free Your waste doesn’t need to be transported to a landfill, where it will decompose anaerobically and release methane Composting is a very personally satisfying way to recycle your food waste. Unlike with recycling plastic, where your water bottles are sent off the a recycling plant, with backyard composting you get have complete control over the process; you can watch every step. It allows you to take more personal responsibility, and invest in a healthier future. When you compost your waste it decomposes with the help of oxygen-breathing aerobic microbes. Aerobic decomposition does produce some CO2. photo cred: thehomesteadsurvival.com Challenges with Composting The microbes do most of the dirty work, but they won't do it all! Maintaining a compost pile take time, energy and knowledge-- and it is your job. A standard compost heap should be turned frequently so that the waste breaks down properly.Manually turning or aerating your compost pile can be time consuming and physically taxing. Additionally, the decomposition or the waste and conversion into usable compost for crops, can take a very long time... in some cases, it can take weeks! In the evolution of composters, what comes next is the HomeBiogas system. With the HomeBiogas system you get all the benefits of composting and much more: With the HomeBiogas system you can actually produce cooking gas from your leftovers! This means that you are turning your waste into value. Besides being a personal gain, your use of HomeBiogas is also beneficial to the environment in it's ability to reduce methane emissions from current waste disposal processes. By capturing all of your organic waste's methane, you will reduce 6 tonnes of carbon emissions a year?! (That’s more than if you would take your car off the road!) Customer collecting fertilizer Also, a note about the HomeBiogas organic fertilizer by-product: the fertilizer pours out of the system as a concentrated liquid. Simply put a watering can or container below the Overflow Outlet to collect and store the fertilizer. The liquid fertilizer can then be diluted and sprayed over plants, or even bottled and used as a valuable currency. Make the most of your time and your waste! Compare your options to learn how HomeBiogas can contribute to your life: Composter HomeBiogas Input -Only selected kitchen waste, -Green/garden waste, paper -All kitchen waste -Animal manure Maintenance Daily physical work Easy Attracting Animals Rodents, vermin, flies None Smell Unpleasant None Fertilizer Output A few Liters every several weeks/months Up to 6 Liters of organic liquid fertilizer DAILY Gas Output Dissipates into the atmosphere 2 hours of clean cooking gas DAILY
Bringing HomeBiogas to Vulnerable Communities in Jordan
In January 2017, HomeBiogas and Solar CITIES Inc. teamed up to spread biogas to the neighboring country of Jordan. The two sponsored HomeBiogas systems were brought over the border and set up in the Children of the Valley Farm, which works towards peaceful and sustainable development in the region and in the field project farm belonging to the Hashemite Fund for the Badia. These systems are used by the Bedouins in the region and also by the Syrian refugees in the neighboring Za'atari Refugee Camp. Building the HomeBiogas system Hashemite Fund for the Badia with HomeBiogas Why is HomeBiogas needed? The Za’atari Refugee Camp hosts around 80,000 people who fled Syria in the wake of the bloody civil war. Since the camp is so densely populated and many of the refugees struggle to make livelihoods for themselves, basic human needs, such as access to clean and affordable energy, are not always met. HomeBiogas and Solar Cities Inc. introduced a sustainable solution for the energy poverty camp and the region at large. HomeBiogas is a viable solution because it is dependent only on renewable resources: food/animal waste and the heat of the sun. Many different humanitarian agencies donate food to the camp, there is not much attention given to how the refugees cook the food they receive. Coal and other biomass is burned for cooking The Problem With Biomass The most common fuel type used in refugee camps is biomass (wood, animal dung, crop waste). This means that whoever prepares the food must stand over an open-fire. This is inadvisable for several reasons. First and foremost, cooking on open fires is harmful to human health. The fire emits noxious gases and small particles into the air, which penetrate deep into the lungs and are extremely dangerous. Secondly, those who need to find and collect the biomass (usually woman and children) face disproportionate social hardships. Leaving their residence to find biomass, they are more exposed to threats like sexual harassment and physical danger. Additionally, the necessity of finding and collecting biomass may force children to miss school. Lastly, depleting woods resources for cooking perpetuates deforestation, which contributes gravely to climate change. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) HomeBiogas and Solar CITIES Inc. made this cross-border initiative to serve the vulnerable communities of Jordan. We acted with the firm belief that refugees, along with people who live in remote, off-grid locations, deserve access to clean and healthy cooking conditions. The HomeBiogas system is capable of adapting to their extreme environment and can add tremendous value.
