Richmond Vale

Farmers Market Project

Farmer's market project is an initiative which aims to bring some good advantages for the locals while caring about our environment and our own health. The idea of the farmers market is a group of climate activists who wonder why there wasn´t a local market in the village despite being mostly farmers and fisherman living there. How did they manage to sell their products and soon?. After a bit of investigation we got to know that people were going to the city (35km far and 2 hours driving) to make their selling every Friday, that mean that they invest money, time, effort and fuel besides their work in the garden, and all of it just to sell their product to mostly the same people who live in their own village. Friday is the shopping day everybody goes to the city, takes the minibus and starts spending ¼ of their shopping budget just in transport. They pack all their stuff and they carry them all the way forward and back, some of them end up smash due to the long trip. So all those reasons together with the fact of promoting the local economy, organic food and use the change to spread Moringa use for the sake of the environment but mostly for their own health are some of the “why” a farmer´s Market in Chateau Belair...
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Cleanup Day At The Petitbourdel Beach.

The two main sources of marine pollution are garbage and sewage water from industrial and commercial use in cities. Preventing Pollution. Johnny from Colombia. Through the cleanup day organized by Richmond Vale Academy in Petitbourdel beach where we collect several hundred kilos of garbage. Comes to my mind the following thought: How far can human unconsciousness? I really do not know. Anyone would think that the people who defend nature are the pure tree hugging hippies, nothing further from reality the ocean is alien to many people. However, it is the one to make it all work from the weather to the life of the species; the problem is that the oceans have become huge garbage dumps. All this because of widespread mismanagement of urban waste. A study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has quantified in million tons the garbage that accumulates in the funds the water column, the sea surface, and shoreline. Garbage in the sea is the symptom of a serious disease: constant misuse and mismanagement of natural resources; the amount of plastic bags, bottles and other debris in the ocean. Can be drastically reduced by improving the management of waste, reducing the amount and recycling, all these are solutions that can be implemented from the beginning, from our homes and daily lives the serious impact on our huge seas. According to...
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The Importance of Wetlands.

Wetland and Importance to Protect Them. By Vanessa from Spain. The wetland is a land area full of water, either permanently or seasonally. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapting to a unique soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are the most diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Here at Richmond Vale, we count with the only extension of wetland in the whole island,  this area is in devastation  by the flood in 2013. That happen because the vegetation is burned and turn around contaminated with a large amount of waste. Flooding along with the fact of sea level rise, he has compromised the area and part of the island. That is why the restoration of the zone starts in 2015. In order to prevent the erosion continue, Richmond Vale Academy with the Ministry of Tourism has been working. Many actions as tree planting and cleanings up have taken place in the last years. The area is partially salt due to the type of vegetation. The action consisted of planting various trees like, neem, mangroves, coconut trees the "penguin" and plants that have been mounting in this...
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Children Visiting Summer Camps RVA.

Children Visits RVA From a Local Methodist Church Group. By Pippa From England. They were members of a summer camp, where they stay overnight for a week and partake in different activities. The children were age between 8 – 15 and and around 30 in total. The group visiting Richmond Vale for a few hours and organizing several stations for them to engage in whilst they here. Once the group arriving, the children were split into 4 groups of around 8 each. 20/25 minutes to spend at each station. Our first station dedicating to colouring in environmental pictures and the first of our activities. We want it to vary the actions to keep it interesting for the children, some sporty and some purely for learning. Also a station for vegetable and fruit bingo which got very competitive. Each child given a piece of paper with 9 pictures of different fruit/vegetables. One by one the name of a food calling out and if that fruit or vegetable on page then need it to cover it over. All the pictures covering up the winner and shout ¡BINGO!. There were several victory dances and I’m not sure who enjoying themselves more at this station the children or the RVA students running it who got extremely competitive. One station to creating pots for the children to plant their very own...
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Resilience Is The Answer To Adversity

