Sunday, 24 October 2010

Permaculture Intensive Workshop: "Living Permaculture"

Agrotechnologies Educational Park 
Linares - Region del Maule - Chile.
Dates: Saturday 30 - Sunday October 31 - November 1

This course is to sow the seeds of a new vision regarding the relationship between people and nature, walking toward a greener society.
What are the benefits of learning to design with permaculture?
This course is intensive and practical level, is developed for all people and groups who have taken the decision to change their lifestyle to a more sustainable, participatory, creative, harmonious with the physical and social environment, learning conceptstheoretical - practical permaculture and leading them into practice to begin to develop self-sustaining poles (in neighborhoods, groupsCommunity eco-villages and similar options) with greater autonomy, beginning with the home,neighborhood or community.

Topics that are including:

-Design method of permaculture.
-Principles and techniques of organic agriculture.
-Knowledge of main natural patterns observed.
-Use, recycling and conservation of the water domestic and irrigation.
-Recycling of waste organic  
-Design and concept to create a Biological Corridor.
-Solar Technologies craft and high technology

Sustanaible habits: Permaculture

Permaculture is an integrated design philosophy that promotes a sustainable ecological development and human settlements. It has inspired many practices around the world, mainly in traditional systems of land management of the various indigenous cultures in the world. 

The word "permaculture" was coined in 1978 by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist, and one of his students, David Holmgren. It is a contraction of "permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture."
Permaculture is about designing ecological human habitats and food production systems. It is a land use and community building movement which strives for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive communities. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way we place them in the landscape. This synergy is further enhanced by mimicking patterns found in nature.
A central theme in permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food. Emphasis is placed on multi-use plants, cultural practices such as sheet mulching and trellising, and the integration of animals to recycle nutrients and graze weeds.
However, permaculture entails much more than just food production. Energy-efficient buildings, waste water treatment, recycling, and land stewardship in general are other important components of permaculture. More recently, permaculture has expanded its purview to include economic and social structures that support the evolution and development of more permanent communities, such as co-housing projects and eco-villages. As such, permaculture design concepts are applicable to urban as well as rural settings, and are appropriate for single households as well as whole farms and villages.
"Integrated farming" and "ecological engineering" are terms sometimes used to describe perma-culture, with "cultivated ecology" perhaps coming the closest. Though helpful, these terms alone do not capture the holistic nature of permaculture; thus, the following definitions are included here to provide additional insight.

Permaculture is unique among alternative farming systems (e.g., organic, sustainable, eco-agriculture, biodynamic) in that it works with a set of ethics that suggest we think and act responsibly in relation to each other and the earth.

The Importance of Recycling

What is Recycling?

Is the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products. Materials are recovered from the waste and are used in the manufacture of other products to create another one or the same ones. It reduces the amount of solid waste that contributes to pollution.

Recycling is a strategy of waste treatment based on the "3R's".

Reduce: to implement actions to reduce the production of objects/products susceptable to become waste.

Reuse: This process allow products to have a second live period with the same or different use.

Recycle: Are the operations of collecting and processing waste that can be reintroduce into a circle of life.

How long takes a product in being degradated?

Paper: 2 weeks – 1 year (depending of the area)
Glass: 4.000 years
Aluminum cans: 200 – 500 years
Plastic bottles: 500 – 1.000 years
Tetra pack: 30 – 45 years
Wood: 2 – 3 years
Chewing gum: 2 4 years
Plastic bags: 100 - 200 years
Cigarrete filter: 2 years
Disposable cups: 500 - 1.000 years

Some places where you can leave your waste to be recycle.

SOREPA (Paper & Cardboard)
RECYCLA CHILE (Electronic waste)
REDEGAG (Paper, Plastic, Iron, Metal, Glass)
LATASA CHILE (Aluminum cans)
COMEC (Metal)
RECUPAC (Paper & Cardboard)
GERDAU AZA (Metal & Steel)
GOODYEAR (Tires & rubber)
CHILECTRA (Batteries)

Let's recycle to reduce the impact!!