Watermelon Rinds Can Make Biogas
Watermelon is a fruit that will forever be associated with summer. There is no better way to cool off from the heat than with the juicy, refreshing and sweet fruit! We all know how to consume the watermelon’s pink flesh—you can eat it as is, put it in a smoothie, add it to salad—but do you know how to make use of the rind? The rind is the firm white part of the fruit that is left when the pink part is sliced away. It is much more than a scrap that should be disposed of; It has many uses! credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times Create biogas from your watermelon rinds Although we compiled a list of ways to transform your watermelon rind, we think that making biogas from it is the coolest and most beneficial! True, the rind can’t be consumed raw by humans, but it can be fed in its raw form into the HomeBiogas system, no problem. The HomBiogas system will take the rinds and all other food waste and convert it into gas for cooking. Picture turning food waste—something that previously had no value to you—and turning it into energy. Watermelon Rinds to Cooking Gas Here is where you can learn more about how rind become gas: https://homebiogas.com/ Before your HomeBiogas system arrives, you can make use of your watermelon rind in the following ways: Pickled Rind Pickling takes a few days. The rind must have time to marinate in the liquid to develop the tangy pickled flavor. You can use pickled rind as a condiment for other dishes, or you can add it to your salads. Remember to remove the green peel before pickling. credit: GENTL & HYERS 2. Chutney Rind With the outer green peel removed, the white rind can be diced into small cubes and used to make a flavorful chutney. This sweet and tangy chutney can be used to complement to a spicy curry or can be served on top of chicken or alongside grilled fish. credit: http://www.foodtolove.com.au/ Gazpacho Rind Blend the white watermelon rind in a food processor until the puree is smooth. Add in other vegetables if you chose. If you place in the fridge for an hour, you will be able to serve a cool summer gazpacho. Credit: http://www.yummly.co 4. Candy Rind Turn the leftovers of this juicy fruit into candied watermelon rind. Candy rind resembles Sour Patch Kids, but is much healthier. Small pieces are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are a nice alternative snack for children. credit: kitchen.galanter.net/
How To Explain Waste-To-Energy To Kids in 2017
Kids today! They know so much more than we did when we were their age. They consume so much information, mainly online, every day. Since many habits do develop early on, it is our responsibility as parents, older siblings, teachers, mentors and role models to direct kids to the subject of renewable energy. Kids who learn about renewable energy will understand that we are stewards for Mother Earth and will probably make more environmentally-conscious decisions growing up. When they get to be adults, they will probably be in a better position to make the right energy choices.Here are a few fun and creative ways to engage kids on the subject. Teach Waste-to-Energy 8 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Waste-to-Energy: 1 - Harness a familiar media channel: YouTube Ask them to search cool Waste-to-Energy clips on Youtube and find more fun videos like this one: 2 - Use NASA's online resources NASA is doing a great job on Twitter and Instagram, which many kids follow. They also have an excellent website for teaching kids about everything from how to become a farmer's market manager to renewable energy. Nasa's Kid-Friendly Website 3 - Use analogies in your explanations When you tell kids about waste-to-energy, talk about how their bodies ALSO produce energy by digesting food. Micro-organisms decompose organic material in biodigesters creating biogas. Guess what kids? Your bodies do the same thing, except you release farts. Yes, talking about farts always entertains children! Lastly, be creative! Try to tell a story from the bacteria's point of view; you can even take turns acting out each biological process. Explain biodigestion and waste-to-energy to your kids 4 - Visiting an energy plant Find out whether you have a waste-to-energy biogas plant in your area and try to schedule a family visit. Some plants have visitor centers that engage kids in cool educational activities. If you don't have an energy plant in your neighborhood, try taking a