A recently completed project with Wanganui High School used the Eco-Thrifty Renovation with senior students in a Level 3 sustainability course. The project was used as an example of a “sustainability initiative” for the students to assess on its merits. Two class meetings at the school were followed by a site visit. The project received much praise from students and teacher alike. The teacher said he would definitely get his Level 2 class out for a site visit.
The current project – The Science of Sustainability – at Wanganui Intermediate School involves over 700 students. In coordination with the school’s science teacher, The ECO School has designed a programme to get students excited about the upcoming science fair through highlighting the science – physics, biology, chemistry – of a permaculture installation: The Eco-Thrifty Renovation. The scientific topics highlighted include passive solar design, solar cookers, rocket stoves, insulation, thermal drapes, compost, aerated compost teas, organic food production and various aspects of bicycling. Response has been excellent so far.
We’ve also had meetings with primary school teachers, but term 1 has proved a difficult time to ask them to take on anything new. We continue to meet with primary schools as term 2 appears more favorable regarding work load. Funding for these programmes comes from Wanganui District Council and is administered by Sustainable Whanganui. Thank you!
We ran a new workshop this weekend with excellent response from participants. The workshop – Solar and Energy-Efficient Cooking – is part of an ongoing workshop series by The ECO School.
We covered a number of different solar cooker designs and cooking techniques during the first half of the workshop. But for those who have not yet made their own cooker, or for cloudy days, we introduced a number of other energy-efficient cooking techniques. Central to many of those techniques is the straw box.
A great example of using a straw box – not to mention an excellent energy-saving cooking technique – is what we call “10 watt pasta.” This cooking technique uses a small fraction of the electricity of boiling pasta for 10 minutes on a hob (stovetop). Here’s how to make it.
1) Boil a jug. Because the heating element is inside of the container, heat transfer is more efficient than heating a kettle or sauce pan of water on the stovetop (hob). We fill the jug with our solar hot water which comes from the tap at a high temperature using no electricity.
Bon apetito! Estwing