[caption id="attachment_6156" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://stockholmresilience.org Resilience is the ability of people to recover from adversity. Difficult circumstances may develop virtues that were hidden in the individual. For example, negative situations like the financial crisis, and natural disasters can stimulate the strength in people. The most important quality of resilience is that help in many cases of life and it grows with a constant daily work. Having a Positive and empathetic attitude helps in difficult circumstances and develop unknown resources inside the individual. Resilience is the human capacity to assume extreme situations with flexibility and overcome them. [caption id="attachment_6159" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://www.een.edu.com   Especially children with good self-esteem become adults with good resilience to overcome the obstacles they will encounter throughout life. Therefore they can develop a constructive way of dealing with life situations positively. In addition to this, parents and children should understand the impact of resilience and how this helps society in general.   [caption id="attachment_6160" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://www.wikipedia.com Humans and nature are one. Resilience starts with the belief that humans and nature are one. For psychology, the problems are addressed and overcome by people, thanks to the resilience in different circumstances that favor or not development in all men as education and social context. Humanity must understand the importance of establishing a good relationship with family and friends....
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Scorching July is World’s Hottest Month

Climate change is a phenomenon that continues increasing the heat of a world level. The NASA scientists informs  that July was the hottest month of 2016. According to data released by NASA, July was also the hottest month on record for the world the streak means that 2016 is still well on its way to upsetting last year as the hottest year on record. [caption id="attachment_6146" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo credit: NASA According to NASA, the heat is rising streak since October 2015, which was the first month in your dataset hotter than normal. July 2016 was hotter than the 1951-1980 average it wasAccording to NASA, the heat is rising streak since October 2015, which was the first month in your dataset Hotter than normal.above July 2015, the next warmest July in records that go back to 1880. The record July heat also means this was the hottest month the planet has seen over the course of NASA's records. That's because July is also generally the hottest month of the year due the fact that it's summer in the northern hemisphere where there's more land. [caption id="attachment_6141" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo credit: NASA Earth’s temperature spiral toward 2°C flirting with the 1.5°C threshold 2015 set frenzy of climate records. Will be the last record hot month most important of this year as the residual heat from an exceptionally...
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The Four Industrial Revolutions In a Glimpse

Mankind has taken gigantic leaps forward in the last two centuries; to the point that, if we were able to travel back in time, we wouldn't recognize life in the pre-industrial era. So much of what we do now has been made easier —or possible!— by the inventions and innovations of the four industrial revolutions. As we dive head first into the fourth one; it is worthwhile to take some time to assess the impact of the previous three in our society and environment. After all, it is only by knowing our history that we can truly move forward and better ourselves. Keep reading for a glimpse at all the Industrial Revolutions. The Original Industrial Revolution [caption id="attachment_5555" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia Coming from an agrarian society with virtually no urban centers, the shift towards steam-powered textile factories and cities was a momentous event. The First Industrial Revolution paved the way for the remaining three industrial revolutions. Therefore, had it never happened, we wouldn't have the basic goods we now take for granted. The steam engine was perhaps the greatest invention of the First Industrial Revolution. It was used to completely transform the textile industry; which implemented it in the power looms  —for weaving— and cotton gins —for separating cotton fibers from the seeds. Further innovations to the steam engine allowed to use it for...
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This Is How We Celebrated Earth Day at RVA

[caption id="attachment_6041" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know about our committment to making of St. Vincent a Climate Compliant Country. Consequently, we make the most of any occasion to show people how they can prepare better for the effects of climate change ; and what better chance to do this than Earth Day? So we strapped on our boots and we took upon the task of celebrating Earth Day at RVA. Keep reading to see what we got up to. What is Earth Day? [caption id="attachment_6039" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Plus Quotes Celebrated every year on the 22nd of April, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement, all the way back in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, started it with the idea of a day to focus on the environment. He sought to draw in the energy of the student anti-war movement into the discussion of environmental pollution; with the hopes of eventually bringing environmental protection into the national political agenda. Afterwards, Nelson and his colaborators focused on promoting a series of nationwide events on the 22nd of April. On that day, 20 million Americans took to the streets and other public spaces to protest against the deterioration of the environment. The result was the creation of the United Stated...
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Richmond Vale