tour virtually. Here is a 3D animated video tour of a biogas plant: "How does a biogas plant work?" on the BioConstruct channel "How does a biogas plant work?" on the BioConstruct channel 6- Recycle waste to other great stuff Kids typically don't like crusts. Store the crusts from uneaten sandwiches in a Tupperware box in your freezer. Use the crusts as bread crumbs for a homemade dish: sprinkle them on top of casseroles, toss them into soups and stews or add a crunchy layer over a pudding. Prepare it with your kids and don't forget to take a photo of the dish to share with their friends! You're not creating biogas here (yet), but you are showing kids how to recycle food and you're energizing them as well... Recycle waste to other great stuff 7 - Explore related climate & environmental issues It is important to contextualize waste-to-energy. Teach kids about other related environmental issues, so that they realize that everything is connected. Start with a special learning kit for kids, like the Thames & Kosmos Alternative Energy and Environmental Science Sustainable Earth Lab. Alternatively, you can create your own lesson plan that will walk a youngster through different topics. Teach kids about environmental issues 8 - Set a positive example Collect organic waste in your kitchen and recycle it via your municipality services, or create renewable energy with it in your backyard. The HomeBiogas system can accept all food waste (even oils, meats, bones) as well as animal waste. What a powerful example to set: making your breakfast eggs on the gas made from last night's leftovers. Set a positive example for your kids with HomeBiogas
Methane Facts & Ju-Jutsu
What you should know about the main component of the cooking gas you produce in your backyard. Whether you are a HomeBiogas user or simply someone who cares about our environment, it is a good idea to know about biogas and methane. Biogas or biomethane is a gaseous mixture consisting 50%-80% methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane is the primary component of natural gas. 23% of methane in our atmosphere is man-made Methane is emitted in several different ways: During the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil From livestock and other agricultural practices The decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills Whether it's your waste sitting in a landfill, coal production, or those dog droppings littered in the backyard, organic waste ALWAYS produces methane. The Problem with Methane When methane is released into the air it absorbs the sun’s heat and warms the atmosphere. For this reason, it is considered a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide (CO2). Most people believe that carbon dioxide is the most problematic greenhouse gas, but that is a misconception. Studies show that over a 100-year period, methane is actually over 25x more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere! Also, methane can have centuries-long impacts on the on thermal expansion in the oceans. A concrete fact you should know: About 30% of the man-made global warming we’re experiencing today is caused by methane emissions. Methane is actually over 25x more potent than carbon dioxide So the challenge we face is clear: We need to trap methane gas to produce energy and slow climate change. Ju-Jutso Move On Methane Ju-Jutso is a Japanese martial art that is all about manipulating the opponent's force against himself. The idea behind capturing methane is subverting its powerful and damaging potential to pollute, and instead use it as an energy source. It is a double win for us - reducing pollution, and getting renewable biogas. via GIPHY Biowaste will always produce methane; that's not going to change. What can change, however, is the fate of that methane. It is important to harnesses the energy of biogas that otherwise goes unused. Rather than freely dissipating into the atmosphere, methane can be collected and used as an alternative fuel for cooking. Trap Methane From Your Trash With HomeBiogas you can generate over 2 hours of cooking gas daily, from the methane your organic kitchen waste will emit. This makes the benefits twofold by both up-cycling a potent greenhouse gas and alleviating the reliance on other harmful energy sources. HomeBiogas Up-cycles Methane Each system reduces carbon emissions by 6 tons annually! Make use of this revolutionary system, make your own cooking gas, and help fight climate change!
