Outline for Future Sustainable Communities/ZERI-NM (SCZ) Projects
In response to the Governor's request, SCZ helped organize a workshop for state agencies to search for innovative ideas and solutions to the critical issues facing New Mexico. On March 17 and 18, 2004, Gunter Pauli, of the ZERI Foundation, presented a number of ways these issues can be addressed. With participants' input, they came up with an outline of recommendations for pilot projects to solve them. This outline, plus education about them, has become our plan for future projects.
Six critical issues are:
The suggested pilot projects will offer economic value-added opportunities and environmental protection in addition to creative solutions for the critical issues.
Forest restoration and fire prevention. In April 2004, SCZ began a sustainable forestry project in partnership with the Picuris Pueblo, the NM Mycological Society, and several other local organizations. Small diameter, waste timber and brush, that is already being cut under federal fire reduction programs, will be converted into higher value products such as non-toxic charcoal for cooking and heating, preserved wood using the off gasses from the charcoal production, and native edible mushrooms, grown on the waste slash and chips, which also help to restore the impacted areas with new humus. Our progress on this project is recorded on the projects page.
Dairy waste and wastewater projects could use a combination of anaerobic and aerobic digestion of wastes to produce energy as well as nutrients for: fish and crop farming; mushroom and algae cultivation; humus and soil amendment production; and sources of animal feed supplements.
Professor Chan, a ZERI Foundation sanitation engineer, explains the method in his detailed article, Integrated Farming System.
A new "oloid" technology can be used to aerate and clean up wastewaters more efficiently and expand the use and capacity of existing systems. For details go to the Oloid web site.
The General Electric E-Cell� technology from E-Cell� Corporation is the world's leading electrodeionization (EDI) technology. Its continuous, chemical-free operation and proven, modular design offer substantial benefits over conventional mixed-bed for water processing applications in the power generation, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, biotechnology and other industries. For details go to GE Infrastructure - Water & Process Technologies
Oil and gas produced waters cleanup. Potential projects could grow local salt-loving plants and algae in soil and water contaminated with oil and gas. The biomass can be used for renewable bio-diesel fuels and/or for animal feed supplements. We note that the NREL, the Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable energy research and development, tested and found that 1,000 square meters produced 7,600 liters of algae oil in Roswell, NM. Here is the link to the PDF of the NREL report. The Common Heritage Corporation has developed a method for desalination and water clean-up using deep ocean water on Hawaii.
Crop water conservation using condensation. These projects could work with existing acequias systems used by farmers along the Rio Grande or Pecos rivers. Acequias are traditional, gravity flow irrigation ditches that have been used since the early Spanish days. Our projects would add newly laid pipes carrying "borrowed" river water. All the river water is returned to the river. It just serves as the agent that causes moisture to condense from the air. This condensed water is then used for irrigation. John Craven is an expert in the field with extensive practical experience on the dry side of the main island of Hawaii.
Manufacturing opportunities for value-added products from industrial waste. In order to set up projects in this area, we need existing companies that are willing to cooperate in the project. So far we have no potential projects or willing manufacturing companies.
In the future we hope to show companies the advantages of using their waste emissions and by-products which now must be disposed of at a cost to the business. There have been successful efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle such wastes with some savings, notably through pollution prevention programs such as the Green Zia here in New Mexico.
The ZERI Foundationl uses a five-step methodology in which outputs from one enterprise become inputs for another until no waste remains. This method makes for more competitive and more productive results than conventional economic development and business models based on production of a single core product. It creates more products and jobs, while eliminating all waste and associated environmental concerns.
Classroom education, K-12. This project will cover all the crisis issues. In 2003 preliminary work began with the Education Department and the Center for Relational Learning. Start-up is planned for fall 2004. The focus will be on science, natural systems, and emotional intelligence learning for shared opportunities for systems learning in rural public schools. For more go to http://www.refa.edu.au and our Education page.
Other projects we hope to start.
Green Building Guide
We are hoping to substantially update and reprint our Green Building Guide. It needs to include many of the value-added and sustainable aspects of ZERI.
Master Planning, design for zero wastes / eco-industrial parks
Our planning continues in this area. We are working with communities around solid waste recycling facilities and opportunities for clustering new and existing industries in a way that utilizes waste energy/water/raw materials from one process to another.
The plan is to conduct a scientific study of the use of rock dusts - particularly basalt rock dust - in the regeneration of soils for rangeland, forests, agriculture and habitat improvements. We hope to establish a collaborative with the Bureau of Land Management, State Land Office, several environmental groups, local businesses, ranchers, organic food growers, and others.
Sustainable Communities/ZERI-NM is a public 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
This page was last updated on September 29, 2004
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Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs are © 2001-2004 Lynda Taylor.