Richmond Vale

RVA creates history by moving to 100% renewable energy

solar3 Richmond Vale Academy (RVA), which focuses heavily on sustainable living, is now on 100 per cent renewable electricity
  It has taken four months longer than anticipated, but they have done it. Richmond Vale Academy (RVA), which focuses heavily on sustainable living, is now on 100 per cent renewable electricity. The school's off-grid system now consists of an additional 48 new solar modules (panels), bringing the total photovoltaic array to an output of 32 kil...
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Why did you choose this program?

experience An interview with Anna Maria
Why did you choose this program? ​ When I started to look for volunteering opportunities, I was mainly interested in projects focused on environmental actions and climate change. Apart from the actual work done within the project, it was important to me to choose an organization that was well established and transparent. RVA's Climate Compliance Co...
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Richmond Vale

Green Energy Movement

solar-panel-roof1 Our aim is to become fully dependent on Solar Energy
Our Solar Project As part of the movement for a more sustainable, eco-friendly Richmond Vale, one of the most recent projects we have embarked on is to become dependent on only solar powered energy. The movement within the renewable energy sector in the modern day is rapidly growing, and so its vital, we as a climate centre, divert away from the ex...
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Malwina, Poland: Seeing St. Vincent through children’s eyes

childs-eyes-front
We keep hearing that as adults we are nowhere as creative as when we were children and, what's worse, that the older we get the less creative we become. My point, however, is not to discuss the broad topic of 'creativity' and whether formal education system diminishes it or not. What I want to share with you is my impressions from one project, a sm...
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John: One month with the Climate Compliance Conference

John: One month with the Climate Compliance Conference
RVA Climate Compliance: 1 month programme evaluation Expectations: From attending the 1 month Climate Compliance programme at RVA I hoped to learn about Permaculture in relation to sustainable farming. I wanted to see how it works in practice, getting to grips with the day to day management of the farm and gardens, whilst picking up new ideas and developing skills. I also hoped to live a healthier lifestyle and perhaps even get myself fit. Courses & Studies Morning classes I found some of the one hour morning classes to be very useful sources of information and learning. Highlights were those on Agroforestery, Soil Structure and Solar Panels. Documentaries – documentary evenings provided opportunity to watch material selected from the wider RVA community within a focused environment. It was good to discuss the subjects afterwards, and take on board diverse insights and opinions. Effects of Climate Change Tour – perhaps the most poignant element of the course was this tour of places and people suffering recent extremities of weather. People were forthcoming with their views once they got going highlighting education and sustainable living as improvements to be made. Climate Compliance practical actions  Solar Dryer We constructed a solar dryer which we presented this to the RVA community and to the wider community on the RVA open day for which we made flyers alongside a variety of...
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My experience working with Biogas

My experience working with Biogas
My experience in the biogas project was very interesting because it was the first time I heard about it. I learned a lot about biogas, how to build one and I can see biogas can change people's lives because people can save money by reducing cooking expenses by as much as 80%. Cooking is easier and quicker than cooking with charcoal or firewood, it reduces your household waste because the biogas system converts organic household waste, improves your house because you have a source of energy for cooking and it produces your own organic fertilizer and helps the environment. Biogas is made up of five sections: a mixing tank, inlet chamber, digester, and outlet chamber and last an overflow tank. Also biogas is made from food waste. Cow dung is the main source for a biogas digester as the bacteria in dung has more potential than others. The biogas is also the future of waste processing as 40% of the waste in the average rubbish bin is food waste and it's all going to landfills which pollutes the soil and other resources and create methane gas which contributes to climate change. So the digester not only diverts this but also creates useful output from the otherwise wasted food, gets energy and brings back valuable nutrients to the soil. Inside the digester tank is where the digester of the...
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Do you know this numbers?