HomeBiogas Vegan Cooking Class
Being a start-up, we feel connected to our 'early adopters' in a very special way. We are hugely thankful for their feedback and support. We cherish their stories about how their families are using the system, as well as their suggestions for product development. We have decided to seize the opportunity of 2016 ending by inviting those families who are dear to us to a very special event: On Friday 16th December we held a vegan cooking class, led by Chef Noa Fruman. HomeBiogas Community Members Cooking Class Noa taught us how to make six delicious vegan dishes for family dinners as well as entertaining guests. She also gave us some valuable advice about healthy cooking - Did you know that cooking vegetables at low temperatures better preserves their nutrients? Here we share a couple of Noa's recipes, and hope to see more of you join the HomeBiogas family of fans in 2017. Japanese Mushroom & Vegetables Soup Japanese Mushroom & Vegetables Soup Ingredients: 1 pack Shiitake mushrooms, marinated in warm water for 20 minutes (keep the water after draining) 1 + ½ liters vegetable stock 2 tablespoons coconut oil 2 onions, thinly sliced 4 carrots, thinly sliced into strips 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped 1 chili, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 pack Portobello mushrooms, chopped 1 pack Shimeji mushrooms 1 pack green onions, finely chopped ¼ cup dried Wakame seaweed 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce 1 large potato, peeled Salt and pepper 1 pack Glass (bung bean) noodles Preparation Method: Lightly fry the garlic, chili and ginger. Add coconut oil and sliced onion and continue frying. Add the vegetable stock and the shiitake soaking water you saved, and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and mushrooms, and cook for 20 minutes. Grate the potatoes straight into the boiling soup, mixing it well into the soup while still boiling. Add the soy sauce, seaweed, green onions, and salt, and cook for 2 more minutes. Before serving, add the noodles and serve with lemon and/ or chili. Spiced Black Lentil Dip Ingredients: 1 cup of dried black lentils (unsoaked) 2 medium onions, chopped ¼ cup walnuts Some olive oil ¼ cup red wine Thyme and salt for seasoning Preparation Method: Cook the lentils in boiled water for half an hour - keep the cooking water after draining. Sauté onions in olive oil. Add the lentils into the pan, together with thyme, red wine and salt, and continue cooking until the wine is reduced. Pour the mix into the food processor, add walnuts, and grind until you get a fine dip. Add some water if necessary (you can use the water kept from cooking the lentils). Let’s Make A Cookbook Together! We use this opportunity for inviting you to participate in the HomeBiogas cookbook project: In the next few months we are going to collect recipes of healthy dishes created by our customers (homemade on the biogas stove of course). The first 10 customers to send us their recipe will receive the hardback book delivered free to their home as a gift in December 2017. Want to be in the book? Send us your recipe, a picture of the dish and tell us a bit about yourself (if you'd like). Fill out the form below or email: email@example.comRecipe Form:
Top 5 Ways to Green Your Holiday Shopping
While the holidays are a magical time of food, family, and gifts, the shopping ritual can take a major toll on our wallet and our loving homebase, planet earth. Every tiny thing we purchase- from food to clothing to electronics- ripples globally, affecting the diverse faces behind the product and the health of our planet. Every time you buy something, you are directly and indirectly supporting the environmental and not-so-environmental practices of a chain of businesses. The great part is that its up to you where you spend your money and to whom you give this power. Check out our list of the top 5 ways to give this season without taking too much from the North Pole. Upcycle upcycle upcycle! Upcycling refers to taking old things that you don’t use anymore (say, those jeans with the gaping hole) and turning it into something a little more useful (cellphone case; coasters, purse, I’ve seen it all). The concept is sustainable, creative, easy, and free! Options to upcycle are a-serious-plenty on Pinterest and range from everything to anything. Upcycled Jewelry Ideas A kind gesture, service, or experience Consider buying/offering a service (hello, massage); a kind gesture (delicious chili, dog-sitting, or instrument lessons); or perhaps an event, performance, or that new yoga class your co-worker has been dying to check out. These type of gifts are carbon-neutral, support the local economy, and tend to be better for everyone’s health. Plus, who really needs another scarf made by poisonous cotton farming and shipped all the way from India anyway? Photo by Body In Mind Massage Institute Literally, green things Print a photograph of nature from your last big trip, or buy a plant (aren’t you beautiful, practical, and calming you sexy rosemary, you). Studies show that even just looking at pictures of nature can improve mood and decrease stress levels. Many Green Gifts Products that directly promote sustainable living There are infinite ways to give back to our earth. You can get involved in solar projects such as Solar City, or check out products like HomeBiogas, which turns your food waste into clean cooking gas. CSA (community-supported agriculture) gift cards may be available to help your friend buy the organic veggies she’s been dreaming of. Get creative. HomeBiogas for Sustainable Living Consume with compassion! If you do opt for a new product, you have many options to make it greener: hand-made items from small and local businesses tend to have more sustainable practices. Also, fair-trade, fair-trade, fair-trade (did I mention fair-trade?) With chocolate, it’s the difference between supporting child slavery or supporting a proper education. Some corporations have humane treatment of people, animals, and the environment- it's worth reading the labels or running a quick google search. Its your money, your power.
