Sustainable Living Projects

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No Gas Week Challenge.

Description:

We would like to prepare for an entire week where we would not use any gas to cook. This is a lot harder than it might seem. During summer, Sunseed has about 30 people eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.

However, we have alternatives to gas. At Sunseed we have several types of solar ovens (e.g. a parabolic cooker and a box solar cooker), we also have a gasifier and a couple of food and herb dehydrators. Some of these need some small repairs, but they are close to being functional.

As we share the cooking tasks in teams of two people, all the people cooking that week would need to learn about the alternative ways of cooking. The person in charge of this project would prepare and lead 2 or 3 seminars on alternative cooking (including using the solar cookers, gasifier, etc.) but also could include raw cooking. The project might include preparing a menu for the entire week and coach the cooking teams to help them prepare this menu.

Skills:

Interest in cooking, wanting to learn about original and alternative ways of cooking.

Duration:

1 or 2 months.

Renewal of Recycling and waste area.

Description:

Our Recycling and waste area needs a person or team to rethink the whole system of recycling. This project requires some research and creativity as well. We need general and specific information boards and signs, to make people think about what’s going into the bins, how to generate less waste, etc. We need also new color-coded bins made of reused materials.

At Sunseed we receive many volunteers during the whole year, and we would like to encourage the use of less packaging. We supply different containers in the kitchen to aid with group recycling- “Plastic, tins, tetra bricks”, “ glass and bottles”, “cartoon, newspapers and paper in general”. Then every day these containers are taken to bigger storage units and then to a larger recycling area in the nearby village. We are looking for someone to arrange the whole recycling area at Sunseed in a creative way, making educational signs and boards for all the different containers. At the same time you will research information about the impact that is made from all the waste that we produce. You will investigate where all the waste is going to, and then share this information with others.

Skills:

This project requires someone to be creative, organized, to have good research skills, good written and verbal presentation skills and good drawing/sketching talents. You will need to have plenty of initiative for this project as you will be working on your own for most of the time.

Duration:

2 – 3 weeks.

Free-shop. Reduce-reuse-recycle and repair. The four big “Rs”.

Description:

Many Sunseeders leave clothes to be used by new Sunseeders during the year. Sunseed also has these clothes available for the whole village. We have clothes for working (summer and winter), very beautiful clothes, also shoes. The project will involve creating attractive information signs, a good organization of the area and presenting the clothes attractively. At the same time, we would like to inform all the volunteers and visitors about the impact of the clothes we are wearing, where they are coming from, how they are made and to know more about all the impacts that the clothes industry has on people and the environment. The project includes a deep research how to be a good ethical consumer, where to get ethical brands, how to recycle clothes and how to ask companies about their ethical standards. Then we would like this project to be shared on the website, facebook page and perhaps a seminar.

Skills:

This project requires someone to be creative, organized, have research skills, good written and verbal presentation skills and good drawing/sketching talents would be an advantage. You will need to have plenty of initiative for this project as you will be working on your own for most of the time.

Duration:

1 – 2 months.

Natural beauty products.

Description:

In Sunseed we have an abundance of clay from the river and in the valleys and can locally source beeswax to create natural beauty products. We would also like to create some ointments and medicinal syrups to keep our volunteers healthy! This project will include making gels with Aloe Vera to treat sunburn, using various plants from our gardens to make natural ointments and also the creation of clay masks for all different types of skin.

Skills:

One or two people with some knowledge of plants or medicinal properties, or general knowledge about natural products.

Duration:

1 month.

Furniture making.

Description:

Learn to make benches, tables, doors, cabinets, cupboards all from recycled materials such as pallets, cane, and reclaimed wood.

Skills:

No specific skills, but a willingness to learn and ability to take care of our tools is a must!

Duration:

Depending on complexity of project – one week and upwards.

Efficient and aesthetic illumination.

Description:

We are looking forward to someone willing to make Pita lampshades and reflectors for the lights. Pita is the beautiful flower of the agave plant which is used for many different things in the valley including making djembes, didgeridoos and … lampshades! The Pita plant grows in the valley and fits well with our intention of using local and natural resources. Basic woodworking tools are available and the job is really rewarding (every evening).

  • Actual state of the illumination of the Sunseed facillities. A lot of lamps have nice lamp shades made of Pita, but many existing lights are not optimally efficient. Some lampshades are lacking reflectors and shades and others are not utilizing the most efficient or appropriate type of bulb. And above all, our many bare bulbs are not very aesthetic. We wish to improve the illumination for the Sunseed facilities.
  • The research part of the project consists of:
    • evaluating the current situation,
    • identifying the right places for ergonomic and efficient lighting
      • light output needed [lumen]
      • the opening angle [degree]
      • correlated color temperature [Kelvin color temperature scale]
  • The practical part of the project consits of:
    • work on a plan for improvements we can do and of course,
    • fabricating and installing
      • various lamp-holders,
      • lamp-shades,
      • reflectors
  • Optional solutions to make our lights efficient and ergonomic are the integration of movement sensors and light relays in the light system.
  • Future perspective of the illumination of the Sunseed facillities. Lampshades are not only aesthetic items in combination with reflectors they also greatly influence lighting efficiency by directing light where its needed. For the future we want a combination of energy efficient and athmospheric illumination in the living areas. In the working areas should be well lighted workspaces to support a healthy and happy workaday life.

Skills:

This project would be ideal for someone with an interest in working with the incredible natural material Pita wood from the harvesting stage to the latest finishing touches. Good carpentry skills required. The AT department will support and advise the volunteers espacially with the electrical insatallation but although with the woodwork and the tools.

Duration:

The expected project duration is 4 to 12 weeks.