Here we show you some examples of things that you can do with "waste".

How to make a carpet with corks?

Materials that you need

- 180 corks approximately
- Selfadhesive paper with a porous surface
- Hot silicone
- Cardboard cutter
- Scissors
- Cutting board
- Sandpaper
- Ruler


The first thing that you have to do is to cut the corks in halfs. Then polish the irregular bases with the sandpaper to have a equal base.

Then put the cutted corks trying to create a rectangle with the flat side down. A good size for the carpet can be 46 cm x 76 cm that's like 10 halves of cork in vertical and 35 halves corks horizontally.

Now that you have your rectangle, you have to measure and cut the selfadhesive paper with the size that you want to make your carpet and then put the corks on the adhesive surface.

Fill the selfadhesive paper with the corks from the outside to inside and reinforce them with hot silicone on the bottom side and a little on the sides to stick them well and then just continue until to fill the rest of the rectangle.

To give the carpet a better finish you can give it a "personal touch" puting on the edge of it a piece of a ribbon or you can also varnish the corks.

How to make a purse with bottle funds?

Materials that you need:

- 2 plastic bottle funds
- Zipper
- Scissors
- Silicone
- Sandpaper

 Step by step

Cut 2 funds of plastic bottles.
The size and color depends of the purse that you want.
Try to cut the funds of 4 cm high approximately.
Then you can polish the edges with the sandpaper to have a better finish.
The edges must be equal.
After that, put the zipper by the interior of the bottles and paste it with the silicone.
Then close it and your purse is already done!

How to make a wallet with Tetra Pack boxes?

Materials that you need:

- 1 tetrapack box
- Stapler
- Cunch
- Scissors
- Thick elastic


- Disarm the box from all sides and then stretch it
- Cut the ends leaving them as equal as possible
- Fold the box by the narrower sides
- Fold the box to the center in 7 cm approximately.
- The leftover part is the cover of the purse or wallet
- After that, join the centers/edges and put the brackets to secure it.
- If you find that the cover is too long you can modify it.
- Make a hole with the punch at the top of the cover, and then put the elastic and make a tie.

Recycling Newspaper

Paper recycling is the process of recovering waste paper and remaking it into new paper products.

Paper is composed of vegetal fiber that is an organic matter. That means that it’s made of elements who has life. That’s the reason why we have to learn to value the importance of paper like the exponent and result of a manufacturing process that has resulted in the death of a living being, in this case, a tree.

The time to degradation of the paper is relative, if it is lying on the ground in a rainy place it may not take a long time to disintegrate, but if it’s in another area it can take until 1 year approximately.

Ideally it is to recycle paper to prevent excessive logging.

The majority of people don’t worry about recycling paper because they consider it organic, and they just throw it away, generating greater volume of waste and pollution.
7.000 newspapers has a weight of 1 ton, that’s equal to 3 cubic meters of wood that is the same that 13 trees of a medium size.
90% of paper pulp is made of wood.

Recycling paper and cardboard is vital to save energy, to avoid the pollution and the most important, to save the forests.
That's the reason why we have to be more carefully with our paper, because when we throw away our waste paper we are condemning to death a million trees.

You can do a lot of paper-based products, especially newsprint because the
refining process is poor and by the large number of newspapers that we
have at home.

Some examples of recycling old newspapers are:
Waste baskets

Salad containers

Napkin holders, etc.

How to do a Penholder:

Materials that you need:
*Toilet paper tubes. 
*A skewer 
*A piece of cardboard. 
*Vinyl glue (white glue) 
*Acrylic paint. 
*Acrylic or water varnish (optional)

1) Take a sheet of newspaper, fold it in half vertically and then again in half horizontally. 
Cut into the 4 parts which were marked.

2) Make a diagonal fold in one extreme of the paper on the skewer and begin to roll it up as tight as possible. 
Arriving in the middle of the piece of paper remove the skewer through one end and continue rolling up using both hands. 
Before reaching the opposite corner close it with glue.