The Israeli Negev To Silicone Valley: EnergyVest 2016 Most Exciting Israeli Renewable Energy Start-ups
Last month HomeBiogas participated in the prestigious EnergyVest Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition for Israeli start-ups, hosted by the Ministry of Economy and the Israel Export Institute. The competition is held annually during the Eilat-Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy Conference. It is the leading renewable energy event in Israel. On the second day of conference Oded Distel, Head of Israel NewTech, introduced some of the most promising start-ups at the Cleantech Open competition. We were competing for a spot in the 2017 Silicon Valley accelerator Cleantech Forum in San Francisco.There is a special feeling about The Eilat-Eilot conference - a truly unique atmosphere, perhaps because it is held in the holiday town of Eilat, down in the southern edge of Israel. A trip to this always-sunny town feels like a trip abroad; a dry and extraordinary place where experiments in renewable energy must succeed. The other special thing about Eilat-Eilot is the entrepreneurial spirit - the singular gathering of professionals who dedicate their careers and their lives to making sustainable energy innovations happen. A gathering of people profoundly committed to fighting climate change. We would like to use this humble spot to do our bit for spreading the word about a few other start-ups who, like HomeBiogas, work tirelessly to make renewable energy ideas materialize. Here are some of the very best renewable energy innovations presented at EnergyVest 2016: SolarPaint developed a coating technology able to turn any surface into a solar panel. The paint can be applied to outdoor signage, cars, buildings, and turn their coating into a functioning PV solar system. How cool is that! ChakraTech manufactures a smart kinetic storage for electric vehicles. Electric car batteries can be charged in ten minutes by using their technology. This eco-friendly solution is totally clean, not chemical, not toxic and not polluting. Their goal is to enable EVs to keep on driving for many hours, even in rural areas or areas with weak grid. Electroad wants to facilitate large scale adoption of pure electric vehicles in public transportation. They have developed a technology that powers buses wirelessly from the road while driving. Their solution is actually applicable to all electric vehicle. Passenger cars, buses and truck are responsible for about 25% percent of total annual greenhouse gas emissions. If electric powering of vehicles becomes easy and seamless, a revolution in transportation and in climate status can happen. For this impelling vision Electroad founders have won this year’s EnergyVest competition. We wish them best of luck in San Francisco and hope to hear more about them in the future. See you all next year, at the 8th Eilat-Eilot conference!
Bartering your HomeBiogas Fertilizer
Generating too much liquid organic Fertilizer? No such thing. The HomeBiogas by-product is actually a useful community exchange currency. It is true that our main mission is to provide clean biogas for home cooking; but in this post the by-product of this waste to energy process - liquid organic fertilizer - gets the center stage. The HomeBiogas fertilizer is a liquid produced from the organic waste you throw into the system sink. The fertilizer is essentially the discharge from the digester tank at the back of the unit. This discharge, the result of a long digestion process, can accelerate plant growth and resilience to diseases. Biogas fertilizer Can Accelerate Plant Growth Like most of us HomeBiogas system users, our Marketing VP Muli Lahav gets up to 10 liters of fertilizer every day. But one can only use so much of this good stuff... So why not give some away? Or better yet, use it as a currency in a community exchange? Exchanging Fertilizer for Other Goods If you live in small community like our sales-savvy Muli, you can take a lesson in bartering using your surplus fertilizer containers as a currency. Muli put a note on his community board saying he is interested in trading 20 containers of HomeBiogas organic, homemade fertilizer. Then he put fertilizer containers in his front yard and waited for his neighbors' offerings. Community Exchange Here is what he got for 20 fertilizer containers: 4 Homemade olive oil natural soap bars 3 kilos of organically grown tangerines and grapefruit An up-cycled garden rocking chair Give you homemade fertilizer trading a try and tell us what you got for your containers! Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org HomeBiogas Fertilizer FAQs: Q: What nutrients does the fertilizer contain? A: The fertilizer is packed with macronutrients (NPK) and micronutrients (Ca, Mg, S, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn ). Q: Why is organic fertilizer better than chemical? A: With organic fertilizer soil remains loose, airy, hold more moisture and nutrients. This promotes healthier plant root development. Q: Why is liquid form better? A: Fertilizers that exist as solute are absorbed by plants quickly. Q: Do I need to dilute the liquid before application? A: The fertilizer should be diluted with water at a 5:1 ratio of water to fertilizer before use. Q: What types of plants is it suitable for? A: The HomeBiogas is suitable for most gardening and small-scale agricultural yields.
