WED 2013: Megawasted Opportunity?

WED 2013 - Raxa Collective

On June 5, we’ll celebrate World Environment Day. This year UNEP focuses on the theme Food waste/Food Loss. At Raxa Collective we’ll be carrying out actions and sharing experience and ideas. Come and join us with your ideas and tips to preserve foods, preserve resources and preserve our planet.

When I tell people that it’s possible to grow highly nutritional food on agricultural waste products with almost zero technology, I usually get a blank look. On a good day, someone will demand an explanation. Why would such a process, if existent, be so obscure if it could help solve malnutrition in underdeveloped communities? While I’m sure there is a logical explanation for this, it remains a mystery to me at present.

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“I just want to say one word to you. Just one word….Plastics” *

Yes, Plastics.  That ubiquitous, universal petroleum product that no one but a Hottentot can pass a day without touching.

It’s impossible to conceive of a world completely devoid of plastics, but we certainly can conceive of alternatives to at least some of its uses.  Forums such as Fortune’s Brainstorm Green bring together innovators and day dreamers with tangible results.

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, co-founders of Ecovative Design, aren’t much older than Benjamin Braddock *  was when he received that erstwhile advice. Continue reading

Mombo Jombo

Early this morning Pierre and I set out from Morgan’s Rock towards Granada, which is maybe two and a half hours away. Before reaching the city, we turned onto a road that led to Mombacho Volcano, an inactive peak with several extinct (and some fully collapsed) craters. The volcano is protected by the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve, created in 1996 by the several local fincas on the volcano’s foothills that comprise the NGO Cocibolca Foundation. Our time at Mombacho, described in the rest of this post, is part of the exploratory trip that Pierre and I are taking over the next three days, assessing the possibility of connecting Morgan’s Rock’s tour offerings with other operators in the area.

The day’s activities started at the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve (MVNR), where we met our guide Jennifer. We decided to take the longest trek, called the Puma Trail, so named because there are some big rocks and even caves that pumas are said to live in, although none have been sighted in a decade. Prior to starting this four-hour hike we stopped by an area called Los Fumalores where Jennifer had fun by daring us to put our hands in a small hole next to the trail, reassuring us that no snakes would be inside. As we placed our hands near the opening in the ground, we could immediately feel a stunning temperature difference. The place is called Los Fumaroles because sulfuric gases rise from volcanic holes and crevasses in hot gushes, heating the surrounding stone to a surprising degree. This area also provides a nice view of Las Isletas, which are known as children of Mombacho because they are islands initially created from a volcanic eruption. I mentioned Las Isletas very briefly here.

The Puma Trail’s path is very well maintained, Continue reading

Unveiling Fungi

Fungi are some of the most under-appreciated organisms on the planet, and even the most simple forms can be fascinating and capable of enthralling all but the most listless eyes. Most people associate the word ‘mushroom’ with the button-shaped, styrofoam-flavored Agaricus bisporus, also known as Portabella, Crimini, baby bella, et cetera, ad nauseam. The marketing ploys for peddling this poor excuse for a mushroom are legion, and no matter what name comes on the package, it’s always the same. In that light, the purpose of this post is to unveil the magnificent beauty of the Fifth Kingdom.

Veiled Stinkhorn

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