3) Cut the rolls of newsprint of the same height of the toilet paper tube.
At the moment of cutting the rolls you must be carefully because they can disarm. If it's necessary put some glue to secure it.

4) Make a base of cardboard and paste it to one extreme of the tube, because this will be the base for the pens.

5) Start to paste the rolls of paper on the toilet paper tube until cover the entire contour.

6) Let it dry, then cover it with a layer of vinyl glue to secure it.

7) Once dry, paint it with acrylic paint almost undiluted.

Now, let dry your Penholder for some hours and it will be ready to hold your pens!!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

“Sustainable building”

The principles:

To achieve sustainable architecture should be taken into account;

  • The construction site and environmental assessment.   
  • Guidance and passive energy use.
  • Construction systems.
  • Building Materials healthy.
  • Energy consumption.
  • Waste generation and recycling.
Building materials:

With regard to materials, we say that the degree of sustainability is related to the construction zone. It is necessary to know the natural resources of each place and the extent to which these can be renewed.

Although, there are some materials which generally can be categorized as organic, as it relates to natural products widely existence. Like adobe, bamboo, earth, clay bricks, ferrocement, construction lime and pozzolanic cement.

Adobe: it is a brick made from clay. The ideal mixture contains 20% clay and 80% sand. These materials, mixed with water, are becoming more fluid way to dump into wooden forms to the size wanted. When the water evaporates, the brick is capable of sustaining itself, remove the form and complete the drying in the sun. Full cure takes about 30 days. This is when the brick is as strong as concrete.

Bamboo: bamboo rods are of a type of grass can vary in height from 30 cm to 40 meters, according to the American Bamboo Society. " Grows in different climates, from jungles to the slopes of the mountains.
In some Asian countries this material has been used for centuries as building material for houses, cooking utensils, etc.

Lime: Lime is a versatile and excellent binder and has a long tradition as a construction material for agricultural use and sanitation. Although it has been largely replaced by cement, lime offers many benefits and in Europe is regaining its status among builders. Lime can be produced locally in many parts of the planet, but they should emphasize fuel efficiency and the cooking process.

Course of "Sustainable Architecture"


School / Trainer: Universidad de Chile
Santiago, Chile

Course Format: Classroom

Course content:

"The course in sustainable architecture is a response to the growing demand for professionals committed to the environment and the proper use of resources and energy in architecture. In this context, participants will receive updated knowledge and tools to propose, evaluate and develop innovative projects concerned with natural environmental comfort, and sensitive to climate, location and social context in which they are inserted.

So the foundation will also be reviewed scientific - technical methods and practices of sustainable architecture, referencing the most recent advances produced internationally, not to mention the technological, economic, social and cultural aspects of our environment.


- Provide academic and professional update on the latest trends in sustainable architecture.

- Provide a system of values aimed at achieving sustainability in architecture.

- To train professionals in the basic processes of the project bioclimatic

- Develop analytical skills and critical reasoning for the project to select and implement the technologies most appropriate climate control.

- Provide participants basic concepts and tools that allow critical and technically evaluate the bioclimatic aspects of the project.   

Calendar and prices:
Tel.:(56 2) 9782000   

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

What do we understand by the term sustainability ?

Couple of days ago, I was talking with some friends sharing a cup of an organic red wine from the Colchagua Valley, delicious by the way !, well suddenly we where discussing about organic products and all that involve the organic concept, from there the discussion derived on the sustainability and for my surprise I found out that some of my friends had a completely different idea about the meaning of sustainability, at least of what I understand form the term, one of them propose (the owner of the restaurant where we were having that terrific wine) that his restaurant was sustainable because it had the capacity to be self-supporting, but he was only thinking in  a economic matter, so I asked him what about the large amount of garbage that the restaurant produce every day or if there was any kind
I would like to discuss about what Chileans understand by the concept of sustainability.