Does Biogas Cooking Improve Health?
HomeBiogas is a system that converts organic food and animal waste into biogas for cooking. Many customers ask us if cooking on the biogas produced by the HomeBiogas system is healthier than cooking on other forms of fuel. The answer is yes and no… If you currently use LPG or an electric stove, switching to biogas will have a positive effect on the environment, but will not have any effect on your health. On the other hand, if you currently use biomass for cooking, including (wood, animal dung, crop waste) or coal, then switching to biogas will have a very positive effect on your health. Cooking on Animal Dung Cooking on biomass, which is typically done using open-fires is a reality for more than 3 billion people worldwide! The open fires emit noxious gases and small particles into the air which penetrate deep into the lungs. In poorly ventilated dwellings, inhaling this smoke is extremely dangerous and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), leads to an estimated 4.3 million fatalities every year. The evidence is alarming and upsetting: Household air pollution causes child pneumonia, lung cancer, obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart disease. These are chronic diseases that require treatment and care, both of which are often not available to those suffering from them. Other consequences of inhaling open-fire smoke include vision impairment such as cataracts and blindness and birth defects such as low infant birth-weight. Household Air Pollution The good news is that exposure to air pollution is preventable! HomeBiogas has been championed as a clean technology because it is eco-friendly and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Beyond that, we see HomeBiogas as a clean technology because it quite literally generates clean-burning fuel for cooking. The biogas is filtered before it is discharged from the system, so that it is completely safe to be inhaled, even in an enclosed, indoor space. Preparing food for your family should not be a health sacrifice; There are clean cooking solutions. HomeBiogas was created not only with the environment in mind, but also to support the upwards of 3 billion people who don’t have healthy cooking alternatives. HomeBiogas Provides a Clean Energy Solution
Paying Homage to the Father of Permaculture
Tribute to The Father of Permaculture - Bill Molisson This week, we lost the man who redefined sustainable living and ecological design; who seeded the earth and her inhabitants with tools to live in a harmonious and vibrant symbiosis. On September 24th, the “father of permaculture” Bill Mollison, passed away, leaving behind a legacy beyond measure. Perma culture is a vast and glorious world that seeks to create abundance and support the life and health of humans and the planet simultaneously. Perma-culture integrates natural elements (such as plants, water, animals, and waste) into systems that nurture one another, revealing the remarkable perfection that surrounds us. Some may call it nature’s technology- strategically using the combined and diverse intelligence of ecosystems to generate productive and stable outcomes. Bill Mollison co-founded perma-culture (a combination of permanent agriculture or permanent culture) along with David Holmgren. May Bill Mollison’s memory be a blessing to the earth, to people, and the harmony that is perma culture. Additional resources and information about Bill Mollison and Perma culture: The Perma-culture Research Institute, founded by Mollison in 1978, official statement: http://permaculturenews.org/2016/09/25/bill-mollison/ A brief biography of Bill Mollison by Graham Bell: https://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/14748130637497/bruce-charles-bill-mollison-1928-2016 Designing for Perma-culture by Bill Mollison: http://www.permaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Designing-for-Permaculture.pdf Infographic credit: http://norcalresilience.org/permaculture/
Cooking Gas – Home made Vegan Sliders Video Recipe
Homemade Cooking Gas Video below Meet Karin, a vegan chef and proud HomeBiogas - (the system that generates Cooking Gas ) owner for over a year. Karin uses her HomeBiogas system to cook delicious culinary creations. Recently, we had the opportunity to meet up with her and see our system in action—Oh, and we definitely sampled some of her yummy treats in the process! Check out her easy DIY recipe for biogas veggie burgersIngredients: 1.5 cups lentils (sprouted or boiled) 0.5 cup oats 0.5 cup walnuts Paprika Spices to taste Get creative with available leftovers! In the video Karin uses yesterday’s baked butternut squash. Directions: Combine ingredients in a food processor Blend to proper consistency Mold into patties Turn on cooking gas and light it up Fry patties on your HomeBiogas flame Eat plain or serve in pita with tomato and enjoy!