Do you know this numbers?
  2°C 565 Gigatons 2795 Gigatons Do you know this numbers? For us and our future generations it is very important to know about it. Our climate changes very fast, faster than we want to be true.  To explain the numbers I have to start with a calculation: In all medias we can read about CO2 and that we have to reduce the CO2 emission. But first we have to know how much is too much? Jim Hansen and his Team at NASA studied exactly this and published which said, that we don’t know enough to know how much is too much. However any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350ppm is not compatible with the planet on which civilisation developed and to which life on earth is adapted. But 2013 we already had 395ppm CO2 and it is rising around 2 points every year. Everything frozen on earth is melting and the result is: - The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than the half- The oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago- The atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago We have burned enough coal, gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree.  Now to the numbers... 2° C That’s how much the world has...
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The New Climate Compliance Conference Book is out

The New Climate Compliance Conference Book is out
Dear Friends! We are very happy to share with you the new Climate Compliance Conference Book ! From the introduction; Believing that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate, irrespective of their circumstances, the CCC program works with a diverse range of stakeholders ranging across cultural, social and economic boundaries. Participating members include local community and family members, international volunteers, community organisations, institutions as well as government bodies. During these first five years, the CCC has impacted upon the lives of 50.000 people in Saint Vincent and abroad. This program has been the platform of need, from which a springboard of hope has been built; to enable and empower several groups and communities. People have dived into action for positive climate change, from 2012 to 2016: 25.000 trees have been planted. Farmers have been supported by using more sustainable agriculture techniques. 15.000 students across SVG have been taught hundreds of lessons. 20.000 climate compliance newspapers have been produced and distributed. Furthermore, lessons on global warming and climate change have been given to 3.000 people visiting the Academy and to another 5.000 students and teachers at universities and colleges in Colombia, Guyana, Costa Rica, USA, England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Jamaica. It is, therefore, because of our dedication to climate change adaptation that we have chosen to celebrate our achievements and to...
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Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?

Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?
With Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma leaving destruction in their wake and Hurricane Maria looming in the Atlantic Ocean, the frequency and the power of the storms raises the question: How big of a role, if at all, does climate change play on these events? There are several vital ingredients needed for hurricanes to form. These include an initial disturbance in the atmosphere for the storm to form around, very warm sea surface temperatures to sustain the storm, and a lack of vertical wind shear so the storm is not torn apart during its formation. In the Atlantic Ocean, hurricanes often form near Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa. They then track westward towards the Caribbean and the US. Lots of factors can affect how strong these storms ultimately become, including how much time they spend gathering strength over the ocean, and the background weather patterns through which they travel. This storm season we have seen sea temperatures persistently about one to two degrees Celsius above normal over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which has allowed stronger storms to form and develop. Atlantic sea temperatures have warmed over the past century , thus enhancing one of the key ingredients for hurricane formation. Hurricanes and Climate Change are they really connected? According to Ex-NASA Scientist James Hansen , there is a clearly connection between climate change...
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A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture

A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture
Caribbean countries are particularly susceptible to climate change related risks. For these reasons, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Ministries of Agriculture of the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS) and other partners launched a Regional Competition to identify, document and disseminate successful cases of the implementation of technologies and practices that are contributing to climate smart agriculture in the ECS. This competition is part of a broader effort to develop capacities and strengthen institutions to enable an effective response to climate change by the region’s agrifood sector. Richmond Vale Academy is featured in this book by IICA and the national winner for St. Vincent and the Grenadines featuring Climate Smart practises. The challenges posed by Climate Change Over the past several decades, multiple climate changes have occurred across the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), located in the Lesser Antilles, including increasing temperatures, changes in water availability and precipitation, and increasing instances of floods. The December 2013 floods, for example, adversely affected many agricultural zones across SVG and several regions are still recovering. These changing climatic conditions, especially over the last twenty years, have presented multiple risks to the country’s agricultural sector, affecting the productivity and quality of crops. Marked changes in rainfall dynamics, with more frequent and intense precipitation events, and more frequent and pronounced drought events that disrupt farming and...
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Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance

Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance
Hello again! Enjoy a new chapter from the new Climate Compliance Conference Book. In the Chapter 1 , we presented to you a little introduction about the Climate Compliance Conference, in this chapter 2, we're going to talk about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Enjoy! Saint vincent and The Grenadines The country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as 'Hairoun (a)', is located to the south of the Caribbean Sea and has a population of 110.000 people. SVG is a small island nation but its history is quite remarkable and its landscapes are breathtaking. The country has had a long history of resistance against European imperial powers. The people of St. Vincent, the Caribs, managed to protect their homeland from the French and British settlement for 200 years. They were so vigilant that this territory became the last of the major Caribbean islands to be colonized. During this struggle, African slaves escaping from shipwrecks or the surrounding islands were welcomed to settle on the islands. They mixed with the Caribs and are now known as the Black Caribs or the Garifuna people. In 1719 Britain took control over the country and remained in power until 1979, when St. Vincent and the Grenadines claimed its independence and its right to control its own affairs. The country consists of a main island called Saint Vincent and of 31...
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New Climate Compliance Book

New Climate Compliance Book
We are just about to finish the first Climate Compliance Conference book and we are happy to share the introduction with you; Introduction Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after years of climate change related effects, was devastated by the severe weather disasters of 2010 and 2011. In response, Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) took decisive action by initiating a program called "The Saint Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 – 2021" (CCC). The CCC aims to bring people together to identify and undertake concrete climate change adaptation projects. Established in 2002, RVA is a registered non-profit research and education institution situated in the Chateaubelair area of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Since opening, students from this country and from around the world have participated in courses centered on poverty reduction, environmental conservation and climate change awareness. The Academy's educational programs give students the opportunity to directly influence positive change on the environment and in communities. As a consequence of its actions, RVA has been the catalyst that motivates and mobilises - both students and local community members - to build resilience into their lives; whilst simultaneously developing themselves personally, academically and socially. Since 2012, the school is honored to have hosted in excess of 250 local and international students that have been divided in 15 work and study teams. Each student has participated in CCC research activities...
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5 Easy ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen! INFOGRAPHIC

5 Easy ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen! INFOGRAPHIC
Have you ever wonder, "Why is conserving energy important?" There are many reasons why you should be concerned about conserving energy whenever is possible. Few people consider where the electricity comes from when they flip on a light or push the start button on a computer. Almost everyone in America has grown up in homes that are powered by electricity. This makes it very easy to take energy for granted, without realizing the cost to both the environment and to your bank account. The truth is that all energy produced and used has an impact on the environment. Luckily you can save energy in home with just a few tips. Ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen With the fridge running 24/7, the stove and the dishwasher, your kitchen is the room in your home that utilizes the most energy. So, with just a few minor adjustments, you can significantly cut the amount of energy you consume. With hydro costs increasing exponentially, you need to adopt energy-saving habits and trying just a couple of these tips, can result in significant savings. (Click infographic to enlarge .) Share this Image On Your Site </p><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/Save Energy in the kitchen/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/info-5easy-ways-to-save-energy-in-the-kitchen.jpg' alt='5 Easy Ways To Save Energy In The Kitchen Infographic' 540px border='0' /></a></p><br /> <p> #1-...
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5 Amazing Ways To Get The Most Out of a Permaculture Garden

5 Amazing Ways To Get The Most Out of a Permaculture Garden
The term ' Permaculture ' is a portmanteau word for 'permanent agriculture' and 'permanent culture'. Permaculture is basically an agricultural system which focuses on the natural way of practicing agriculture, maintaining the ecological systems and not strictly adhering to the systems followed in modern agriculture. This system of permaculture garden was designed and developed by two Australians named Bill Mollison and David Holmgren . Permaculture has been defined by Mollison as, "A philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system." Why Should We Use Permaculture? Permaculture gardens serve many functions. Rather than limit the garden to only one use, permaculture gardens employ a variety of uses. A permaculture garden provides food and medicinal crops, wildlife habitats, crafting materials, an attractive appearance, and a private, relaxing atmosphere throughout every season. These types of gardens produce food by using a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. Flowers are not only grown for their edible or medicinal properties but also as an insect repellent or attracting depending of the needs. They are also good to be used as cut flowers for beautiful bouquets or dried out for additional longer-lasting displays, and numerous plant materials are used...
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5 Effects of Global Warming that will make you think about it! INFOGRAPHIC

