Category: waste

creating loops: growing food & local economies – james kagwe

I interviewed a most inspiring gentleman I met on my Permaculture Design Course in Laikipia for my 4th blogpost for the Transition Network. James Kagwe was both inspired and challenged by a question from the late Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and badass activist from Kenya: who will do it tomorrow? Thus began his quest to go one step further with fixing the waste problem in Naivasha town. What…

permaculturing an eclectic community space

Pots, large empty jars, a city of Nairobi concrete bench nestled in a burst of green aloes and ferns, a reclaimed oil drum standing next to a charcoal fridge are just some of the eclectic things you find when you step into the compound of Bric a Brac, a new community space with permaculture principles located off Lang’ata road in Karen. The name fits. For Hahu, an artist and the…

healthy environment, healthy people

I managed to attend two side sessions of the UN environment assembly last week thanks to my communications consultancy for the waste management company Takataka Solutions. I was duly impressed. The conference was focused on the environmental aspects of the sustainable development goals (which include goals like peace and justice and inequality). The format was assembly meetings of states, and side presentations from states, non-profits and business entities on the…

25 images of transition in brazil

I spent two and a half months working alongside various initiatives that were part of a larger Transition Brasilândia network while in São Paulo, Brazil. Brasilândia is located in the North East of the city, and a 2 hour and multiple bus ride away from the centre of São Paulo. It is also the only Transition Initative located in a low-income neighbourhood. These 25 images exemplify some of the amazing…

why make one?

“Why make one when you can buy one? Why bother with all this wood-hammer business, Wouldn’t it be easier to go to the shop and buy one?!” My host brother in Brazil, Dimas, and I made a shoe rack from pieces of discarded wood he found at a dump on his way home. While we sand-papered the wood by fast dimming evening light, pulled out and straightened nails, figured out…

design ingredients for sustainable waste management – ii

“So how should a city’s waste management options be designed? Labels such as those of UCT’s campus receptacles and Hoan Kiem Lake’s bins would communicate the importance of both recycling and reducing one’s waste. The placement of these ideal designed options would consider where disposer traffic was likely to be highest and what waste would be generated based on activities occurring. The ideal design would also be replicated through a…

design ingredients for sustainable waste management – i

“Urban areas concentrate not only economic and social production, but also waste production. Waste that is often addressed at the end of a long chain of actors- manufacturers, retailers, consumers, disposers, municipal councils, collectors, recyclers. And thus waste’s final destination and the impacts of the same are made invisible. The problem of what to do with waste is externalised by actors along the chain of waste production, an externalisation aided…

the goldman prize and the just beginning fight against lead poisoning

In late April the 6 regional winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the ‘Green Nobel’, were announced. Phyllis Omido, a Kenyan single mother won the $175,000 prize in the Africa region for her 7 year effort to shut down a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling factory in the informal settlement of Owino-Uhuru in Mombasa, the largest coastal city in Kenya. Soon after the prize was announced,…

waste watching in são paulo

In front of the Museo do Afrobrasil in Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, there is a five tier coloured recycling receptacle with a choice of glass (green), paper (blue), metals (yellow), plastics (red), and organics (brown) bins. The letters of some of the labels have peeled off due to age or wear leaving users to their own imagination, or the guidance of the drawings that are part of the label. The…

at a swap fair in granja viana

Read the version in Portuguese here Issa lives in Granja Viana and is one of the representatives of Transition Granja Viana, an initiative of the worldwide Transition Town movement. According to her, the Swap Fair, also known as the Ecofair, is the biggest success of the Transition GV Group. She told me this while we were driving to her house one Saturday afternoon so we could catch a potluck supper…