Compost & Biogas – Notes From the Field With Yair Teller
A Week with HomeBiogas Visionary, Co-Founder, and Chief Scientist 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... - Yair
2016 Rio Olympics Acknowledge Global Climate Change
August 2016 - The Olympics are a time for the world to come together to celebrate athletic achievement and international unity. In many ways this year’s games were no different. However this year, the 3.3 billion viewers were given a dose of the ugly truth when the opening ceremonies took a momentary break from the festivities to acknowledge a growing global issue-- Climate Change. The stadium flashed red with warnings of climbing temperatures and rising sea levels, invoking startling images of melting ice caps and flooding cities to drive home the singular message: something must be done, before it is too late. It is important to note that the key word in this message is before, implying that there is still hope to turn things around. Creative director Fernando Meirelles intended to use the widely viewed opening ceremonies as a call to action, not a condemnation. Using rhetoric of both fear and hope in order to inspire change, the scenes of catastrophe were quickly followed by an attempt at a solution. As the 11,000+ participants marched into the stadium, each athlete placed a seed into a series of containers destined to assist in Rio’s reforestation efforts. The end goal is to transform parts of the Olympic venue into a blooming forest, a fate visually represented when the containers were strategically arranged to form the emblematic Olympic rings. The containers foreshadowed the future bounty of the forest by blooming into a symbol of hope, rebirth, and renewal. The climate centric message of the opening ceremonies opened the door for a larger discussion, making the theme of environmentalism pervasive throughout the games. With concerns about Brazil’s polluted waters and waste within the Olympic village, there has been no shortage of controversy. There has also been no shortage of food, something that chefs David Hertz and Massimo Bottura intend to harness in an ongoing social and environmental justice effort in Rio. The pair have opened a gourmet soup kitchen using ingredients that otherwise would have been discarded over the course of the games. Over one third of all food produced goes to waste, despite millions still suffering from hunger. The social problem of wasted food is compounded with its environmental impact when considering the amount of resources dedicated to produce only to wind up in a landfill. When organic waste is discarded, it emits methane gas that contributes to global warming. In their efforts to alleviate social inequality in the Olympic host city, Hertz and Bottura are combating the very issue that was brought to the world’s attention in the opening ceremonies. Whether you are a renowned chef or not, solutions to minimize food waste and other greenhouse gas emitters are everywhere; they are easy and fun and bring people together. We salute the Rio Olympics for bringing these critical messages to the opening of the games.
5 Ways to Prevent Food Waste
The Deal with Waste and 5 WAY Better Alternatives to Trashing Food The topic of food waste has recently made a comeback. Here’s why this is so important: Between 30-40% of all food produced globally gets thrown out. Let’s be clear. That means that 1/3 of all the food on this planet will share one horrid destiny: it will be taken to a landfill where it will sit with its plastic cousins and abandoned furniture-in-laws and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In the US alone that amount is equal to 730 football stadiums full of discarded food a year. JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyJTJGJTJGZ2lwaHkuY29tJTJGZW1iZWQlMkYxM3hIcW9PUU9kRnU1YSUyMiUyMHdpZHRoJTNEJTIyMjQwJTIyJTIwaGVpZ2h0JTNEJTIyMjI2JTIyJTIwZnJhbWVCb3JkZXIlM0QlMjIwJTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJnaXBoeS1lbWJlZCUyMiUyMGFsbG93RnVsbFNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRSUzQ3AlM0UlM0NhJTIwaHJlZiUzRCUyMmh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZnaXBoeS5jb20lMkZnaWZzJTJGc2VpbmZlbGQta3JhbWVyLTEzeEhxb09RT2RGdTVhJTIyJTNFdmlhJTIwR0lQSFklM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDJTJGcCUzRQ==That also means that 1/3 of our agricultural land (1.4 billion hectares) will be cultivated with crops that will go uneaten (FAO, 2015). That land will be robbed of it’s vulnerable ecosystems, violated with toxic chemicals, pumped with precious water supplies (250 km3), and inherit a hefty carbon footprint from processing, storage, and transportation- only to produce food that will land in landfill. Why is this an issue? Malnutrition, climate change, and annual losses of $1 trillion are only some of the devastating consequences of this negligent system. We’ve heard of the greenhouse effect; we’ve heard that methane is 25-30 times more efficient at messing up our planet than Co2. We’ve read that this summer was the hottest and driest on record, and that each approaching season somehow breaks new records. So why am I repeating it? Because everyday I watch my friends throw away perfectly reusable goods, as I stand there picturing their sad, toxic afterlife (the waste’s, not my friends). There lies the issue—the gravity of the situation is so mind-numbingly confounding that we don’t know what to do with it. So here it is- Food Waste Solutions! 