Sustainable Communities

December 2, 2012  |  
By Santina Kerslake

Can we find ways to have communities sustain themselves by using appropriate technology? Sure we can. Appropriate technologies use local resources and employ local people. The use of local resources and materials lowers the costs of development and reduces supply problems. Simplicity of design enables community members to manage, maintain & repair the projects themselves. Using appropriate technologies is more labour intensive than using high tech but it is less capital intensive and it provides jobs and helps to keep the financial resources within the community. What has all this to do with environmental issues? Everything! All over the world, technology is applied in ways that disrupt natural ecological systems and human communities. The byproducts of such technologies are pollution, atmospheric alterations and loss of soils.

Appropriate technologies are developing in response to environmental problems. Examples of AT are the types of materials and designs used for building construction, natural sewage systems and sustainable methods of agriculture generic levitra uk. Natural sewage systems use plants such as cattails, reeds, and rushes growing in artificial marshes to extract toxic chemicals and metals from polluted wastewater. Canna lilies are used to clean the discharge from septic tanks. Greenhouses may provide an environment where microorganisms, marsh plants and fish transform raw sewage into purified water. These systems are far more effective than the present treatment facilities, because the new technology restores water rather than just treating it. What a waste! These new systems are less expensive than treatment plants and don't create large quantities of sludge. So why are these appropriate technologies not being used? Go ask the government. It is amazing that in today's fast-paced society, we sometimes fail to see the simple solutions! Time to get back to basics.

First appeared in West End Times August 25, 1993 - and still relevant today!

Santina Kerslake

Santina is an creative professional who is flexible in the face of change and resilient in the face of confusion.