Horses: The Importance of Second Chances

The first time I rode a horse was almost 10 years ago. It was in a very nice landscape in La Calera; a village in Colombia where people usually make horse rides within groups. Champagne was the name of the horse that was taking me. She was white and had a beautiful blondish hair. After few minutes, Champagne started to run really fast, having me on top of her back. She had bolted and I could no longer control her; thus making me lose stability. After this experience, I hadn’t had the chance to be close enough to any horse; and to be honest, I didn’t feel like searching for a second time either. That was until the past two weeks when I arrived at Richmond Vale Academy; a place where nature is the main character of the scenario. Among others animals I found horses. Not one, but five, and the first thing that made me curious about them was that they were out in the garden, like pets. They didn’t have bridles and they were totally used to people, dogs and cats, all going around. That called my attention and I decided to have a one on one class with them and Stina, from whom I had heard the special relationship and language she shares with them. [caption id="attachment_6013" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Taken from La Bitácora...
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NEWS: Global Warming Will Expose Nuclear Waste In Greenland

[caption id="attachment_6005" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The Camp Century Base worked as a researc center for the United States. This base also conducted a top secret nuclear operation known as "Project Iceworm" - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Greenland's melting rate has tripled in recent years thanks to global warming; and thus the ice is melting at a faster rate than snow is falling. Besides the obvious threat of sea level rise this encompasses, new concerns of an equally insidious problem have arised. During the Cold War era, the United States had a military base in Greenland. The Camp Century based worked as a research center for the US military, who regularly conducted experiments such as drilling into the ice core. However, on the background, Camp Century was also the home of a nuclear operation known as "Project Iceworm". After the war ended, the US government decomissioned the Camp Century base; but almost everything inside it was left intact. At the time, they thought it would snow forever in the area and thus, the base would remain under a thick layer of ice. The truth proved to be much different. If the Greenland ice continues melting at this rate, we could have tonnes of nuclear waste, toxic coolants and fuel making their way into the ocean before the end of the year. Read the full article by The Telegraph below:...
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NEWS: Making Caribbean Transport Climate-Resilient

The Caribbean Development Bank has approved $768,000 to study and build climate-resilient roads in its Borrowing Member Countries. This study will be conducted in two countries, which will be selected on the basis of location and high risk profile. [caption id="attachment_5999" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Flooded road in Kingston during Hurricane Dean - Photo Credit: Wikipedia The end goal of the project is to develop mainstream measures in Caribbean countries to protect the roads from natural disasters; as well as rising sea levels and increasingly high temperatures caused by global warming and climate change. Read the full article by the Caribbean Journal below: MAKING CARIBBEAN TRANSPORT CLIMATE-RESILIENT The Caribbean Development Bank has approved funding to address the high incidence of damage to the road infrastructure in Caribbean countries by natural hazard events and the potential for loss of roads by rising sea levels. The Bank will fund a study on approaches for mainstreaming climate resilience into the road transport sector in its Borrowing Member Countries. The threat to road transport infrastructure in the region is heightened by the increased intensity of rain storms, sea level rise, and high temperatures. The Bank is providing $768,000 for the project, which aims to develop and pilot approaches for constructing road systems that are resilient to natural hazards and climate change. CDB will conduct the study in two countries, which will be...
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Fourth Industrial Revolution: What comes next?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution —most commonly known as Industrie 4.0—; is "the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies" ( Wikipedia ). Its main characteristic is the introduction of smart factories; or machines with embedded web connectivity that are part of a larger system that visualizes the entire production chain and makes decisions on its own. While a neat transition from the Third Industrial Revolution might lead people to consider Industry 4.0 as an extension of it; the Fourth Industrial Revolution is no such thing. The fast-as-lighting pace of innovation heralds the transformation of entire systems of production, management and governance. [caption id="attachment_5931" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Comparative chart of the main characteristics of each Industrial Revolution - Photo Credit: Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES THE INTERNET OF THINGS [caption id="attachment_5934" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Pixabay It is a network of physical devices, means of transport, infrastructure, among other things; which use embedded technology to share information with each other or the internet. According to Jim Chase , of Texas Instruments: "The Internet of things creates an intelligent, invisible network fabric" which we can control, sense and program. Chase also stresses that the true promise of this network is "when invisible technology operates behind the scenes dynamically responding to how we want 'things' to act". CLOUD COMPUTING [caption id="attachment_5935" align="aligncenter"...
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World Environment Day 2016