1. Go ugly! Most of the waste is happening at the commercial retail level when supermarkets think they can’t sell “ugly” fruits and vegetables. They demand ridiculously stringent “beauty” and “perfection” standards, causing farmers to toss 2.9 trillion pounds every year (National Geographic, 2016) of perfectly good produce. Encourage your favorite supermarket to accept ugly product. This movement is growing like wildfire with major supermarkets such as Intermarche (France), Asda (UK), Whole Foods (US) and Walmart catching on. And they’re doing it because people spoke out. 2. Commercial Foodshare: Food producers, manufacturers, and suppliers can link into food-share apps that connect them to local charities that donate uneaten goods. Check out Waste No Food (USA), Fareshare (UK), and Leket (Israel). As a consumer, encourage your favorite food providers to get involved. Don’t underestimate your power! After all, these food providers would go bankrupt if it weren’t for you. 3. Communal Plates: Spain’s solidarity refrigerator is an inspiring project that allows residents to share leftover food communally. Start your own local network like LeftoverSwap; or for a more global outlook take a Feedie: for every food picture you post from a participating restaurant a meal is financed for an orphan in South Africa! 4. Legislation: Several countries are outlawing wasteful commercial practices. France has prohibited major supermarkets from trashing unsold food (in a unanimous vote!) Instead of discarding the food, supermarkets are mandated to give it to charities, farms, or anaerobic digestion plants. The US has recently passed similar legislation in NY and New England. Start your own petition demanding your state/country follow suite like this one in the UK. 5. Give it back to nature: biogas, compost, worm bins, and livestock: Of course, food waste can happily be treated in your very own backyard! There is no such thing as waste in nature; so when we let nature process our “waste” she returns all those nutrients right back where they came from. While these methods vary in greenhouse gas reduction, they all give back to the earth with their byproducts and close the plant lifecycle. A basic compost pile in your backyard does the trick too, but you’ll have to be patient as piles can take months to produce compost. Other alternatives include backyard biogas generation. Check out Homebiogas for residential bio-digesters that convert organic waste to usable cooking gas. These units also produce several liters of liquid fertilizer a day, making them arguably more productive than composters. So, there you have it. Easy, accessible, logical options to do good with your leftover food. Let us know- What do you do with your leftovers? Email Hilla@HomeBiogas.com with your waste-saving tips and get featured on our blog! Written by: Hilla Benzaken; Homebiogas Coordinator, special projects and communications
Meeting a Legend
On July 12, 2016, HomeBiogas CEO Oshik Efrati met with former Israel Prime Minister & Noble Peace Prize winner Mr. Shimon Peres at SOSA Tel Aviv. Israel - an innovators community that shares a crafted work environment. They have discussed ways Israeli innovation can improve the lives of impoverished communities throughout the world. Mr. Peres advised to a diverse crowd "Each one of you has much greater potential than you think." Thank You Mr Shimon Peres , You're always an inspiration to us. Update: As Shimon Peres has been very ill over the past few weeks, we extend our most heartfelt blessings of a quick, easy, and complete recovery.
Reut Shows us How Easy it is to Use HomeBiogas
HomeBiogas user Reut Tutti shows us how easy it is to turn waste into energy with HomeBiogas. Thanks for the tour Reut!
Inspiring Innovation Around the World
Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to host diverse groups of entrepreneurs, government officials, and community leaders from around the world. From Serbia to Vietnam, Nigeria to Uruguay, their languages, religions, and traditions differ- but their desire and dedication to make a positive impact in their communities, cities, and countries unites them. We share our innovation story; biogas expertise; and experiences from field projects- they share their initiatives in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. Recently, a group visited us from Kenya. Check out the article below to read about their experience.