5 Effects of Global Warming that will make you think about it! INFOGRAPHIC
The Effects of global warming, the heating of Earth's, oceans and atmosphere, was a topic of debates in the scientific community. Today, the overwhelming consensus of researchers is that the effects of global warming is real thanks to human activity.  This affirmation was supported, as of 2013, by 197 scientific organizations around the globe , which is a stark difference from the levels of awareness in common citizens. Perhaps it is because when thinking about global warming, humans do not see themselves experimenting it now. However, they look at projections for what the world could become if global warming prevails. The truth is, climatic change is not a storm in the making ⎯the downpour has already reached everywhere around the world. Researches about Global Warming According to a Yale University study based on data collected by Gallup in the 2007-2008 period, “about 40 percent of adults worldwide have never heard of climate change. This rises to more than 65 percent in some developing countries, like Egypt, Bangladesh and India” . While this is understandable in developing countries ⎯where people often lack a formal education⎯ it results puzzling in those belonging to the developed world, like the United States. Another study by Yale found that, in 2015 , “fewer than 2 in 5 churchgoing Catholics heard about it from their priest in the month after it was...
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Clarity and Inspiration

Clarity and Inspiration
By Sara Auerbach I chose the Climate Change Activist Program , because it was an opportunity to do something different and to engage in meaningful action. There were a few things that I hoped to gain from my experience at RVA: Clarity. I hoped the program would give me a better picture of how I wanted to move forward both career wise and in everyday life. Inspiration. I wanted to revitalize my passion for environmental stewardship and addressing social problems. Practical skills . I wanted to leave RVA with ahandful of new skills that would aid me in living a life that would be more sustainable, more conscientious, and healthier. I can honestly say that RVA helped me to achieve all of these things. I am grateful for my experience at the school and for the opportunity to travel, create new relationships, and to broaden my understanding of the world. I believe that the community projects and sustainability goals that drive RVA are a positive force in a world that sorely needs effective programs that build people up and take care of our planet. I will say that the program is not perfect; I experienced frustrations as well as doubts over the course of my time at RVA. Ultimately, these are the things that open our minds and help us expand the way that we think and how...
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Renewable Energy: Everything you need to know

Renewable Energy: Everything you need to know
Renewable energy or green energy comes from resources that will be naturally replenish within a human timescale.   What does this mean? Well, simply put, renewable energy draws from an infinite bank of resources. Think of tides, sunlight, rain and the currents in rivers! They are not running out anytime soon, and unlike fossil fuels , using them does not entail major environmental risks. Historically, every time there has been an increase in oil prices, the world has turn its eyes towards renewable energy. After oil prices drop, however, things have gone back to business-as-usual. If renewable energy is the best option available why does this happen? Cost and a huge interest from big oil and chemical corporations to not make it happen, mainly. The infrastructure for drawing out and using fossil fuels is already there. This does not only entail complex oil refineries and coal-powered plants, but the electricity lines, gas pipes, etc. that make it possible for you and I to use these resources. The same is not true for renewable energy. Big corporations are already making profit from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, building the infrastructure for the production and use of renewable energy would take heaps of time and money. People who are in the money-making business have not interest in wasting these resources. TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY Most renewable energy comes either directly...
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Water security

Water security
This blog will give an overview about water security, how the situation is for the poor , and water pollution . With the current level of modern technology, knowledge, and information which is spreading every day, we would think it will not be a problem.   The world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. For this reason, it is vital that there is enough clean and safe water for the world’s consumption. Water security is the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean drinking water to maintain adequate standards of food production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care. The majority of water in the world is used for agriculture and irrigation systems. Worldwide, the demand for water for agriculture is increasing. It is estimated that it will continue to increase as much as 70% over the next few years. The World Bank and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are in collaboration to improve agricultural water productivity. This is especially in irrigated areas, where water supply is becoming less and less reliable (World Bank, 2014). Regions that are already under pressure from lack of water are Egypt, South Asia, Australia and the US. In countries like Morocco one of the major issues is that the demand for water is increasing while the availability of water is decreasing to crisis levels. Worldwide...
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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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Richmond Vale

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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