We celebrate World Enviroment Day every year on June 5th. This event, which is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), seeks to raise global awareness and positive environmental actions to protect planet Earth. Such is its impact that the United Nations consider it the most important day to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. A little peek at history World Environment Day came to be on June 5th, 1974. Since then, it has become a global platform for public outreach which spans over 100 countries. Furthermore, WED serves as a catalyst for progress towards an environmentally sound society. It is the "People's Day" for doing something to help the planet; as well as becoming an agent of change. Finally, the World Environment Day fosters millions of different initiatives at the national and global level; as well as solo and group actions —everyone is free to choose. WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY IN SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES For this World Environment Day, we chose to plant trees to combat climate change and protect the environment. On June 5th the members of Richmond Vale Academy hopped on the school truck and took a ride to Petit Borden. A local rugby group had invited us to partake in a Tree Planting activity they had organized. Once at the event, we planted around 50...
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Food Forest: The End of the Manicured Lawn?

More often than not, we go to a neighborhood and see neatly trimmed grass and decorative plants in the entryway. The book definition of a manicured lawn. Is it pretty? Yes! Is it useful? Not in the slightest. In fact, lawns massively contribute to global warming and environmental pollution. If you are a gardening enthusiast, this might cause you a cognitive dissonance. How is this lovely grass you nurture detrimental to the environment? Keep reading to find out the answer to this question; and to learn about how you can still do gardening through an excellent, environmentally sound practice: growing a food forest. 1 HISTORICAL FACT AND 5 UGLY TRUTHS ABOUT LAWNS Current lawns take inspiration from the English landscape gardens, which became popular in Europe in the 1700s. The English gardens "usually included a lake, sweeps of gently rolling lawns set against groves of trees, and recreations of classical temples" ( Wikipedia ). They were a sign of aristocracy, as the landowner could afford to maintain unproductive land. [caption id="attachment_5853" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia Fast forward to last century, after the second Industrial Revolution brought along industrial suburbs. Well-kept lawns "propagated the homogeneity of the suburb itself" ( Wikipedia ) . They were signs of good citizenship and increased the selling price of new homes. Today, manicured lawns are part of urban and suburban...
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BioChar: RVA's Green Project

Our Climate Change Activist program focuses on making of St. Vincent a Climate Compliant Country. This entails working shoulder to shoulder with Vincentians to build sustainable food and energy production systems; as well as leading an overall sustainable lifestyle . Consequently, the March Team for the program is working on a BioChar project that seeks to introduce a sustainable production of this resource in St. Vincent. As you will see, the production of BioChar requires a kiln. Our team is currently in the stage of building the pilot at the Academy; however, the plan is to build as many as 100 kilns throughout St. Vincent by 2017, thus instilling a BioChar culture among Vincentians. But what exactly is BioChar? How and most importantly, why should we use it? We answer all these questions below. WHAT IS BIOCHAR? BioChar is a type of charcoal which comes from biomass (e.g. plant matter and agricultural waste, etc.). Its primary use lies in soil improvement, which is vital in agribusiness because it protects plants against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Once created, BioChar can endure in soils for thousands of years; consequently boosting food security, increasing soil biodiversity and discouraging deforestation. [caption id="attachment_5830" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia As other types of charcoal, BioChar is created by heating the biomass in a low-oxygen —or hypoxic— environment. The ensuing chemical reaction...
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NEWS: 'Mobility as a service' will take over Helsinki by 2025

Helsinki's government is working on the development of a public integrated system which focuses on "mobility as a service". Consequently, the need for privately-owned cars might be non-existent in ten years. [caption id="attachment_5808" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Helsinki is pursuing an ambitious public and private transport project that focuses on mobility as a service - Photo Credit: Wikipedia The government of Finland's capital city is hard at work with a "seamless and integrated private and public transportation system" . The project would mostly use the transport infrastructure already at hand, as well as the cell phones and other digital devices we all carry nowadays. As a result, Helsinki's citizens would be able to pay for kilometer-based packages, rather than multiple tickets for individual rides; and they would also be able to arrange their rides. The city would have dynamic bus routes and "private operators" from whom one could purchase "mobility packages" based on weather, time of the day, etc. Read the full article by Bikocity below: RESIDENTS OF HELSINKI, FINLAND, MAY NOT NEED TO OWN THEIR OWN CARS BY 2025 In at least one Scandinavian city, owning your own car may not be necessary a decade from now, thanks to the forward-looking plans of the government of Helsinki, Finland. While the goal of eliminating the need for private car ownership in that capital city within 10 years may...
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From Winstead to Africa to the Caribbean - By David Christian

This article was originally posted on CICD Volunteering Africa . MY STORY AND I AT CICD I am David Christian, from Rochdale near Manchester. I was a DI at CICD —the 14 months DI programme, in March 2011. The project was at One World University in Mozambique, where my main tasks were the library, promotion and teaching English. My first experience in a developing country; the challenges were motivating the students, communicating in Portuguese, plus coping with the lack of running water, electricity and the comfort of my old life. This is what I wanted, to change myself in this aspect; no longer remaining in my comfort zone and to be ready to face these difficulties millions of people live daily. I returned to CICD and joined the Fighting with The Poor 24 months programme. I returned to Africa —DNS in Mkushi, Zambia, working in partnership— helping with the expansion of the college. Not an easy task visiting many companies for sponsorship; but from my experience in fundraising, you have to keep going until you achieve something. From my African experiences, I didn't try to change the world, but to change some people's lives and I'm happy I achieved that. WHY I JOINED RICHMOND VALE ACADEMY (RVA) I am very aware of what we are doing to our planet. We need to do something about it;...
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Third Industrial Revolution: The Digital Revolution

[caption id="attachment_5786" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia The third Industrial Revolution —or Digital Revolution— refers to the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to the digital electronics we use today. In the last four decades, the use of digital computers has become commonplace and the appearance of the Internet connected the world. If anything, the third Industrial Revolution is as extraordinary as it is normal . Firstly, it is part of the incessable modernization and reinvention process that defines the human race. Secondly, in the last two decades, information and communication technologies have taken tremendous steps forward. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to imagine not having access to an infinite information database, or a quick video call with a dear friend. We have smartphones, houses and cars. The third Industrial Revolution has essentially changed how we behave, think, communicate, work and earn our livelihoods. Let's see how this wave of technological innovation has shaped the world as we live it today. SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE THIRD INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: PRESENT AND FUTURE Great Recession [caption id="attachment_5779" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Britannica It started with the crash in US housing prices. This event nearly led to the collapse of the global economy and generated major social displacement throughout world societies. Some of its effects still persist: High unemployment rates in US and Europe. Record youth unemployment across...
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Effects of Poverty on Behavior and Academic Performance

[caption id="attachment_5760" align="alignleft" width="300"] The effects of poverty on behavior and academic performance can be insidious and devastating. - Photo Credit: Wikipedia People have long argued that the way out of poverty is to provide the poor with the economic means to overcome their situation. However, this solution is rooted on a very simplistic view of a problem with multiple complex causes. Poverty places people at a disadvantage that is not only environmental, but also physical and psychological. It affects people's health, how they interact with each other and how they react to external stimuli. It even affects how and why they prioritize certain things, and their academic performance. These factors contribute to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty in individuals, families, communities and countries. Hence why, money can only have long-term effects in poverty alleviation if policymakers tackle the socioeconomic, physical and psychological components of this issue in tandem. In recent decades, wealth and income inequality between the rich and poor has exacerbated. Among other things, this viciously limits the opportunities available to certain sectors of the population; thus increasing social disparities and tension between groups. As Sawhill (2003) points out, "not only does behavior matter, it matters more than it used to" . However, what this author fails to point out is that behavior is not entirely a result of an individual's own...
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Carbon Neutral Energy

With ever-growing energy needs in the world, we strive to leave as small a carbon footprint on the Earth as we can. Living in a boarding school which can house up to 75 people at one time, we came to appreciate how every small electrical device contributes to our collective energy spending. In becoming a climate compliant community we are currently in the process of switching into renewable energy sources. We research and experiment with different ways of producing the energy in our small island reality. We come up with affordable solutions which can be replicated in St. Vincent households, using locally available materials. We apply for grants and transform our school into a model climate centre where we lead by example. We are still at the beginning of our road to switch to carbon neutral energy, but we already have several working solutions in place, which we are constantly improving. Biogas We have started our transition to carbon neutral energy by constructing a small biogas plant, a system which transforms household waste into usable methane. The main part of the system is a called a digester. It’s a large black tank filled with bacteria that digest organic waste and convert it into methane gas. We feed the biogas plant with a mixture of domestic organic and kitchen waste, like fruit and vegetable waste, with other organic...
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